The Client: Major Airline of the United States

Overview

This MetricStream customer is a major airline of the United States and one of the world's largest airline in passenger miles transported, fleet size, operating revenues. As one of the largest airlines the company provides scheduled jet service to hundreds destinations world wide. With such scale of operations, having effective quality and safety management systems with necessary control framework is critical for the company to ensure safety of the passengers and meeting regulatory compliance requirements. The quality, risk and compliance processes are supported by a comprehensive audit program to ensure operating departments comply with applicable regulatory requirements and policies and procedures. To achieve this objective the audit department members conduct a variety of audits of all internal departments, programs and processes.

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Solution

The airlines started looking for an integrated audit management solution that would offer a simple interface as the data entry during some audits could require hundred of filed and parameters to be captured. The customer wanted to implement a single audit solution for its enterprise-wide auditing requirements for multiple regulations, mandates and standards such as 14 CFR 121.373, AC 120-59, AC 120-79, DOD QSR, IOSA, OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120, Maintenance Audits, Station Audits and Internal Evaluation Program - that includes audit of all major functional departments involved in the airline's Airworthiness, Flight and Ground Operations programs.

In addition to regulatory pressures, the airline was facing soaring direct and indirect costs of the manual audit process. Senior management was having challenges in decision-making process due to lack of in-depth analysis and decision support based on audit data from ATOS and Maintenance and Engineering. Without an integrated audit system, auditors were dependent on papers and Word or Excel files to document, analyze and present audit results.

The airline needed functional capabilities such as hierarchical system access for users, flexible audit schedules, audit resource management and capability to create checklists for compliance or ad-hoc operational audits.

The airline was looking for a risk-based audit system with checklist questions having capability of weighted scoring system based on probability and severity at the individual audit finding level and the overall audit level. The system should support functionality to send emails automatically in audit workflow such as notification to auditor auditee, overdue task alerts etc. Audit system was expected to have integrated Corrective Action Records (CARs) functionality.

MetricStream has delivered a comprehensive audit management solution to the airlines to support enterprise-wide audit management, risk assessments, remediation, incident management, corrective action, reporting, dashboards and offline access requirements. The scope of the project includes streamlining the audit cycle through a complete on-line audit workflow, including creation, approval, and scheduling documentation of audit results and corrective actions and closed-loop corrective action system and paperless transmission of corrective action requests. The solution manages the end-to-end checklist data, audit data, corrective action requests data and customer data and provides alerts by a monitoring system directly to the end user via a select communication medium (i.e. e-mail, pager, etc).

After extensive evaluation of various audit management solutions on the market, the company selected MetricStream because the solution provided the flexibility to support all types of audits, including Line Observation Safety, Internal Evaluation Program, Flight Safety, Ground Safety, Maintenance Safety & Compliance, Maintenance & Engineering, Quality Assurance, Codeshare Safety Quality Evaluations. The airline was able to extend the audit management solution for subcontractors and suppliers audits also. The MetricStream Audit solution offered an integrated and flexible risk management framework for identifying hazards, analyzing and assessing safety sheet risks, defining controls for risks and finally managing risk controls through audits.

The MetricStream solution allows customer to consolidate audits globally across divisions & branches. The solution provides end-to-end functionality for managing the complete audit process including: risk assessment, audit planning and scheduling, development of standard audit plans and checklists, field data collection, development of audit reports and recommendations, review of audit by auditees and company management and program management of audit recommendations and remediation.

The MetricStream Platform provides a unique offline briefcase capability that allows auditors to perform their tasks at remote field sites without access to the corporate network. Key functionalities such as conducting audits and reviewing action items has been made available on notebook computers and handheld devices even when they are offline and cannot access the network. The data is recorded in exactly that same manner as when the application is online and synchronized with the central repository when the network is accessible.

Challenges

The customer was facing severe challenge to keep up and manage requirements of multiple regulations, mandates and standards by the FAA, IOSA, and other regulatory bodies. The increasingly complex compliance programs for which auditing processes were not well integrated and handled with a heterogeneous set of auditing tools and systems were making it difficult to cope with increasing scrutiny and rising reporting requirements. The customer realized that a upgrade in auditing systems and infrastructure was necessary to improve process efficiencies, shorten audit cycle times and the reduce costs through effective utilization of resources.

14 CFR Sec. 121.373., Continuous Analysis and Surveillance System (CASS), mandate requires airlines to have a CASS Audit System to provide continuous surveillance of the maintenance system to assure compliance with applicable manuals and regulations. CASS audits are also important for the airline for a systematic and independent examination of processes and systems to verify whether they are implemented effectively and suitable to achieve desired objectives.

The Air Transportation Oversight System (ATOS) from FAA requires airlines to adopt a system for to ensure its operating systems comply with regulations and safety standards as well as the six (6) Safety Attributes, i.e., Responsibility, Authority, Procedures, Control, Process Measurement and Interfaces. Airline is expected to have risk management processes defined and air carrier’s operating systems produces intended results, including mitigation or control of hazards and associated risks.

Under regulatory requirements, the airline also has to measure effectiveness and performance of maintenance operational processes through Maintenance and Engineering (M&E) audits. To comply with ATOS requirements, the airline has to adopt an audit management system which can help in identifying risk and manage at the audit level, provide root cause analysis capabilities for deviations or discrepancies found during audits, integrate with Corrective and Preventative Actions with audit related deviations and provide risk assessment and mitigation capabilities for safety risks. Such mandates required a seamless integration between safety, quality and risk management programs and the localized point-applications being used to manage data and processes were not designed for providing such an integrated view.

Why MetricStream?

Enterprise-wide Deployment: The MetricStream solution allowed customer to consolidate audits globally across divisions & branches. The solution enabled enterprise-wide deployment of audit management and manage the complete audit process such as risk assessment, audit planning and scheduling, development of standard audit plans and checklists, field data collection, development of audit reports and recommendations, review of audit by auditees and program management of audit recommendations and remediation.

Scope and Extensibility of Solution: The solution provided the flexibility to support all types of audits, including Line Observation Safety, Internal Evaluation Program, Flight Safety, Ground Safety, Maintenance Safety & Compliance, Maintenance & Engineering, Quality Assurance, Codeshare Safety Oversight Program, System Safety & Analysis, Occupational Safety, Safety and Quality Evaluations. The airline was able to extend the audit management solution for subcontractors and suppliers audits also.

Offline Capability: The MetricStream Platform provides a unique offline briefcase capability that allows auditors to perform their tasks at remote field sites without access to the corporate network. This helped the airline auditors to perform field audits before flight take-offs, remote audits for maintenance and engineering and finally synchronize all data in corporate audit system.

Benefits

  • Systematic and consistent audit process across business units, divisions, global locations, and external suppliers Accelerated the audit process, improved communication and teamwork on complex audit processes across departments and functional areas Eliminated audit errors and inconsistencies with a standardized data collection and analysis process across the enterprise Realized significant cost saving and efficiencies up to 20-30% in its entire operations. Decision making process was streamlined and real-time Single auditing solution for multiple auditing requirements such as regulatory compliance, Internal Evaluation Programs, Standards Observation (LSO), Code share Audit Program, Supplier / Vendor Audits, OSHA Maintenance Audits , Station audits

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