Success Story: Custom FileMaker Solution for Aircraft Maintenance Company

May 17, 2023
Kayla Backus
Aircraft maintenance garage with seven airplanes visible.
Malibu Aerospace

Malibu Aerospace provides maintenance, engineering, design and troubleshooting services for Piper airplanes. Their mission is to improve the usability and safety of aircraft by providing industry expertise for their clients.

HighPower Data Solutions provides FileMaker support and development for Malibu Aerospace. In addition to updating their software layouts for a better user experience, we’ve worked to optimize and correct vital software functions for a faster response time and improved user experience.

Malibu Aerospace calls their FileMaker solution “Advantage.” In addition to tracking aircraft, parts, purchasing, work orders, time tracking and invoicing, this software offers a website for their customers that integrates with the FileMaker database and provides a way for customers to check on their work orders and approve changes.

Malibu Aerospace Advantage software sets them apart from the competition

When asked about the benefits of this custom software solution, the team at Malibu Aerospace emphasized how it has increased their efficiency and accuracy in recording and reporting data. Essentially, the software provides real time feedback, which means that the team has to input accurate information on the client record. Advantage now makes employees and customers happy because of its improved functionality. 

“Working with HighPower has been a truly wonderful experience. Matt is in tune with our business needs and has put the time and effort into our solution to make It something that is not only a huge time saver for our staff but also something we are proud to show off to our clients. Our brand pillars as a top-rated aircraft maintenance company are Performance, Safety and Efficiency; HighPower has these same values and is one of the reasons we work so well together. Our customers come to us for their aircraft maintenance needs because we are the best at what we do, and we expect the same from our vendors. HighPower delivers on this!” 

Doug Hilz
Vice President and General Manager, Malibu Aerospace

The first major renovation done to Advantage was to the Project Management feature, which allows for managers to see an overview of active work orders and make important decisions in prioritizing work. Before this renovation, navigating to the interface and loading it would consistently take a minute or more. We were able to cut that down to a couple seconds and improve the user interface.

Improve the experience for the customer and the employee

Meanwhile, the technicians out on the shop floor were increasingly frustrated with the Work Order interface. Years of reactive approaches to development and poor design decisions led to slow and awkward user experiences for employees. Once we started on this project, our team met with the technicians to work up a completely new Work Order interface that offered a slicker experience that solved many frustrations.

Our developers implemented a Microsoft Teams integration, which allows for chat messages to be sent from FileMaker (as though it was from the current logged in user) to other team members when an important change is made on a work order. These timely updates are essential to the business workflow, and recipients can receive these notifications anywhere, even during test flights thousands of feet in the air.

We cleaned up the front end of the software with a consistent user interface and an intuitive navigation at the top of the page. We added search functionality, revamped Purchasing and Contacts within the software, gave the user the ability to personalize their software view on startup, and included Invoices on the navigation for easy access.

Our team also expanded the capabilities of the software back end by updating the FileMaker integration with QuickBooks, significantly decreasing the number of unnecessary layouts, and linking the contact record and aircraft record in the relational database.