Aviation Software Conference
2017 Aviation Software Conference – Dallas-Fort Worth
On September 11-13, more than 70 of our TotalFBO and Total Aviation Software partners joined the World Fuel Services (WFS) team at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Dallas-Fort Worth for the educational 2017 Aviation Software Conference. Despite Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, we were able to provide a fun and educational experience for our dedicated attendees!
The Most Dedicated Conference Attendee Award went to Michele Osborne, Administrative Systems Manager for Sheltair! She drove roundtrip from Florida to Texas to be with us (which also happened to include spending a night in her car).
Session topics included the future of aviation software, client support initiatives, new product evolution, software infrastructure updates, and more. In addition, breakout sessions were available for attendees to collaborate, provide feedback and share best practices.
Networking opportunities were also part of the fun as attendees were treated to a welcome reception on the first night and a Wings Over Texas themed event on the second day.
Key Highlights from the Conference:
Current & Future of Aviation Software – presented by Steve Drzymalla, SVP Business & General Aviation Bulk Fuel and Joel Purdom, SVP Global Operations & Sales Support
Steve and Joel reflected on the WFS aviation software journey thus far and reiterated our commitment to the ongoing evolution of aviation software. The overarching message was clear – WFS intends to become the industry leader in the aviation software space. WFS is committed to supporting TotalFBO and Total Aviation Software, while developing the next evolution offering that is intended to better meet customers’ evolving business needs. They emphasized to all attendees that TotalFBO and Total Aviation Software are not going away and additional resources have been dedicated to enhance customer satisfaction and overall infrastructure stability.
Client Support Initiatives – presented by Kelly Spangler, Director Client Support
Kelly introduced the Aviation Software Support team members and shared their key support initiatives that are underway. Initiatives included the addition of new team members, implementation of a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, training program improvements, and more aggressive service level improvement goals. She also noted that the TotalFBO support team moved to a new office location but are still based in Broken Arrow, OK.
Infrastructure & Software Updates – presented by Ryan Jones, Total Aviation Software Product Owner/Account Manager and Debra Clem, TotalFBO Product Owner/Senior Account Manager
Ryan walked participants through WFS’ commitment to infrastructure improvements which included an improved server management strategy, an expanded technical support organization, and telephone upgrades. Additionally, Debra and Ryan both presented aligned initiatives for managing existing software products. Key focus was placed on increasing development output to improve existing functionality, enhancing user experiences, creating system efficiencies, and increasing code quality.
Aviation Software Evolution – presented by Jamie Santiago, Senior Product Manager – Aviation Software
Jamie gave attendees a glimpse into the software evolution process that has transpired to this point, as well as an overview of how the progression will eventually lead to the delivery of an extraordinary application. She highlighted that, by conducting a variety user interviews initially and including participants in the testing process throughout the journey, WFS will ensure execution of a superior product that can benefit all facets of an FBO.
Attendees were also able to participate in presentations on Concierge updates; gathering meaningful data and data mining; the monthly closing process and reconciling AR; reconciling credit card payments; and updates in the shop area of the TotalFBO software.
In addition, collaborative breakout sessions were provided on the subjects of accounting, maintenance, concierge/front counter, and charter operations.
Are you already looking forward to the 2018 WFS Aviation Software Conference? So are we. Keep your eyes on your inboxes for “Save the Date” information coming your way soon!
News from the Development Team
• The TotalFBO development team has welcomed a new developer to the team. His name is Scott and he’s already making significant contributions to the code and helping with programming requests.
• Since January 1, the development team has completed 67 programming items including 27 enhancements and 40 deficiencies.
Notable Version 7 Enhancements
• TotalFBO and FlightBridge have completed the work to have the two systems communicate. Using the Batch routine in TotalFBO, new or updated FlightBridge reservations will display on your Concierge Super Screen.
• The Query Library was introduced as a tool to replace a third party report writer. Not only do we include several popular requested queries, but you can build you own queries for reports you like to run multiple times. This query library function will be utilized whenever possible when a new “canned” report is requested.In addition to the ability to save the reports to a CSV file, they can be saved locally to your workstation, even if you are running a remote desktop program.
• Dashboards have been expanded with the following additions.
- Management Dashboard – this shows key performance indicators of how your business is trending.
- Shop Order Dashboard – this dashboard shows open shop orders. Any shop order that exceeds the target date or projected labor hours will be highlighted. Additionally, clicking on a specific shop order or discrepancy will display info on that particular shop order/discrepancy.
- Dispatch Dashboard – this dashboard shows dispatched flights. Any flight that is overdue will be highlighted.
• In addition to enhanced dashboards, an Auto-Launch feature has been introduced. Users can choose between a dashboard, the Concierge Super Screen or the Shop Floor Assistant. Their choice will then auto-launch the next time they log in. This setting is found at File>User>Preferences>Tab 4.
• The Concierge Super Screen and Concierge Request Form have also been updated:
- The process has been streamlined and optimized for faster performance.
- Sections have been added for De-Icing and Hangar Pull-Out times.
- Services can be flagged for Arrival/Departure/Both/Either.
- Specific notes can be entered for Arrivals or Departures.
What’s Coming Down the Runway?
Version 7.10 will be released in late summer/early fall.
• We will continue to fix deficiencies and make some enhancements in version 7 until version 7.1 passes beta testing. Field testing is expected to be completed by the end of summer.
• Version 7.0 will not be supported with programming code changes after 12/31/18.
• To upgrade to version 7.1, customers must be on version 7. Users of version 6.3 or earlier will not be able to upgrade directly to version 7.1.
As communicated earlier this year, the Payroll module is being retired, and TotalFBO will only be equipped to fully support 2017 filings. It is important to note that although 2018 tax charts were incorporated along with the 2018 Form 941, the 2019 tax forms for 2018 filings will not be available. Also, the ability to process payroll checks will no longer be available.
Related functionality that will remain in TotalFBO:
• Time clock
• Employee ability to clock in and clock out
• Employee ability to clock in and clock out of work orders
• Ability to bill for employee time on shop orders
• Support for importing journal entries
• Ability to match employees with external payroll programs
Work is currently underway to deliver an exportable file format approved by payroll provider ADP to assist our select group of users with this transition.
The TotalFBO team sincerely regrets any inconvenience this presents our valued partners. Due to the complex, resource-intensive nature of a payroll application, continued support of this complimentary benefit has become cost prohibitive.
TotalFBO Accounting Tip of the Quarter
April marks TotalFBO’s 30th anniversary! We want to extend a huge thank you to our wonderful customers who have contributed so much to our ongoing success.
Having trouble reconciling your payments from your credit card processor? Version 7 includes an MSTS Daily Batch Report that can be found at Accounting>Receivables>Reports and Listings>Tab 1. This can also be run by selecting option No. 9 on the Charges Batches report. This report gives a comprehensive overview of all transactions for the date chosen.
Total Aviation Software News
AvPOS|Total Aviation Software Team has Accomplishments in Q1 2018
• Phillips 66® Certification
AvPOS/Total Aviation Software (TAS) is proud to be partnering with the Phillips 66 Aviation team to offer transaction processing for Phillips 66 branded locations. With the addition of the Phillips Heartland processor, we look to growing the AvPOS family and continuing to be at the forefront of payment processing for the Aviation industry. Certification with Heartland/Phillips concluded in Q1 and the pilot program is underway.
• Disaster Recovery
AvPOS/TAS has completely overhauled the Disaster Recovery Environment to ensure business continuity for our merchants across the country in the event of a natural disaster. Led by the efforts of Application Manager Bryan Thome, using his vast knowledge of network maintenance and continuity, AvPOS has enhanced its Disaster Recovery Environment for all users.
• Contract Fuel Management Improvements
Sales Order Integration:
TAS has established new functionality which allows for the integration of WFS issued sales orders. AvPOS/TAS customers looking to gain insight into sales order data used to process transactions can now retrieve a list of applicable sales orders issued by WFS and apply those sales orders directly to open transactions.
Secondary Card Number:
New functionality allows merchant users to capture a secondary card number at the point of sale (Government AIR Card & Avfuel) for merchants looking to process fuel transactions not previously accepted. Using the Alliance Contract Fuel platform, merchant users can capture a secondary card number and process a contract fuel transaction which was previously not accepted.
What the AvPOS|Total Aviation Software Team is Focused On for Q2 2018
P66 Merchant Roll & Out & Onboarding
As certification and the pilot program are completed, the AvPOS/TAS team will be in full on-boarding mode. Partnering with Phillips 66, AvPOS plans to onboard hundreds of new users looking to replace the brick point of sale device. Our efforts will be on maintaining exemplary customer support while continuously building the platform which has made AvPOS so successful. Additionally, focus will be on improving the customer onboarding experience and welcoming new merchants to the AvPOS family. AvPOS/TAS account managers will be leading the charge while continuing to provide weekly software demos and ensuring the highest level of customer support and satisfaction.
Miscellaneous Data & Stats
AvPOS continues to be an industry leader in transaction processing with over 2,600 locations processing an average of over 24,000 transactions per month, with a success rate greater than 99 percent.
FBO Software Evolution Update
We wrapped up 2017 by creating five design prototypes to validate data that we gathered from our user interviews. We then conducted usability tests weekly in our Houston office and also with some users remotely. We would like to thank all of those who participated in both the user interviews and the prototype testing. You all gave us such valuable feedback that we are so grateful for.
In the first quarter of 2018, we took the findings from those assessments and refined crucial areas of the application that needed to be addressed. Also, in a continued effort to ease the workload of our software users, we are strategically assessing key partnerships that will play an integral role in the forthcoming success of our software evolution.
As we advance forward, we are actively seeking participants to provide input throughout the process. We will periodically need FBO professionals, with a variety of experience levels, for beta testing as development progresses. If you or your organization is interested in being a part of this journey, please e-mail Jamie Santiago, Sr. Product Manager, Aviation Software.
Software Support Spotlight
The Aviation Software Support team is working hard to deliver world class customer service! Our team is ready to assist you Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time. On-call support is also available for urgent matters outside normal business hours.
Aviation Software Customer Support
Telephone: +1 844 286-5992
Here are a few useful tips that will help us serve you better:
• When contacting the support team by e-mail, please submit all e-mail inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the most timely and efficient service. Kindly refrain from sending e-mail inquiries directly to a technician’s e-mail address or any decommissioned support e-mail addresses.
• When calling the support team for assistance, please note you may experience longer wait times between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Central Time. If your wait time approaches three minutes, you may choose to leave a message. Please don’t worry, you will not lose your place in line. The next available technician will return your call.
• If you are contacting support regarding an accounting balance issue, please be prepared provide us the last time the account was in balance. Also, please be sure to refer to the help screens on reconciliation. This provides useful tips and can help determine on which day the accounting went out of balance.
• When contacting the support team, if at all possible, please try to document, video or screenshot the issue, and steps you took when encountering the issue. This greatly assists our team in troubleshooting or replicating the issue.
• Help documentation is also a valuable asset to assist in answering basic questions and explaining how the system operates.