IFS serves four different aerospace and defense markets, according to Aerospace and Defense Director Graham Grose. The enterprise and asset management software company supports OEMs, including units of , and .
It has supported performance-based logistics (PBL) programs in the UK and now increasingly does the same for PBLs in Asia and the Middle East. IFS has worked with Norway’s military and supports the U.S.in operational projects in aviation maintenance in Afghanistan. And it is moving into civil aviation, with a major program for Emirates and a smaller one with a UK training start-up, Affinity.
IFS brings some special strengths to each of these markets and an unusual combination of tools to commercial aviation. It is an “end-to-end” software company that can do enterprise resource planning, fleet management and what IFS calls enterprise asset management, which is really managing maintenance.
Grose says It was this “huge strength in engine maintenance” that won IFS business helping Emirates’ engine overhaul facility in 2012, from which IFS has moved into helping the fast-growing carrier plan its fleet mix and schedules for each aircraft.
IFS is a world leader in maintenance of complex assemblies, which gives it a powerful advantage in supporting both aircraft engines and many airframe components, Grose says.
The software company can thus offer maintenance, fleet and enterprise software. That may be too big a gulp for many airlines that want to improve just one aspect of their operations. But IFS can provide individual modules of its larger software suites if desired. For example, the company has been developing enterprise operational intelligence (EOI), tools for drilling down to find the root cause of inadequate performance. “EOI is unique,” Grose emphasizes. “It is not just business intelligence.” And IFS is very active in another area increasingly important to aircraft maintenance—the Internet of Things.
So Grose is optimistic about IFS’s prospects in commercial aviation. A recent webinar on IFS solutions drew the attention of 180 airlines. And even as IFS’s World Conference was being held in Gothenburg, Sweden, in late October, an IFS team was demonstrating capabilities to the all-important Asian market at the Airline and Aerospace MRO and Operations IT Conference in Bangkok.