For better or for worse, digitalization is an inherent part of future progress and development in every industry, according to Paul Sandström, chief operating officer at Web Manuals.
“I would argue that it´s hard to imagine significant improvements that exclude digitalization completely, especially after the last few years. Therefore, the question is not about digitization or not, but merely about the degree and timing,” he says. “It could be argued that digitalization has left the strategic decision-making sphere and entered the tactical and operational questions regarding what, how and when.”
The more interesting part now, Sandström says, is how digitalization will change the aviation industry.
“Not only do digital tools provide us with an opportunity to be better at what we do, but new avenues can open as a consequence of digitalization,” he explains. “If we apply this logic to the aviation industry and SMS, it is easy to see that digitalization is here to stay.”
According to Sandström, digitalization helps an SMS with efficiency, and it improves safety by increasing compliance, control and agility.
“But it´s not just about doing the same thing we always have done but now on a computer with faster software than previously. It´s about moving the goal posts in relation to the capabilities and sometimes, it´s not easy to see or understand the possibilities at first and that is okay,” Sandström explains. “We need to be open-minded and visionary enough to allow for that to come.”
The same is true for ground operators, according to Sandström. He says they are an integral part of the aviation industry, which has been confirmed by staffing issues this summer in Europe.
“So, it´s not just about doing the same thing we have always been doing for the past year faster and with more resources, but it´s also about pushing the potential for improvements as the results of the new capabilities,” Sandström says, adding a great start is acquiring International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) registration, due to the continued development by the industry experts.
“For example, Web Manuals do not only allow you to transfer your current manual to a new DMS, which allows for more efficient and better compliance handling of your current manuals. It also gives the opportunity to interconnect manuals and compliance libraries that were not even possible before,” he says. “It makes your manuals more dynamic manuals (instead of static/dead pdfs) and how does that affect how we write and structure our manuals, from my experience, quite a lot beyond the 0s and 1s.”