A Starting Point for MRO System Transformation

This is part of a series on MRO system transformation.


The landscape of MRO IT systems is evolving with new technologies that enable greater accessibility, performance, regulatory compliance and operational efficiency. Operators modernizing their MRO IT systems understand their business model and processes are central to improving performance. Ensuring the new system is compatible with existing processes can simplify change and help unlock future value from paperless electronic signature, predictive maintenance, asset optimization, aircraft health monitoring and other factors that are a challenge for legacy systems. 

Time, technology, software expertise, leadership, domain expertise and data are common factors in every phase of the modernization journey. Over the coming months, we will release a series of articles that details each stage of the process (system selection, implementation, process refinement, data migration and stabilization) and draws on SeaTec’s deep expertise to provide insights on optimizing modernization.


MRO IT system selection tends to be generational, typically occurring every 20-plus years. That’s why many business stakeholders have no or limited direct experience with a program of this scale and require help to undertake the journey. While off-the-shelf MRO solutions do many things well, the choice of one system versus integrating best-of-breed systems remains a major question for selection teams to work through. It’s important to realize that system selection inevitably involves compromise. Defining and prioritizing system requirements reduces the risk of excluding important requirements or paying for ones that aren’t.

Selecting and implementing a new system is a complex, multiyear, multimillion-dollar endeavor demanding effective interaction among all stakeholders. Players can include current and new software providers, IT support and infrastructure teams, software implementation experts, project and change management experts, compliance, flight and tech ops leadership, business representatives, and a user group of 500 to 10,000 people.

MRO business processes must be robust, understood, consistently employed and sufficiently aligned with the technology to maximize the benefits of a new IT solution. So what comes first, the business process or the system? The answer is it depends. Business process transformation will, to some degree, be necessary. An understanding of current and future processes and what steps enable transition informs the answer and shapes implementation.

MRO data migration, data creation and data cleansing invariably become bottlenecks in system migrations. Leveraging a proven model and architecture to keep current and future systems in synch minimizes cost and risk. Critical to success is leveraging such accelerators as data extract, transform and load (ETL) tools; robust test environments; and dedicated teams of technical and business data experts. 

Operation stabilization is the phase immediately following migration, cutover and go-live. It’s where expected and unexpected system, data and process non-conformities are managed. And the period where user expectations – positive or negative – are affirmed by the user experience before moving on to the next phase, business as usual (BAU). That makes it critical that the stabilization team is ready to handle issues.


SeaTec is a leading adviser and support provider of end-to-end MRO IT transformations. Our teams bring a unique combination of aviation, MRO and digital expertise and a deep understanding of the challenges fleet operators and maintainers face.

We have led large-scale, multiyear MRO modernization and transformation programs in the past 20 years. Our experience includes MRO system integration for the three largest U.S. carriers after mergers and turning around failing and faltering implementations. We have also helped resolve data issues years after a system change to achieve the goals of the system transformation. In addition, we have conducted business process reviews, defined systems requirements and cleaned up data prior to migration.

Whether you are starting the journey, would like system-agnostic advice, need system-specific expertise, or require support for a program intervention or turnaround, SeaTec can be your trusted partner.

This is part of a series of articles on MRO system transformation. For more information about our engineering, technical services, MRO capabilities or related topics, please contact us or the author and follow us on LinkedIn.