MINT: Can you elaborate on your process to evaluate the various vendors and solutions in the market?
Chuck: When I arrived at FTI, we had an online scheduling tool much like a giant whiteboard. From there, we transitioned to a training management tool for a flight school with a lot of functionality built around airplane management and fuel costs that weren’t useful for simulator training.
Another product had similar functionality as MINT TMS but quickly got buggy. The vendor promised to upgrade the software “soon,” but “soon” never happened. I was aware of MINT and had used it at a large airline training center, but I initially thought it would be too expensive without even asking. Instead, we started looking at other systems. Unfortunately, in terms of scope and cost, the sales pitch was dramatically different than the final quote.
As a last resort, we had nothing to lose and called MINT. To our surprise, the SaaS fee was reasonable, but I would have liked a shorter implementation timeframe than proposed by MINT. However, after the work started, we did much better in time. I guess this is a case of conservative estimation with the upside of exceeding expectations. MINT was not the first company on my list because I thought it was out of our reach. As it turned out, it wasn’t at all.