When asked what operators are currently doing for document management, specifically, how they write and distribute their manuals, the most common answer is editing in Microsoft Word and distributing with PDFs. Like many of those airlines, BRA- Braathens Regional Airlines (formerly Braathens Regional, Braathens Technical, and Malmö Aviation) was doing just that. They would then print a considerable number of hard copies for distribution to employees, partners, and document libraries at each base.
Over the years, the manuals were modified and expanded by different editors. The layout standard was lost as editors had been using different fonts and styles over time. Furthermore, there was a clear problem of control PDF versions downloaded to employee’s computers and available in hard copy at site libraries. Lastly, working in Microsoft Word required a large number of time-consuming tasks for an editor to perform and keep in mind when preparing and publishing a new revision. These things together resulted in a negative impact on quality and safety.
For many years, BRA had a vision of being a paperless airline with full control of their manuals and other operational documents. Elisabeth Broman, Flight Ops Administrator was a key figure in moving BRA towards a paperless operation: “to set high standards in quality we need experienced employees and the right tools to secure knowledge within the organisation. We must be able to share knowledge safely, easily, and quickly all at the same time. That’s why we chose Web Manuals.”
Since 2010, Web Manuals has provided BRA with an end-to-end solution for production and distribution of manuals. Furthering their control and time-savings over Word, a number of functions are automated, such as List of Effective Pages (LEP), table of contents, cross-reference lists, change log, and record of revision. In fact, the product is even being used at BRA for other business purposes, such as meeting minutes, as well as for distributing approvals, forms, and other controlled documents.
One unseen benefit at the onset of this project was the ability to complete audits through Web Manuals, providing the auditors with ‘Reviewer’ access where they can review, approve, reject or comment on all proposed changes to regulated manuals. “With Web Manuals, we achieved IOSA compliance in record time”, explained Louise Larsson, Quality Manager at BRA, adding, “we have probably set a new speed record in publishing a manual revision. An amendment was quickly written and approved internally, and then sent to the Swedish CAA at 15:01. The revision was accepted by the CAA at 13:59 the day after and published 15:59!"