The Importance of Training in Technological Adoption
Our CEO and co-founder, Erkki Brakmann answered a few questions on the topic.
Parts of this interview were featured in AviTrader's latest issue of its MRO Aerospace Magazine (page 15).
Tell us about your involvement or thoughts on how new technologies are impacting MRO training today?
With how the industry is changing, learning how to use the newest technologies available is quintessential to doing any job function within MRO. It’s nearly impossible to be successful at your job without knowing how to use technology that supports it. You can argue this is true for any job, not just within MRO.
Therefore, when it comes to training employees or leveling up skills, teaching and learning technology needs to be a part of that curriculum.
“Those who can leverage the best and newest resources available will be most successful. Therefore, to set up your organization for success, technology usage must be a part of every training program.”
With the advent of AI, there’s been a pretty trendy quote circulating, that states something like, “AI won’t take your job, the person who is using it will.”
We need to learn how to leverage new technologies to our advantage. For example, when Google search came around, we all learned quickly how to leverage it to find the information we were looking for. It’s the same with ChatGPT or other AI/ML tools, we are learning how to apply them in our everyday lives, and the ones who master the skill, will see a significant boost in efficiency.
Those who can leverage the best and newest resources available will be most successful. Therefore, to set up your organization for success, technology usage must be a part of every training program.
Do you feel that new and incoming technologies, like AI, AR, blockchain etc will ease some of the challenges the MRO sector is facing currently and also, perhaps address to some extent the skills labor shortages?
Absolutely! Technology is the way forward for the MRO industry and its push to digitize. Specifically, AI plays a vital role in helping teams navigate the labour shortage by optimizing efficiency.
For example, if we talk about spare parts, AI can drastically shorten the procurement process. As soon as a mechanic has identified a part that is needed, AI can identify the most probable vendors and book the purchase in a matter of minutes. In today’s world, procuring a part can easily take days as the requirement passes from one person to another.
And when surges or dips in demand occur, it’s much easier to scale your technology-backed operations up or down compared to always balancing your labour force with your workload.
Best of all, you can free up your existing team to focus their attention on the complex tasks that require human ingenuity. And of course, AI can also help in these matters by ingesting historical and current market data to offer up the best solutions.
The MRO sector will not only benefit from efficiency gains, but also from cost savings, which are always important in the cost conscious aviation industry. By leveraging benefits such as supply forecasting, procurement teams can save up to 20% on the costs of their parts by being proactive (instead of reactive) and optimizing orders based on time and geographic locations.
The third problem that technology addresses is clearing up the opaque supply chain. By moving from manual offline processes to digital tools and workflows, everything becomes more transparent, making it easier to track, measure and optimize the supply chain.
We have seen growing popularity in areas like data visualization, automation and digital inspections and other similar technologies but do you feel there is enough capacity in the market to build such technologies to support training programs?
When it comes to technology growth, a very important aspect is technological adoption, instead of simply implementing technology. One of the key factors to help with adoption is how intuitive the solutions are to use and this is where tech providers have a lot to improve. The easier you make the usage, the less training it requires and the faster the adoption — it is all interconnected.
“People are a very important part of the adoption process, as they are the users of these tech products. Therefore, consideration must be given to change management and understanding how employees will interact with the technology.”
There are countless examples in the aviation industry of organizations investing in large scale technology projects, costing millions of dollars, only for the projects to never get off the ground. In many situations, it’s because all the time and investment were spent on implementing all of the components from a technical perspective.
However, people are also a very important part of this process, as they are the users of these tech products. Therefore, consideration must be given to change management and understanding how employees will interact with the technology.
This is why training is such a vital piece to the tech puzzle. And not just training on the Xs and Os of how to use a tool, but training for understanding, so users know how these new tools will improve their work and make them more successful. This is how true technological adoption happens.
So we shouldn’t question whether it’s possible to have such training programs, but instead must ask, if we cannot properly train towards adoption, is there capacity to bring such a technology to the market?
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