Reliant Air - Steven Longinott
Providing the essential piece to the flight operations puzzle
Using the new crew scheduling features in Schedearo
A streamlined operation that have a crew more connected than ever
I believe you’re quite new to Schedaero, Steven.
Yeah, I think this is only our fifth month using it. About 10 months ago we started exploring different scheduling and quoting software and in the early days I probably demoed six or seven products. And we settled on Schedaero.
Before that we were using giant whiteboards on a wall, where the team would write in the trip, time and crew details. And that was pretty much the scheduling side of things. And for quoting we used a home-based computer program that one of the company founders had made themselves. So, there was plenty of room for improvement.
And how did the relationship with the product team develop?
It began with Lisa (McElvanna) first demoing the product for us, then Genesis (Dela Cruz) and Sandro (Chiappe) did the implementation. By the time we’d done that – because of COVID – we had a lot of time to dive in and really implement what we wanted to before we had the tutorials.
And then it was a case of back and forth on what the system could do. The conversations were very much around the opportunities, and it’s been a collaboration ever since.
Of all the features you’ve tested, which have you found the most useful?
There’s really a bunch of them, and it comes down to how you’re going to use the system. When I started using Schedaero I wasn’t part of the quoting or scheduling process at all.
Now that I’ve kind of implemented the thing, I can view a quote from the beginning to the end. I can see how it gets logged and the data collection, I can change its presentation and see how it interfaces with the duty log and the crew scheduling.
It streamlines the whole process and gives me a complete picture. I can see what quotes we’re booking and which ones we aren’t, and run reports where I can say, ‘oh, this pilot really has been flying a lot’.
So, I would say the reports and the scheduling are really great for us. We had a meeting least week and all the information just came up on everyone’s app, it really streamlines communication.
Would you say the testing process is rigorous?
Yes, and there’s an understanding that you’ve got to be able to crawl before you can sprint. And right now, we’re just learning to crawl and walk. We’re currently looking at simplifying the crew and duty side of things, and it’s a learning process for us and for Schedaero. There’s a lot of dialogue to make sure everything functions well.
And I’m really looking forward to fine tweaking things to make sure it’s everything that everyone wants it to be. Not just us and Schedaero, but every operator, so they can go and use it to suit their needs.
And your team is using the new functionality too.
Sure. Everyone now logs all their flight and duty times right on the app, and the schedulers use it to push all trips out.
We still have to do paper trip sheets because we don’t have AO25 yet, and there are things that have to be worked out at Schedaero’s end for us to fully embrace it and go forward with the FAA. But things don’t happen overnight, and we all need a little patience and hopefully we’ll get there.
There are just little tweaks that need to be done, I think. For the most part I think we’ve implemented as much as we can at this point.
What difference do you think the new crew scheduling features will make to your business?
The goal is to decrease workload. Become more efficient, sell more trips and fly more trips without doing more paperwork. If you constantly have to do more paperwork, you’re going to need more people.
By streamlining everything, hopefully we can fly more trips with the same amount of people.
Have you enjoyed being part of the testing process?
100%. Of course there are growing pains with everything, but the ability to see the schedule and manipulate it, to send out trip sheets no matter where I am and not have to open my laptop, it’s great.
I can send out a quote right from my phone if I really need to, and that’s the best thing with all of this. In these times of instant gratification where someone wants to spend thousands of dollars to fly somewhere, they don’t want to wait until 8am on Monday morning if they send the request at 7pm on a Friday. They want it taken care of quickly.
I firmly believe that the faster you can get that quote to them, the more likely they are to book it. And that’s great for business.