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Client: Northwest Airlines
Project: Reaching New Altitudes by Integrating AMS REALTIME Projects™ into its Aircraft Maintenance Operations

International airline carrier states that AMS REALTIME has helped them achieve the best maintenance and safety track record in the airline industry

Northwest Airlines has announced today that the use of AMS REALTIME software has been instrumental in helping to increase efficiency, manage and reduce costs, and streamline operations in the airline’s maintenance division. Since Northwest implemented the software in 1995, they have seen significant improvements in their maintenance processes.

Northwest Airlines integrated AMS REALTIME Projects, developed by Advanced Management Solutions, Inc, into its aircraft maintenance operations due to a need to better optimize efficiency at its three heavy maintenance facilities. The maintenance management desired a solution that had the capability to provide a detailed plan, for which the sequence of maintenance activities must be performed, i.e. critical path. The critical path method helps the airline determine what needs to be done and when, in the best possible order. This reduces the possibility for missed steps. When a maintenance procedure is missed, many additional hours of work may be required that could have been avoided. Not only does this situation tack on additional hours that could be better utilized elsewhere, but also, when a plane’s maintenance is not done in time, it delays the start of maintenance procedures for the next plane. This can result in cancelled flights and a substantial loss of revenue. By implementing AMS REALTIME, situations like these occur far less frequently.

For any airline, getting the planes in the air as quickly as possible can transform into a significant cost advantage. Not only can AMS REALTIME be directly linked to the cost savings that Northwest Airlines has enjoyed, but AMS REALTIME has also helped Northwest Airlines manage labor costs more effectively. Since the implementation of the software, Northwest has reduced its overtime costs. Conversely, by carefully managing their maintenance schedules, Northwest Airlines can proactively identify when outsourcing is needed.

AMS REALTIME also assists Northwest Airlines in streamlining their operations. Complimentary to the implementation of AMS REALTIME, Randy Miller, VP of Aircraft Maintenance Operations, also created the role of Project Coordination Manager. Responsible for ensuring that every maintenance activity be planned and that the critical path is documented in every plan, the project coordination manager is also accountable for ensuring that everyone involved in the maintenance process fully understands the reasoning behind the those activities. As a result, the entire organization is aware of the fact that daily activities impact the date the maintenance is finished, which directly affects when the plane is back in the air and generating revenue. By effective use of AMS REALTIME, Northwest Airlines can ensure that its employees follow the planned activities.

Miller stated, “Aircraft Maintenance Operations (AMO) is a division of Northwest Airlines, Inc. that is responsible for performing all aircraft heavy maintenance for our fleet. Our projects range from customer preference projects of just a few days duration with a minimal number of tasks to aircraft commissioning projects that may last close to three months and have over two thousand tasks. We have been using AMS products since approximately 1995 to help us efficiently schedule and manage our wide range of aircraft maintenance related projects.”

About Northwest Airlines

Northwest Airlines is the world's fourth largest airline offering more than 2,600 daily departures with hubs in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit, Memphis, Tokyo and Amsterdam. With its travel partners, Northwest serves more than 750 cities in nearly 120 countries on six continents. Based on statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Northwest is the most on time U.S. airline of the decade among the seven largest network carriers for the period 1990-1999. In 1999, Northwest's was chosen as best airline web site by and Business 2.0 and was named one of the top 500 sites by Internet World magazine. For more information, please contact Northwest Corporate Communications at 612-726-2331 or visit

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