IFS: The Phoenix in Operations Streamlining

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), one of the largest defense aerospace divisions in Asia— involved in the design, fabrication, and overhaul of aircrafts, jet engines, helicopters and avionics—was going through a dramatic IT transformation to standardize their operations across 17 sites. They intended to optimize and integrate multiple business processes like materials management, production planning and quality control, financials, HRM, and maintenance from shop floor to top floor. As they approached IFS for an extensive transformation, which involved a software-driven Business Process Re-engineering (BPR), their platform—IFS Applications—reduced operational costs and improved manpower productivity for over 3000 users in the HAL sites. The platform continues to evolve even today, as IFS strives to incorporate more and more features relevant to the ever-increasing demands of the aviation industry. “It is an agile solution for agile businesses,” says Alastair Sorbie, President and CEO of IFS.

IFS offers a wide variety of solutions for the aerospace industry, ameliorating business processes ranging from design and engineering, all the way to the maintenance and overhaul operations. Their deep-dyed approach in executing enterprise, project, and program-centric initiatives for manufacturers and vendors in the aviation space caters to the individual needs of both commercial businesses as well as defense aerospace divisions. In either case, IFS delivers asset management, operational availability, business support and operational change, and performance management solutions. An additional fringe benefit of IFS solutions is the rate of user adoption, which specifically addresses the sheer size challenge of aviation companies in terms of the human element. “Apart from our technology, we have always had a good user interface, and we kept that fresh and leading edge,” explains Alastair, “and that is because the interaction between the human and the IT environment is all about that interface.”

IFS Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) provides a unique capability to the users in that it automatically detects a change of status in the aircraft’s physical integrity, detected by the Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) fitted into the assets. MRO duly informs maintenance managers and corrective actions can be taken swiftly. This provides a unique capability to commercial aircrafts in terms of automated maintenance scheduling and faster overhauls.

We believe that where people want to get ROI and reduced total cost of ownership, then IFS offers a very good option to choose

An integrated approach ensures that all of IFS Applications’ components are informed of the same, enabling better collaboration between the field and various in-house departments such as the design house, manufacturing plant, warehouse, and repair shops. On-field servicing, followed by an immediate update on the IFS Mobile platform closes the work order process throughout the software.

In the aerospace industry, IFS technology allows companies to transcend the limited capabilities of legacy manufacturing software that could not foresee any transformations above the shop floor. At a corporate level, IFS Applications platform delivers an enterprise operational intelligence tool for their customers to make informed decisions, powered by the data they can leverage from the lower strata. Vendor managed inventory, Contracting For Availability (CFA), and Contractor Logistics Support tools enable the users to effectively administer their external communications and support processes.
With increased fuel prices putting increasing amounts of pressure on both the defense as well as commercial airliner companies, cost-cutting would be the most likely a priority moving ahead. In such a scenario, IFS holds the front row seat in terms of transforming business operations for their customers, giving them much needed visibility and control over the whole range of their operations. Alastair concludes, “We believe that where people want to get ROI and reduced total cost of ownership, then IFS offers a very good option to choose.”


Itasca, IL

Alastair Sorbie, President & CEO

IFS supplies full-spectrum enterprise, project and program-centric manufacturing software to tier 1, 2 and 3 manufacturers and vendors serving aviation and defense