Oversight Agencies Need Support Risk Management Software
Something we hear about all time is the general lack of support from oversight agencies regarding risk management software. Not that agencies like the FAA, Transport Canada, or EASA are against software by any means, but during audits and inspections they are often unwilling to explore the SMS program via the software. They still adhere to the old way of doing things:
- Manual reports;
- Binders; and
This puts significantly more stress on aviation service providers. Airlines and Airport safety personnel have enough to do without worrying about transferring a significant amount of data from a computer to a binder.
Moreover, this lack of support gives companies incentive to remain using their manual SMS program. This is too bad because SMS software can significantly benefit any organization. Oversight agencies need to adopt policy of working with whatever medium service providers’ aviation safety management system exists on.
Here are 20 benefits of safety management software.
Safety Benefits of Risk Management Software
The safety benefits of risk management software are the first and most obvious benefits we think of. While there are significantly more safety benefits that those listed below, the following five benefits are big ones for safety programs:
- Improved data mining;
- More complex/thorough risk analysis;
- Better reporting culture (more ways to report);
- Significantly more risk analysis options (i.e., computer assistance); and
- Stronger decision making ability, such as with creating higher quality corrective actions.
One of the primary ways software improved safety so much is that software utilizes an aviation safety database. This database stores information and allows a computer to perform complex operations on data rather a human mind. The computer’s ability to do this is, obviously, leaps and bounds ahead of a human.
Financial Benefits of Safety Software
The financial benefits of safety software are a big deal. Not necessarily because is cuts down on costs (which it does), but because often times upper management funding the program fails to understand that SMS software save money. They just see it as another expense.
The financial benefits of using software are significant, and they increase as the size of a company increases. See this SMS return on investment study for more information – however here are several financial benefits of safety software:
- Less manpower (i.e., improved payroll) needed to manage administrative side of program, such as data entry, generating reports, etc.;
- Better ability to document safety related financial data;
- Improved report generating ability (i.e. charts, data presentation) to show to tall stakeholders, such as investors;
- Better safety performance increases return on investment for the SMS, as with less fines and fewer accidents; and
- Improved decision making ability allows for much less wasted time/money.
Often times, gaining support from upper management means speaking their language: money. If you can demonstrate financial incentives, they are usually much more willing to hear what you have to say.
Quality Management Benefits of SMS Software
Quality management is safety management’s twin sister. Their operations are tightly intertwined and they both depend on each other. In many organizations, things like safety training and auditing are handles outside the SMS program. SMS software can be a valuable ally to them as well.
- Automated safety training reduces training time and costs;
- More thorough audit preparation;
- Better audit performance;
- Much less burden to implement quality-safety management system; and
- Better productivity for all operations, as manual work in regard to safety program is mostly eliminated.
Safety management system software has natural quality management functionality built into it. Software is designed around business logic and workflows, and so naturally compliments quality management operations.
Administrative Benefits of Safety Management
Something that most organizations fail to grasp when they move from a manual SMS program to software based SMS program is how much easier their lives will be at work. The automated nature of the aviation safety database and software significantly reduces redundant, manual administrative work.
In short, it frees up a lot of time for safety management to actually do their job rather than spend time documenting what they are doing. Some of these administrative benefits are:
- Better organizational abilities;
- Significantly less administrative data entry burden;
- Better data security against loss and unauthorized access;
- Significantly better data authorization ability, including improved and decreased transparency; and
- More resources – and easier access to those resources – for employees.
Final Thought: One Last Major Benefit
One last benefit you probably haven’t thought of is this:
- Amazing future potential of software.
The digital age has only just begun, and there is no better time to get on board with SMS software than now. We can only guess at future potentials of safety management software. A software program might very well:
- Communicate with aircraft and automatically generate safety reports; or
- Use complex algorithms to perform predictive analysis with degrees of accuracy we never thought possible.
The potential is very great, and using software now means getting started storing all safety data in a digital format. With manual programs, the ceiling if human ability. SMS software doesn’t seem to have a limit at this point in time.
For a live demonstration of safety management software, please see below:
Published May 2017. Last updated April 2019.