author Cécile Vion-Lanctuit
Eurocopter announces the new SHAPE program
In order to face the financial and economic crisis, which has created a period of strong uncertainty, Eurocopter, the world leading helicopter manufacturer, has launched a new corporation program called SHAPE. This initiative is aimed at adapting the company to the new economic context, while maintaining sustainable growth and leadership in the market.
SHAPE succeeds VITAL, which was launched in 2005 and enabled the company to handle the huge ramp up over the past three years. With recurring costs savings secured during this period of time and a significant customer support improvement, VITAL has been a major success and a key component for managing the growth. Today, in response to the current downturn in the market and a fierce competition, Eurocopter adjusts its organisation through SHAPE.
The SHAPE Program
SHAPE is based on three main pillars: Save, Improve, Invest.
Eurocopter has to save money in the short term in order to get through the crisis period. Different actions have been launched to reach this objective.
- A cost reduction plan to save about 200 M€. It is a key lever to increase profitability and includes contribution to “Future EADS”
- A cash improvement project, through the reduction of inventories
- A resource optimisation programme, whose aim is to reorient and redeploy employees, while fostering their competencies and motivation
This module is designed to both deliver productivity improvement in Eurocopter processes and generate more sustainable revenues on a mid to long term basis. A major focus is on speed and simplification of processes.
Eurocopter’s growth during the next decade depends on its ability to maintain a competitive product and services portfolio. “New” competition will lead to increased confrontation on international and emerging national markets. The capacity to maintain innovation and product policy efforts in the coming years is imperative for the preservation of Eurocopter’s leadership position in the industry. Already in 2008, the company increased its self-funding investment in R&D by 40%, and in 2009 by another 25%. Even in times of crisis, Eurocopter will continue to increase budgets for the development of new products and services.
Lutz Bertling, CEO of Eurocopter, concludes: “The SHAPE program is much more than just a simple cost reduction program. With SHAPE, Eurocopter will have the opportunity to make the essential profits and necessary cash available to continue to invest in its future. In our industry, Innovation and Research & Development are fundamental. While the crisis we are faced with is demanding, far-reaching and serious, I strongly believe that, with the involvement of each employee, Eurocopter will continue to grow its business successfully.”
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 15,600 people. In 2008, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.5 billion Euros, orders for 715 new helicopters, and a 53 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 18 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 10,000 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in more than 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.
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