Managing the way assets are deployed and used on the apron such that their value is maximised is clearly of interest to all those that operate GSE. Asset management tools that monitor GSE use and location are becoming ever more prevalent. GroundCentric is one of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) products now available for those looking to make the most of their airside equipment
GroundCentric247 is just one of the software-as-a-service applications that Vxceed offers to its clients and is on the Latitude247 core technology platform (Latitude247 is a brand of Vxceed Technologies). Vxceed also offers other software for fleet management in relation to passenger ground transportation called LimoConnect247; it is designed to maximise driver and vehicle utilisation while offering passengers a seamless experience. GroundCentric247 is an aviation-focused system intended for airport authorities, airlines and ground handlers looking to get the best possible use of their various GSE assets and resources on the ramp.
GroundCentric is designed to offer a comprehensive and unified platform to manage workforce teams, tasks and assets (both powered and non-powered GSE). It offers real-time visibility of manpower and equipment that enables the most efficient resource allocation to tasks. A detailed equipment history provides a full sequence of events in relation to mobile assets.
It can integrate with various global distribution systems (GDS, mainly used by airlines) or other customers’ systems, with cloud-based applications providing centralised data management and management reporting, web applications for operations management and planning, and mobile applications for team leaders and workers.
Sensors and telematics offer full status visibility of GSE, allowing for their most productive usage and the identification of any downtime or engineering-related issues. The system also facilitates effective workforce management, allowing for operators to be allocated appropriate jobs as and when required, with employee-related issues such as fatigue also closely monitored.
With the use of the mobile app, operators too have their input – for example, by initiating a request on a task – while tasking can be assigned to them without the use of printed job sheets.
The ramp team leader app, meanwhile, allows multiple team leaders, dispatchers and supervisors to manage and allocate jobs, and monitor progress of teams while on the move.
The GroundCentric247 application has already been deployed by a number of carriers and airport service providers, but the company is keen to spread the word further. Latitude247’s country manager – USA, Faisal Hashim, explains that GroundCentric247 deploys GPS and RFID-based technology in order to “make everybody’s life easier” in the airside environment.
Established in 2000, Vxceed now operates from offices in Dubai in the UAE and Auckland, New Zealand, as well as at a facility in Bangalore, India. It also has offices in Berlin, Germany, and started its operations in the US in 2016 with a registered office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and opened an additional office in New Jersey in 2017 as well. “We’re growing fast,” Hashim observes.
The current client base includes carriers that require location, status and all sorts of telemetric information (visibility, speeds, real-time job status and so on) in order to not only optimise ongoing scheduling and the deployment of their assets (vehicles and drivers) but also to plan ahead for longer term fleet deployments. An aviation fuel provider has also equipped its fuel dispensers with GroundCentric247 in order to track its operations and thereby maximise fleet efficiency.
The data is accessible on smartphones used by various ramp operations team, but is perhaps best viewed on tablets. The software is available on IOS (web application) and Android (for mobile apps) and, as noted above, the system can also be integrated within airports’, airlines’ or handlers’ own IT frameworks.
Vxceed is talking to various GSE manufacturers about the possibility of them equipping their equipment with the GroundCentric247 hardware and software, Hashim informs, to allow their customers to track equipment on the apron. As well as improving resource utilisation for operators, it would ease the maintenance burden when it comes to repairing damaged equipment (knowing where GSE is at any given moment is a first step) and would also be a further selling point for their products.
Meanwhile, Hashim reports, the company is continuously making iterative improvements to GroundCentric247 to ensure it retains its cutting edge.