Success Stories

Bismarck Aero Center Flying High After Training and Project

Bismarck Aero Center

Bismarck Aero Center was first founded in 1990 as Aircraft Management Services (AMS) by Bob Simmers and specialized in aviation consulting, specialized flight training, aircraft storage and pilot services.

In 2002, Bob partnered up with long time Director of Maintenance, Mike Aarestad, and expanded operations to include aircraft maintenance and repair. The partnership was a defining moment in their company history and has allowed them to build strong relationships within the aviation community.

In 2006, they continued to diversify their services by forming the subsidiary, Dakota Avionics. With their Limited Repair Station Certification from the FAA, they offer avionics sales and repair. Their facility is equipped to handle all aircraft maintenance and avionics needs from stick and fabric to turbine powered aircraft.

Their biggest change came in 2008, when they became Bismarck's newest full-service FBO and changed their name to Bismarck Aero Center. They offer Jet-A and 100LL fuel, pilots' lounge, courtesy cars, concierge services, 20-minute quick turns and other great amenities. They still take pride in providing #1 customer service, adding 24/7 certified NATA staff and red carpet service for all who visit them!

Their mission is to be the premier aviation services provider in the upper Midwest by being perceived as a valued problem solver within their industry.

Bismarck Aero Center wanted to train its employees on the principles of continuous process improvement to better assist them in identifying improvements that need to be made to eliminate downtime due to workplace organization issues. The training was immediately augmented with a workplace organization (5S) project in the aircraft maintenance shop to demonstrate the process and identify the achievable benefits.

A two-pronged approach included Impact Dakota providing value stream management training to identify and confirm the improvement efforts that would provide the greatest benefit to the organization. Once the overarching problem was identified, the time the technicians were taking in searching and retrieving parts and tools, training in conducting workplace organization (5S) improvement events to additional key personnel was completed, as well as a 5S project in the maintenance shop. An Impact Dakota staff member facilitated the event as well as provided Bismarck Aero Center staff with the capacity and capabilities to sustain the gains through standardization, and to conduct future events on their own.


Some of the significant changes implemented by the team included standardizing tool/parts carts with standard item locations for minimal motion and searching. Also, standardizing locations for shared tools and materials with visual indicators. The Bismarck Aero Center team brainstormed and discussed solutions, and through consensus developed the implementation plan that was implemented. The exercise also uncovered opportunities to enhance Bismarck Aero Center’s information systems to reduce the time the technicians were taking to access aircraft technical information. Part of that solution was adding computer monitors within close proximity to the aircraft repair locations.


The overall resulting capacity increases allowed Bismarck Aero Center to decrease its repair delivery times and to take on more business, reducing costs and providing greater employment stability.

  • Cost Savings - $21,000

  • Information Systems Investment Leverage - $10,000

  • Jobs Retained – 2

“Impact Dakota provided professional development for our employees and left us with a great platform for continued conversations surrounding the notion of efficiency, 5S, and employee development initiatives associated with each.”
— Jon Simmers, CEO

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