Our location at Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) is two and a half hours away from our home organization of McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. We depend heavily on our computer networks that run through McGuire to keep our operation at BWI going. When we have an interruption with our network connection and our I.T. people at BWI cannot correct it. We need the I.T. technicians from McGuire to come and correct the problem. Sometimes this can take days or even weeks for a technician from McGuire to make their way down. To eliminate this issue, I propose the addition of an actual I.T. technician to be stationed at BWI permanently to help alleviate the wait time we sometimes must sustain. With your permission I would like to conduct research on the benefits of having a technician stationed at BWI.
What the Problem Is and Why It Needs to Be Investigated
Our work location at BWI is two and a half hours away from where the I.T. technicians are located at McGuire. We have onsite individuals who troubleshoot the computer issues for us as an additionally duty, but it is not their primary responsibility and they are not as qualified as the technicians in McGuire. When our computer systems crash and our onsite I.T. individuals cannot resolve the issue we have to put in a work order for the I.T. technicians at McGuire to drive down and resolve the issue for us. The problem with this is that we can sometimes wait up to a full week or longer for a technician to get to us because they have to have someone drive to us when the problem cannot be fixed from there end.
When our computer systems go down day to day operations can be hindered as well. The reason this is an issue is because occasionally we have time sensitive emails that need to be sent with information that cannot be discussed over the phone. Additionally, on nights we have outbound flights of 400 plus passengers, doing manual procedures to process these passengers can cause major delays. These delays can affect us, but they also affect the downline stations, cargo the aircraft is carrying, and the passengers who have report delivery dates (deadline when they must arrive to their destination). Additionally, we are fined monetarily every time there is a delay and we are at fault for it. Even though the computer issues are out of our control the not meeting these deadlines could cause a chain reaction of events that could possibly reflect badly on our organization.
Having our computer system issues resolved as swiftly as possible is a necessity for our organization to run as efficiently as possible. Having an on-site technician who can resolve our issues could greatly improve the probabilities of this happening.
What Secondary Research I Have Conducted about the Problem
I have conducted a numerous amount of secondary research about this issue, Ihave read various articles and reviews of the benefits of having I.T. personnel on-site and the disadvantages of not having them. In these articles and reviews experts in the field of computer systems give their professional opinion on why it is a good idea to have the technicians on-site and the difficulties of working remotely. There are many articles that express advantages and disadvantages of a technician working on-site or remotely, but for our current situation I have found more sources supporting having technicians working on-site.
What Primary Research I Will Conduct about the Problem
The primary research I will conduct is a series of discussions with my coworkers about their thoughts on the computer systems being down and how does it specifically affect them and their ability to perform their work obligations. Additionally, I will create a spreadsheet and track how often the computer system goes down and how long it takes the I.T. technicians from McGuire to arrive once we contact them of the issue.
What Benefits Will Result from My Research
There are numerous benefits our organization will have learned due to my research on this topic. When I collect the data for the time frame of our computer systems being down I will have an accurate snapshot of the amount of downtime and lost manhours due to the system outage. Another benefit will be the thoughts and feelings of the employees as to how they are affected by the outages. Furthermore, management of our organization will have evidence from various credible sources that back up why having a technician on-site advantages outweighs the disadvantages. Lastly, management will have to look in the budget and see if they can even afford putting a full-time or part-time position at our detachment. I am confident that my research will show the benefits of having a technician will over shadow the financial load.
Preliminary Ideas for Solving This Problem
I strongly believe my ideas for resolving this recurring issue are sound, there are several problems that will have to be addressed to make this work. One idea is to compare the financial cost of hiring a part-time or full-time technician and see if the fines we have accumulated because of delays can help justify the cost of hiring someone. Another item that will have to be addressed is will management at McGuire even consider our suggestion. Having a statistical spread sheet of the times we have outages and lost hours we have because of the outages will be a good supporting document to show them why we need this addition.
BWI is the premiere commercial gateway for military and military affiliated passengers to fly out of the east coast to Europe and other deployed locations. We are heavily dependent on our computer systems to efficiently and swiftly process passengers and depart them to their locations. We can do this without the software, but with it we meet our timelines and it makes the job easier for everyone involved. Also, it makes for administrative work to be handled in a timely manner and makes us more accessible to management there.