At United Airlines, FileMaker Pro has become a fundamental tool for maintenance and engineering departments as well as other support groups. For more than two decades, Richard Atkinson, senior manager for Aircraft Engineering, has relied on FileMaker Pro to create everything from simple workflow databases to major cross–department efficiency tools.
"More than 10 years ago, we needed a robust, relational, easy to develop in, easily customized, wide–area distribution database solution," says Atkinson. "FileMaker Pro has met and exceeded these requirements, and has allowed considerable end–user autonomy."
In addition to providing basic database functionality, Atkinson uses FileMaker Pro to embed error–checking and best practices functions into the company's workflow databases—all tied into legal and regulatory requirements. This includes integrating compliance checks related to process health standards and aircraft/parts changes. FileMaker Pro databases also help United Airlines leverage maintenance data to conduct reliability analyses. Atkinson relies on FileMaker Pro for these crucial business processes for several reasons, including fast development and easy customization.
"FileMaker Pro continues to provide a rapid development tool for United that is applied within work teams to capture processes and policies, and to streamline approvals for airplane parts, modifications, scheduling and more," he says. "The best thing is that FileMaker Pro permits organic, close–to–the–user development, so that our workgroups can realize improvements very quickly based on the way they work, something that almost never happens with mainframe tools. We can reach a wide audience within United, crossing departments and distances easily, without having to use intimidating or awkward interfaces—and without spending millions of dollars on development."
FileMaker Pro is fast and powerful. It is actually the most fun part of my job because it lets me enact business advancements right away!
Richard Atkinson, Senior Staff Engineer, United Airlines