By Andrew Drwiega, Editor-in-chief.
Heli-Expo, Dallas: Sikorsky president Dan Schultz, speaking to the media on the first day of the expo, said that his company was now completely ‘severed’ from previous owner, UTC.
Schultz was keen to highlight the improvements Sikorsky had made in customer support. “One year ago was disappointed in customer support,” he admitted. “Many customers were upset with us in 2016. We have since hired dozens of customer representatives and we have been supporting AOGs on a 24/7 basis. These are airplanes that have to be ready and reliable.”
We get a part to you in an hour in response to a request.
Dana Fiatarone, vice president for commercial systems and services, said that new customer support innitiatives and the extra service representatives had allowed Sikorsky “to make tremendous strides in 2016.”
“Aftermarket was one of the things we needed to focus on. Now we have long term assurance programmes – some as long as a decade.”
He said that aircraft availability was now better than 95 percent for both the S-92 and S-76 fleets. There had been a 20 percent increase in flight hours last year. “Customers said we need to increase flight hours – can you support us.”
The opening of four stocking centres in Scotland, Norway, Australia and Brazil now meant that part ordering was now taking less than a day to be turned around “and in some cases less than an hour.” The Norwegian centre made over 200 parts shipments in Q4 2016. Fiatarone also said that Sikorsky was analysing stocking levels compared with the demand for parts, which varied between the regions. . Looking at this through data analytics and looking at part demand – which varies between regions.
Photo: Dana Fiatarone (left) with Dan Schultz (right). Photo by Andrew Drwiega