Inspired by our GE Beliefs, in this case “Customers determine our success”, we have introduced a new feature to our freshly restyled magazine. “In customers’ shoes” gives our customers the chance to speak out, thereby enabling us to further improve our performance and our attention towards these important partners.
The idea, which came about following a discussion with our colleagues at the Component Repair team in Pomigliano and with Fabio Schinelli, Product Support and Services Leader Commercial Engines for Avio Aero, was taken up and implemented enthusiastically. Because, as Fabio Schinelli himself pointed out, “we often hear the customer’s voice but without really listening”.
“Our customers are the key to our success,” Fabio continued. “As project managers it’s our job to consider their needs and to make sure that everyone involved in the final delivery to that customer is aware of them. MTU is one of our most important customers for the V2500 engine in Pomigliano and it was crucial for us to have their feedback. We must adapt our performance to our customers’ needs and priorities.”
About accompanied Fabio and his team on their visit to MTU Maintenance in Hanover, where they met Markus Brauer – Strategic Purchasing Manager for the V2500 engine – and Sebastian Lamberz – Purchasing P&W Programs Manager.
MTU is working with Avio Aero on the V2500 oil pump repair business and on the GE90 gear repair business. What’s your overall feedback about the service provided by Avio Aero to MTU?
Markus: Looking back over the last 5 or 6 years, I would say that we have seen a consistent overall service. But whereas in 2009 we received very strong support from Avio Aero, in 2012-2013 we suffered a major setback in terms of delivery liability and this had a big impact on engine build-ups here at MTU. So from this perspective we didn’t enjoy good cooperation during that period, but after increasing our regular communication in recent months we’ve also noticed that the performance of Avio Aero is very strong again. Sebastian: In our supply chain it’s important to have partners that fit in with the services required by our customers, which are the same services we need in our day-to-day business.
What are your key expectations from cooperation with suppliers or vendors?
Markus: On-time delivery is a very important factor for us here as our customers expect to get their engine back on time. We would also like to see suppliers adopt improvement programs, especially regarding turnaround time and costs. And what is also important is of course a trustful relationship: we need to feel that our supplier is open with us. Whenever there’s a problem, he will report that problem honestly to us. And vice versa, we will give honest feedback to our suppliers.
Last but not least, the supplier must be open to customer’s requests. In our business things are not just black and white, sometimes they’re in between..
How is Avio Aero able to meet these expectations?
Markus: From our perspective, the performance we’ve seen in recent weeks is what Avio Aero needs show to MTU on a longer term. We have had a good start, but for sure Avio Aero’s responsibility now is to show us that this reliable delivery situation can be maintained over a longer period: at least one and a half or two years.
We’re still not very happy with regard to costs, especially concerning salvation programs on the spare parts needed for repair activities.
A trustful relationship is also one of our expectations, and as I told you, in recent weeks we’ve noted a very good relationship and open communication. Our companies appear to be working well together, so we have to make sure this continues.
As for customer requests, there are several things that still need to be addressed, such as GE90 discussions. How to handle our parts we’d like to send to Avio Aero: we’d definitely like to see more flexibility on the part of Avio Aero. Sebastian: One of MTU’s philosophies is to repair parts instead of replacing them, so our question is: How will Avio Aero fit into this philosophy? We’re hoping to get more repair solutions in the future from Avio Aero so as to be able to repair more parts instead of replacing them and thereby save costs and meet our philosophy.
How would you compare Avio Aero with the other suppliers or vendors you use for the same or similar services in terms of quality, cost, on-time delivery and customer support?
Markus: Here at MTU we use the Supplier Evaluation Tool or SET, which combines several parameters such as delivery liability, quality, communication, technology and know-how. This is evaluated on a semi-annual basis, which means after the first and second halves of the year. Avio Aero’s result after the first half of 2014 was very poor. I see this the starting point of our project and the reason why MTU visited Avio Aero in Pomigliano last July. The positive thing is that after the evaluation of the second half of 2014, we can name Avio Aero as the supplier that has made the biggest improvements in the overall ranking. We really appreciate its performance and support.
A dedicated Avio Aero team has been working in recent months to meet MTU’s needs and expectations. Do you have any messages that you would like to leave to our colleagues?
Markus: We had a good start and we would like to move forward in that direction. This also means that our relationship needs to be further improved at all levels. This includes shop floor workers, who should be aware that MTU is appreciative of their performance up until now, and the senior management of Avio Aero, who should know about these facts. Hopefully this will encourage them to maintain this performance over the coming months or years.
Sebastian: We now need to make this support as sustainable as we’ve seen in recent months and need help to be successful on the market too. This will also benefit Avio Aero and serve as a value for increasing the business