April 4, 2008 – Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services North America, continues to forge ahead as one of the premier providers of helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul services in the world.
In the wake of a recent corporate re-naming at Helicopter Association International 2008, Vector-Helicopter Services has been analyzing, reorganizing and redeploying its assets with the goal of enhancing customer satisfaction, quality and operational efficiencies.
Recent initiatives include the company-wide implementation of Lean manufacturing processes and in-depth product rationalization; aimed at expanding capability, increasing capacity and efficiency, and ensuring the company maximizes its ability to meet the current and future demands of its ever-increasing global customer base of private, commercial, government, defence and security organizations.
Phil Kemp, vice-president of sales explains the recent Lean and product rationalization exercises have been highly successful, and are showing positive results. “Since beginning the process in late 2007, through close analysis and re-allocation of our current personnel and resources we have achieved a dramatic increase in our ability to meet customer demand, quality and satisfaction expectations while decreasing turn-times.”
To illustrate this position, Kemp refers to the relocation of the Bell component line to Vector’s Andalusia, Alabama facility; traditionally a structures and avionics operation, but with an existing Bell component capability as well. “The decision enabled us to not only meet our current global demand for Bell component repair and overhaul, it allowed us to increase capacity and therefore, increase our service levels to customers today, and into the future. Our success has paved the way to the planned opening of a new, expanded Andalusia facility later this year.”
Kemp also points to the recent success of Lean initiatives in the Rolls Royce model 250 engine product line. “We have experienced tremendous success with our customers, as indicated by our receiving the Rolls Royce 2007 Customer Satisfaction Award,” says Kemp. “We wanted to increase our repair and overhaul capability to meet the growing demand of our traditional, as well as our growing list of new customers.
The result of Lean re-organization on the Rolls Royce model 250 engine line is that we achieved our goals of increasing capacity and efficiency. This outcome, coupled with our commitment to increase parts inventories and rental assets at our three Rolls Royce model 250 engine facilities (Richmond, British Columbia, Van Nuys, California and Dallas, Texas) represents increased levels of service and quality for our customers.
Other recent changes at Vector-Helicopter Services include exiting the hydraulic accessory and blade repair markets. Kemp explains this decision was as a deliberate effort to reallocate resources to developing higher-demand service areas. In particular, he points to the re-assignment of resources from the company’s blade repair department, where technicians now focus exclusively on performing composite repair; a discipline in high demand, and one which closely aligns into the company’s structural repair operations at its Langley, British Columbia location.
In making these operational adjustments, Vector-Helicopter Services continues to provide support to its traditional core product lines, including engines, dynamic components, structures and avionics. Meanwhile, Vector continually looks to identify ways to expand within these lines, as evidenced in its highly successful activities in the Integrated Cockpit Display System (ICDS), or “glass cockpit” market. Over the past two years, Vector’s Langley avionics department has partnered with Sagem Avionics on numerous platform installations, and currently, its Andalusia avionics team is collaborating with Chelton Flight Systems to outfit US Navy TH-57 helicopters with the Chelton glass cockpit system.