Category Archive: Schedaero

  1. Schedaero Growth Shows It’s One to Watch

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    “Growing and investing in Schedaero’s platform also puts us at the forefront of attracting major talent,” says Oliver King, Avinode Group CEO. “Every day finds us further breaking down barriers to digitization.”

    Schedaero’s next-generation, flight operations platform now gives U.S. operators a complete replacement to their existing flight scheduling and aircraft management. Its powerful, paperless platform communicates seamlessly with all departments with checks and balances for added safety and efficiency. The growth of its North American team gives customers direct access to humans, not just bots.

    “Whether at tradeshows or in individual conversations, I repeatedly hear that Schedaero’s ability to walk alongside customers while helping them modernize and future-proof their operations sets us apart from our competitors,” says Genesis Dela Cruz, Schedaero account manager. “We truly become part of their team, from helping gain buy-in from upper management to collaborating on tailored implementation strategies for going digital and paper free. Our dedicated support professionals serve as trusted change agents and partners.” 

    Schedaero has made a number of recent enhancements to its platform. These include a robust, new duty dashboard and digital crew schedule. Newly released online training videos make Schedaero’s already smooth onboarding process even better for schedulers, dispatchers, pilots and crew.

    Two key Schedaero personnel additions include the following:

    • Ben Lackey, head of acquisition – Lackey joins the Avinode Group with a track record of taking organizations to the next level. He uses a data-driven approach to leading Schedaero’s growth and business development team. Prior to joining the Schedaero team based in Phoenix, Arizona, he served as senior client engagement manager for Microchip Technology Inc., founding account executive at JetInsight, and account executive at CETECOM. He earned an associate degree from Cabrillo College and a bachelor of science degree in business marketing from Menlo College while playing on the school’s baseball and tennis teams.
    • Adrian Casillas, customer success manager – Casillas draws upon his experience as a private pilot and aviation project manager to professionally, empathetically serve Schedaero customers. He helps them adopt Schedaero’s digital platform to streamline their flight operations, increase collaboration, reduce pain points and eliminate inefficiencies. Previously, Casillas served as customer success manager at FL3XX and as a customer success associate for JetInsight. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Santa Barbara and a human resources management certification from eCornell. 

    “I have a theory that the people who know most about the challenges of running a Part 135 charter operation or a corporate flight department are the people who work and manage in those organizations on a daily basis,” says Lackey. “These challenges are different today than they were one, five or even 10 years ago. We work with our customers as a partner to continually, incrementally increase the value that they’re able to derive from our platform.” 

    Schedaero has made numerous advances since entering the marketplace 12 years ago as part of the Avinode Group. A key one launched in 2018: its open APIs (application program interfaces that enable software to talk to each other). Other closed systems do not give operators the same freedom to leverage their own data. In 2020 the Avinode Group joined the World Fuel Services family. This gives Schedaero customers access to up-to-date fuel pricing, quick fuel request responses and easy invoicing. “Using data allows us to set a baseline from which we work to continuously improve,” says Lackey. Schedaero is based in Gothenburg, Sweden, with offices in Portland, OR, and remote team members located across the United States in multiple time zones. schedaero.com

    PHOTOGRAPHY FOR DOWNLOAD

    INTERVIEW REQUESTS

    Deanna Harms                                            
    Greteman Group
    Executive Vice President
    Office: 316.263.1004, ext. 111
    Mobile: 316.214.3467
    [email protected]

  2. Break Free from Paper: Get Into the Flow with Schedaero

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    “Change can be hard, but the very tangible advantages achieved through modernization make it worthwhile,” says Kevin Klein, Schedaero director of customer success. “We’re there with our customers every step of the way, including helping them gain buy-in across their organization and a commitment to implementation. Customers think of us as part of their team. We do, too.”

    Embracing the Future at SDC2022

    A large Schedaero team will be on hand at NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers (SDC2022), Booth #1829 to help generate that buy-in through education – and fun. Its recently launched Get Into the Flow with Schedaero campaign will be featured prominently on Schedaero’s social media to playfully emphasize the very serious benefits of going digital and paper free.

    A Get Into the Flow with Schedaero playlist on Spotify promises to boost concentration for better productivity. It’s based on scientific research conducted by cognitive behavioral therapist Dr. Emma Gray. It shows that music with 50-80 beats per minute can stimulate learning, heighten focus and put the brain into an alpha state where you’re relaxed, yet attentive.

    “The headaches and frustrations of constant changes, complex crew logistics and having so many players involved do make operators feel like screaming and pulling their hair out at times,” says Klein. “Thankfully, we’ve found a better way.”

    Enhancements to the Schedaero toolkit promise to help schedulers, dispatchers, pilots and crew find flow. These include a robust, new duty dashboard and digital crew schedule. Schedaero’s smooth onboarding process with dedicated support professionals has been taken to the next level with newly released training videos, available 24/7, perfect for highly mobile pilots and flight crews.

    “Customers who’ve embraced these new, easy-to-use tools are so glad they did,” says Klein. “They don’t miss all the manual handling, back-and-forth emails, paper trail and quickly outdated Excel spreadsheets. They’re better in every way.”

    Modernization, collaboration and future-proofing operations are key themes at SDC2022. So is making schedulers and dispatchers’ jobs easier. The Elevate Your Efficiency panel from 3:45-5 p.m., Tuesday, April 5 includes Genesis Dela Cruz, Schedaero Account Manager. Dela Cruz will speak about everything from reducing deadheading and streamlining processes to fuel purchasing and scheduling efficiently.

    “Schedaero’s new flight-op features should really encourage and drive adoption,” says Dela Cruz. “Greater digital implementation needs to happen throughout the aviation industry, but no one will benefit more than schedulers and dispatchers. Small, medium and large operators can all profit. The time has come.”

    Growing to Accommodate the Coming Shift to Digital

    Schedaero has doubled its U.S.-based customer success team and made substantial changes to its product offering. More will be announced yet this year. These include a build out of maintenance features and additional improvements in the already-popular crew app.

    “We’re a company on the move,” says Klein. “We’re breaking down barriers to digitization by building out our customer-facing roles and onboarding to better serve our growing customer base. Operators see us as the answer to their needs – a powerful, paperless flight operations platform that communicates seamlessly with all departments, while providing the needed checks and balances for added safety and efficiency.”

    Since entering the marketplace 12 years ago as part of the Avinode Group, Schedaero has made numerous advances. A key one launched in 2018: its open APIs (application program interfaces that enable software to talk to each other). Other closed systems do not give operators the same freedom to leverage their own data.

    In 2020 the Avinode Group joined the World Fuel Services family. This gives Schedaero customers access to up-to-date fuel pricing, quick fuel request responses and easy invoicing.

    Schedaero is based in Gothenburg, Sweden, with offices in Portland, OR, and remote team members located across the United States in multiple time zones.

    PHOTOGRAPHY FOR DOWNLOAD

    INTERVIEW REQUESTS

    Deanna Harms                                            
    Greteman Group
    Executive Vice President
    Office: 316.263.1004, ext. 111
    Mobile: 316.214.3467
    [email protected]

  3. Gunilla Perry – Ensuring everything works exactly as it should

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    Hi Gunilla. I believe you’re currently enjoying summer back in Sweden

    That’s right. I now live in Portland, Oregon, but I’m spending summer here in Sweden for the first time since 2008. It’s so wonderful here in summer. The clouds are higher in the sky, the sun is up longer, and it’s so beautiful and clean. It’s great to be back.


    What is an average day at work like for you?

    Well, I’m a Test Lead on Schedaero and there are four of us in the team, all based in Portland. We’re each assigned the role of main tester for individual projects, and that means working closely with the developers to test what they are building. There are plenty of meetings with the product, UX and developments teams and that collaboration is crucial to ensure we ultimately deliver a quality product to our customers.


    You’re vastly experienced, Gunilla. How have things changed in your 20+ years in testing?

    Well, for a long time the industry followed the Waterfall methodology. Then, a few years ago I took a voluntary sabbatical between projects which gave me the opportunity to clear my mind and focus on the new style of Agile workflow and development. Once my sabbatical was over, I went to work for a company in Beaverton that used Agile processes and tools, so when I joined Avinode in 2016 I kind of had a jump start on that way of working.

    Agile was a new approach for the business back then and my co-workers were more used to Waterfall, and big releases every six months. I brought that Agile experience with me, and the idea of releasing consistently; testing, verifying and then getting the product out in production.


    Do you think that an Agile approach benefits other areas of the business?

    Absolutely. I can say that with the whole team working this way it’s hugely beneficial to the product and the whole company because we can truly deliver quality-based features that our customers request. And importantly, we’re able to adjust to changing demands within the industry.


    That requires everyone to do their bit also

    Yes, it does. My husband is a developer himself and while working at home during COVID he has heard how we talk as a team and the flow of communication between us. He said to me, “wow, you have a great group. You really respect each other”.

    He’s impressed with what we deliver for customers, but it takes the team and individuals to respect each other, to work in a timely manner, and listen to each other and work through products. We are a very strong and winning team.


    Do you think those characteristics make Avinode Group special?

    I do. The culture is very much built on trust and respect for each other – and each others time, which is so important given how our work/life balance has changed.

    I like how we get things done. We listen to the customer and respond to their issues without ever letting those issues fall between the chairs. We’re also very good at sniffing out what is important for our competitiveness in the market. We don’t just rely on our past record, we’re never complacent.


    Looking to the future, what aspects of your role are you most excited about?

    As a business, we’re now extending our offer to focus more on the flight operations side, where some customers have very specific demands. The question of how to accommodate their needs is the real interesting one.

    Rather than customizing features for specific customers – which would be a maintenance nightmare – we build them so they’re for everybody. I’m excited that we’re adding to the standard application, as it means our existing customers can grow with us.


    And when summer is over and you return to Portland, what is life like?

    Well, I live on a houseboat on the river, so water is really important to me. I enjoy all kinds of water activities, like stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, boating and fishing.

    Portland also has outstanding nature and I love hiking in the nearby Columbia River Gorge –it’s incredibly beautiful. And then when I really want to relax you can find me knitting.

  4. Sandro Chiappe – Ensuring we always think like a pilot when developing Schedaero

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    So, Sandro, you started out as a pilot

    That’s right. I’ve always had a passion for airplanes, so I decided to go to flight school. I flew cargo for 135 operators for about three years and then flew 121 operations for American Eagle for another three years, based out of Chicago.

    What made you leave the flying life behind?

    It was the lifestyle, really. I would only be at home for around eight day a month, and the rest of the time I was in hotels. I didn’t want to keep doing that.

    I attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and studied Aviation Safety and Aeronautical Science, so I always thought I would be a pilot. But when the opportunity presented itself to change direction, I took it. I knew that if I didn’t make the change it would be much harder the older I got, and it’s worked out well.

    What was your first role outside the cockpit?

    I took a job as a Product Specialist with a maintenance software company. I got the chance to spend a couple of months working in Spain on a pilot app project, which was great. I was working with the pilots, implementing the software with the mechanics, talking to different customers and getting a greater understanding of process, so it was a really rewarding experience.

    When I came back from Europe it felt like the right time to take the next step and grow somewhere else. I came across Avinode, I did the interview, and it seems that they liked me.

    I’m not surprised. It must be invaluable having a pilot on the team

    I think so. I tell our customers all the time, I’ve been on both sides and I can put myself in their position. I understand the difference we make to their lives.

    When I was flying the 135, I did a lot of things that we now implement on Schedaero. I wish I had it back then. I would have loved the pilot app where I could log my duty rather than having to go to a hanger and physically write my times down.

    That understanding has helped me build great relationships with Chief Pilots and Directors of Operations in the past year when I was support on the implementation team. They still call me now even though my job has changed, but that’s ok because I can ask them questions about a product or to test something and they’re always there.

    How did you end up in your current role?

    When I joined Schedaero there was a push to build industry knowledge on the product team, so while working as an Implementation Specialist I would work together with them. John Hibbard involved me in a lot of stuff and has become a mentor for me, guiding me in my career. He’s been so supportive.

    I was helping his team with regulations and research and when the position opened for a Product Owner, John told me about it, and I went through the interview process. I really wanted the job and even studied to earn my Product Owner certification. That’s how serious I was.

    There’s no denying the benefit of a good mentor

    That’s so true. I don’t think it’s easy to find great mentors in companies these days and I’ve been incredibly lucky to have that. Avinode as a group is really supportive. From the start of my time in the business I’ve been allowed to take ownership and given the freedom to run with my ideas, expand myself and contribute to the team.

    And do you still find time to fly?

    I still have my license and I’m a current FAA Certified flight instructor, so every now and then I’ll do some instructing, but the pandemic has halted that for now.

    Even when I’m not flying I still love reading regulations. That’s why Schedaero is so compliant because I’m a nerd for those! A lot of my classes at Embry were around aviation safety, creating reports and understanding how accidents happen, so I’m really into that.

    I try and make time for sports too and I’m currently training for an Ironman Half. I’m also super close with my family and I love cooking, so there’s always plenty going on.         

  5. Raelyn Thompson – Ensuring our features flow just the way customers need them to

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    Hi Raelyn. Tell us what your role as UX/UI designer at Schedaero entails.

    I work with the developers to create new features, find ways of improving existing features and update our old UI. I also talk to customers a lot, looking for new features to implement and researching aspects of the workflow that they need help with.

    I’m based in Portland, Oregon, but I work closely with the UX team in Gothenburg. We’re like a little guild of UX designers who work on our own products but come together to review designs and talk. This means we have a real close collaboration portfolio-wide.


    And you’ve come from an agency background.

    That’s right, I spent five or six years worked in agencies. There, the focus is very much on a specific project and coming up with ideas to justify the retainer and keep the client happy. 

    At Schedaero and Avinode Group, it’s all about what the customer wants, which is how it should be. When we have a new idea, we show it to operators or pilots first to get that buy-in from the customer before we proceed. We don’t want to put something out that’s of no use to them.


    How else does life at Avinode Group compare to agency life?

    In an agency, your fingers are in so many different pies you can’t really give anything the time it deserves. Here, we’re allowed the freedom to fully flesh out ideas. It’s much more about perfecting the feature or functionality rather than trying to get it out into the world as fast as possible.

    Of course, there are still time pressures, but everything is much more focused on providing quality content for our operators and customers.


    It must be great for you to have that customer contact.

    I really enjoy having that relationship with customers where you can talk through ideas and hear their thoughts on what they need. As with any product design, it can take several rounds of feedback with customers and other stakeholders, but that constant back and forth is great because you actually come out with a product that’s fully formed.


    What are you working on at the moment?

    Right now we’re working on new features based on customer feedback. There’s a document storage project and a few different dashboards that are customizable so users can do the reporting they need for compliance.

    Alongside designing things and talking with customers I’m also reviewing tester environments to make sure the UI matches what was designed and the flow makes sense. Then there’s dealing with the questions that developers throw up, which is all part of the process.

    Oh, and the crew scheduling functionality is pretty close to completion also. My role in that has very much been reviewing the UI and making sure it gets over the finish line.


    You’re pretty busy then?

    For sure. I’m the only UX/UI designer with Schedaero and I’m also a perfectionist. So right now, the biggest challenge is making the time to do everything to the standard it deserves.


    How have you found working remotely during these difficult times?

    It’s been good, mainly because the communication between teams is something I’ve never seen before. Even though we have the Gothenburg office and the Miami office we’re all constantly talking. There are two customer support colleagues in Miami and I speak with them all the time to see what customers are asking for. It’s such a collaborative environment.


    Outside of work, do you make the most of what Portland has to offer?

    Absolutely. A lot of my time is spent outdoors. I love hiking and backpacking, but it’s a little harder to do a lot of that stuff now because of the weather, especially around the mountains. I also go wild mushroom hunting – basically traipsing through the woods looking for chanterelle and lobster mushrooms. That’s a lot of fun.


    And I believe a love of aviation runs in the family too.

    Yeah, I’ve got my granddad to thank for that. When I was younger, he used to build small custom airplanes, known as experimental planes. He’d roll down the cornfield, take off and fly around the neighbourhood. I used to love it and I’ve had an interest in planes and aviation ever since.

  6. Hackathon 2020 – Everything we do tomorrow starts with an idea today

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    As a company built on technology and innovation, we’ve been hosting hackathons since 2012. The idea is simple; everyone is invited to leave their day-to-day work behind and flex their creative muscles on projects they’re passionate about, and which could move our products, processes, and business forward.

    Of course, remote working made Hackathon 2020 a little different than normal, but our tech teams in Portland and Gothenburg were joined by colleagues from across the business who got involved and shared ideas.

    The event was coordinated by Bjorn Davis and Keith Lafortune – Software Engineering Managers in our Portland office – together with their counterparts in Gothenburg. Bjorn explained the popularity of the annual Hackathon, “It’s probably most employees’ favourite event of the year. They can pick a project, pitch their ideas and at the end of the week everyone shares what they’ve been working on. It’s also great to see how people work in different offices.”


    Everything we do tomorrow starts with an idea today

    As well as being a lot of fun, the event has a real purpose. There are already plenty of projects from previous hackathons that have being developed and implemented. “For example, in Schedaero and Trip Manager there’s the ability to customize the quote template. That’s a really popular feature and it came from an idea at one of the events,” explained Keith. 

    He continued, “The functionality that lets users view upcoming scheduled trips on a map, so they can see which airports they’re going to, is also the result of a project from Hackathon 2019. But sadly, the original working title of Dude Where’s my Aircraft? didn’t make it”.


    2020 saw a focus on working smarter

    Amongst the 27 projects developed at Hackathon 2020, there was a lot of exciting technical ideas, specifically around improving productivity and speeding up the time it takes to compile and release code – ideas that could deliver huge time and cost savings to the business. 

    Other projects looked at new developments of the Schedaero app for iPhone users, Google performance measurement tools, and even a couple of games – including one Atari-style idea which let users go back in time to different points in Avinode Group’s history and explore the company.


    Some ideas are gone…. but never forgotten

    At a Hackathon event, no idea is too crazy to explore. But of those projects that didn’t quite make it over the years, one in particular stands out. Keith explained, “There was a bizarre and wonderful project from Hackathon 2019. One of our engineers wanted to know what it would sound like if a Schedaero trip created music. He assigned a musical note to the time zone of every airport visited. Each aircraft in the company’s fleet was then assigned an instrument, and you could play an operator’s trips. It was very punk rock”.


    We’ll never lose our spirit of curiosity

    There’s no doubt that making the time to celebrate innovation and collaboration benefits everyone involved. “Hackathon 2020 was a chance to refresh and recharge for the tech team, which is really important. We’re such a flat organisation that everyone in the team feels like they have input into what we’re producing for our clients, but this was a rare chance for us to be completely in charge. Every business needs that upside down time every now and again,” said Keith.

    And in terms of how Hackathon 2020 perfectly embodied the culture of Avinode Group, Bjorn summed the event up perfectly, “One of our key values is ‘Curiosity is our constant’ and this event is one of the ways we hold ourselves to our values and exercise that by letting our employees be curious”.