wondering what companies with AOC and AMO (6-10 engineers) do for keeping track of engineer time on particular tasks.
We have been using Timesheets separated by aircraft where the engineer will record the total hours of work performed for any particular day. This is a very primitive way of keeping track of time and we are looking into a way to track time better for any particular task in order to plan better for the future and come up with a fairly accurate budget for the year.
First off, no AME on the planet likes to fill this information in to "justify their existence".
As for seeing which aircraft is a maintenance pig and producing super accurate numbers, most maintenance software has that built in but still requires a human to fill in the times. You will spend more money trying to track this then it's worth.
I recommend having a manager of sorts who stands at an elevated vantage point in the hangar with a clipboard and a stopwatch to keep track of individuals time on the aircraft. This can also be simplified by having your employees wear a number instead of a name tag for identification.
I like to hear from the mechanics that have experienced this issue in the past, and am not looking for smart comments that are irrelevant and do not add value to the forum. I simply put the plan out there, which is a whole lot different than reality at this point, and need to gather useful information to make a case for or against a different system.
Simply a " our company tried this and this was the outcome..."
I used to work at a very large company and we had KRONOS, this was quite the pain in the behind and took a lot of energy to operate for us on the floor as well as managers to keep tabs to ensure that individuals clock in and out of a job. Everyday there were people that forgot to clock out, or the system had a glitch.
Mind I say this was more than 13 years ago. Since then I have worked at smaller companies with only daily timesheets allocating time towards different aircraft throughout the day.
Budgeting has become the forefront of every business to ensure we stay profitable, especially in the current market. My feeling is that the old way of time keeping will eventually disappear, especially if we are dealing with third party maintenance. How do you accurately bill the customer, what do you expect your local mechanic to bill you when he works on your vehicle?
Your local car mechanic has the advantage of a nice big book of listings of jobs that show the required time. We don't have that in most of the aviation world yet.
NOW, if you are doing 3rd party stuff, you're going to quote, which is going to draw on YOUR previous experience with the jobs. If you believe that an invoice shows the actual amount of time down to the minute it takes to do the job then you still need to do some more research.
As the "quotemaker", you are going to have to put it on the line.
As an experienced engineer and manager, I can tell you that maintenance is not an assembly line job. You will only be able to ballpark jobs as each aircraft presents it's own slew of barriers to overcome.
Whatever you do, NEVER undersell yourself or your services.