BY JOY FINNEGAN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
I’ve come full circle as they say. I was a part of this publication for about six years, first as managing editor and then as editor-in-chief. When the magazine’s previous ownership sold Aviation Maintenance to the new owner, the previous media company kept me on and gave me the opportunity to take the helm of Rotor & Wing magazine. I did that and had a blast.
But on numerous occasions I looked over at Aviation Maintenance beginning to thrive under the new management and thought, if only I could have stayed with it. I missed covering the maintenance, service and support sector. I missed the people I had covered in the business jet world, the commercial sector and the GA area. Well, lo and behold, the universe shifted. I relocated to Florida, requiring me to resign my position at Rotor & Wing. Next, the previous editor here got an offer he couldn’t refuse. And then, I got a call — Aviation Maintenance was looking for an editor! Sometimes life just works out, doesn’t it? I’m thrilled to be back and the June/July issue is a great way to kick off my second go around with AVM.
We have some great feature stories this month including a look at how some of the premiere maintenance companies are using Lean, even in the high variability world of aircraft, engine and avionics maintenance (see Leveraging Lean, page 18). We also look at maintenance software and asked as many aviation maintenance software companies as we could to tell us what they have to offer (see Harnessing the Power of Aviation Maintenance Software, page 28). We introduce you to Kelly Reich, Cessna’s new vice president of product support for Customer Service (page 34). David Schober offers some caveats for maintainers considering working on light sport aircraft (page 38). We also have a new regular column from the new president of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA), Dale Forton (page 50) and a new regular column in the Intelligence section called Mx Reg Log, which will take a look at regulatory news around the world. I hope you enjoy the issue.
I also want to take this opportunity to tell you about our International PMA Summit being held in London on November 3 and 4. This is the first major PMA conference based in Europe and we are delighted to be working with the Modification and Replacement Parts Association (MARPA) to bring information about PMA parts to Europe. Some in the United States and elsewhere are embracing the use of PMA parts. For anyone wanting to learn more about their development, quality, potential savings, delivery availability and to debunk any myths, please consider attending this conference. We will have PMA experts and leaders, regulatory representatives and users who can speak with experience and have the facts and figures to back up what they say about the use of PMA parts. We are currently offering a 20 percent discount on the attendance fee for all airline personnel and MARPA members. If you are considering using PMA parts, please attend and learn so that you can make a confident decision. We would love to see you there. For more information go to www.avmain- mag/pma-summit.
One last thought before I close. Recently, while attending the MRO show in April, I heard one of the keynote speakers make a comment that struck me as just plain wrong. The speaker, a noted expert, said that the aviation maintenance business is moving away from “relationship-based business” and towards “performance-based business.”
Now, I can certainly understand that businesses must make decisions based on performance. That is undisputed. But I completely disagree that this business, the aviation maintenance industry, will ever disregard relationships when considering where to take their business. There is one thing that lies at the very foundation of all of aviation, and in particular the maintenance world, and that one thing is relationships. One bad experience with a service provider is enough to convince a client to never bring their aircraft to that particular provider or location again. That will never go away.
The businesses that have worked hard to build relationships with their clients, who know their clients needs and concerns and address them regularly, will always come out on top. Those will be the companies that survive the cyclical, and sometimes volatile, business cycles that aviation is known for and has experienced recently. If aviation maintenance businesses ignore their relationships and follow on the expert’s advice to focus solely on performance, I predict those businesses won’t do nearly as well. Those that think having the lowest price or shortest turnaround time, regardless of quality, safety and reliability, will bring them out on top, will be sorely mistaken. Having trust in your maintenance provider is crucial. If the provider calls and says your aircraft is ready, but you show up and find the cowlings on the hangar floor, or fly away only to have the same warning light glaring in the cockpit, the “performance” issue goes out the door. Relationships and trust are the very core of this business. It is one of the reasons I am so happy to be back covering it. MORE ONLINE