An aircraft service facility’s capabilities are tied to its technicians’ knowledge base. When the most experienced of those technicians leaves or retires, his or her knowledge can be lost. At the same time, problems that are new to some technicians may have been resolved by other team members in the past. But unless this knowledge is actively shared across the company—with an ease of access akin to searching Google for answers—technicians may end up wasting valuable time by solving the problem all over again.
In order to retain technicians’ knowledge and facilitate solution-sharing across the company’s many facilities, Duncan Aviation created the DAK (Duncan Aviation Knowledgebase).
DAK is an electronic-based system that captures data so it can be used to save technicians’ time and customers’ money. Every day, bots comb through vast amounts of data in databases throughout Duncan Aviation, and the data is then sorted and stored where it’s available to all team members.
The system is used by airframe techs, avionics techs, and anyone else who’s having problems resolving an issue with an aircraft. Techs search existing data and quickly and accurately find potential solutions that someone else at the company has already found and documented.
“The purpose of DAK is to let us learn from history, as opposed to having to research and find every single fix from scratch,” says Rich Teel, IT Manager of Systems and Programming. “Learning from troubleshooting performed in the past has the potential to reduce downtime and labor costs for customers.”
Regardless of where data is entered into the system—at one of Duncan Aviation’s three main facilities, its 27 Satellite Avionics Shops or workaway stations, its engine Rapid Response launch locations, or from any computer anywhere in the world that’s connected to the Duncan Aviation network—we can capture it so it can be searched and used in the future.
“The DAK system is a result of our commitment to our core value of continuous improvement,” says Rich. “We want to always be smarter and more nimble in our responses to problems, so we can have the most efficient technicians in business aviation and keep costs down for our customers.”
Prior to joining Duncan Aviation’s Bombardier Airframe Service Sales team, Joe Cugnetti was a Lead Tech for Falcon aircraft in Battle Creek, Michigan, for six years, and he used DAK regularly.
“It made us extremely efficient,” says Joe. “If we’d run into a discrepancy and needed the best way to resolve an issue, especially if it was one we didn’t see often, we’d pull up the Corrective Actions and see how it had been resolved previously. In more situations than I can remember, DAK gave us a way to fix the problem or gave us the name of someone who’s already seen this same problem. Searching DAK for answers became part of my normal routine when working on a project.”
Another reason Joe relied heavily on DAK was for part numbers. When ordering parts, researching the part numbers was often the most time-consuming aspect. It could take hours or even days if a number had changed or the old part number no longer worked with the manufacturer.
“Because this is billed to the customer, we wanted to find a much faster way to find these numbers, and there are essentially illustrated parts of every aircraft with the part numbers broken out,” says Joe. “Finding the numbers in DAK saves us an incredible amount of time on research.”
A search of DAK for a solution not only provides quick, accurate answers, it sorts results by the best solutions. Someone else here at Duncan Aviation has seen this problem before and has recorded the fix, along with notes, maybe graphics or photos, and correspondence between the tech and the OEM, for instance.
Duncan Aviation prides itself on its ability to develop innovative solutions to problems our customers and technicians face each day. Staying on the leading edge of technology is one more way we make sure our techs are the most well-trained and knowledgeable in the industry. As an enterprise, Duncan Aviation will continue to research and develop technological systems that allow us to better serve both our team members and our customers.