Rivalta di Torino is the largest facility (over 1500 people from the Global Supply Chain), here components and modules for aircraft engines are manufactured, including rotating components (low-pressure turbines and other turbomachinery products), gears and transmissions (power and accessory drive train). The plant also incorporates the component and module assembly departments, the large areas dedicated to special processes and heat treatments, and a smaller area for the manufacture of electronic and automation systems, mainly for the naval sector. The plant is led by Kristie West, who has been Plant Leader for about six months, has worked for GE for 10 years, including two years in Supply Chain Management, and has been a Six Sigma Black Belt since 2005. She has taken on increasing responsibility over the course of her career with GE Aviation, first as Lean Leader at the Batesville Plant (Mississippi, USA), then as Plant Leader at Terre Haute (Indiana), where she oversaw the integration with the newly acquired Smiths, a manufacturer of integrated systems and avionic components. For a couple of years, she also held the post of Customer Programs Leader for the CF6 engine. Before joining Avio Aero, her work focused on growth strategy, in the role of Supply Chain Growth Playbook Leader for Aviation. “Today I lead the recovery plan in Rivalta and my mission is to support the great talent and we have to build together the bright future we have in front of us!”
What was the first impression you had when you met the people and saw the facility? The people have been incredibly welcoming to me. I appreciate that completely! The teams have been amazing. There is a tremendous amount of passion and pride. The skill set is amazing! I’m extremely excited about getting to know everyone and getting engrained in the culture. The facility is huge! Thank goodness it is because I need all of this walking to balance out the amazing food! But seriously, the capability here technically is superb. I was impressed with the cleanliness and the openness of the layout.
Can you tell us what are the main strengths you’ve identified here in Rivalta? The people are the first. It doesn’t matter what we make, or how we make it, the people are what makes this business. Secondly, the skill set of the operators, inspectors, and maintenance are impressive. The talent in all of the supporting functions is broad and very diverse.
And what are the main improvements needed in your opinion? We need to organise ourselves so that we ensure we have all bases covered, with clear roles and responsibilities, and everyone has line of sight to their personal accountabilities, to their team and the business. We need to improve process capability so that we are achieving FTYs to what we expect, as this is eating our capacity. We need to implement operating rhythms on the shop floor via the GE Aviation Production System so that we are driving cross functional support, engagement, and empowerment to ensure we are all driving in the same direction. We need to get more capacity to provide relief quickly for delivery and to free up human capital so we can drive operational stability in the short term.
Can you leave a message to all Avio Aero employees watching this interview? I am extremely proud to be the leader of this team and can’t thank you enough for all that you do every day. We need to think and act as a team to reach our goals and build our future. There is certainly a lot of work ahead of us…but working together, and working smarter versus harder, we will get everything done and be able to have some fun as well! We will WIN…together!