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Can we rapidly transform a business in aviation?

This is like asking what the length of a piece of string is. It all depends on what does 'rapid' mean, but an answer can be found in the non-aviation industries.

blog thierry mro transform 2.jpgAs a rule of thumb, I take that for $1 spent anywhere, it requires $5 to $6 in this industry. This is linked to safety requirements thought to be unique and imposed by regulators. So, if we take the one-to-six ratio associated with cost, it is easy to say that it would take five to six times longer in Aviation to design and implement changes compared to any other Industry.

This is a misconception! I have 20 years of experience, mostly spent in aerospace, punctuated by the frequent incursion into other types of engineering. Recently, I joined Proudfoot and its 70 years of expertise in maintenance processes. It strengthened my thoughts on the matter: it doesn't have to take that long to transform an aviation business. Too often, regulation is used as an argument not to change instead of being the fuel of improvement it should be.

blog thierry mro transform 3.jpgLet me give two examples. I worked for the world first mobile phone company onboard aircraft. We had to achieve certification for all aspects of the business. Amongst those, we had to apply for a PMA, or a Part 21 G as it is called in Europe. It took us three months! Not nine to eighteen months, but three months from the first contact with the regulator to certification delivery. The secret: a good process to work with the authorities.

The second example is a customer I worked for with Proudfoot: an MRO who wanted to transform its key business processes to gain 15 to 20 points of financial efficiency. They had been working on this issue for three years before we stepped in. Using a bottom-up approach, we transformed the business processes from planning and forecasting to billing through execution and supply chain. It took us six weeks for Heavy Maintenance and another six weeks for Line Maintenance, and involved the participation of all relevant parties across the business, from shop floor to senior management. A six-weeks delay is a short time to deliver such changes even by ‘Normal’ industry standards. Those six weeks had then to be followed by implementation sprints leading to complete hangar transformations. And to answer the next question I see coming, ‘Yes’ all aspects of regulation have been considered.

So, can we rapidly transform a business in Aviation? The answer is: “Yes, we can.”

For those interested in this subject, I would be pleased to extend this blog with a discussion and further examples.


WHAT IF YOU COULD turn maintenance into a strategic enabler?
With Proudfoot, you can.


Published in LinkedIn on June 19, 2017 by

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