How has eurocopter improved its product support and customer service in 2008?
Derek Sharples: 2008 has been a key year for Eurocopter Support and Services. In response to customer demands we have achieved several important milestones.
We opened Keycopter (https://keycopter.eurocopter.com), a portal for our customers in Europe and the United States. Our training strategy for Eurocopter operators was also boosted in 2008 by the decision to increase EC225 and EC135 simulator resources for North Sea operators, continental European and American operators. The NH90 training capacity was also increased with the deployment of the first NH90 TTH(1) simulator at Bückeburg in Germany.
2008 was the first full year of operation of our new Customer Service Center, which has been so successful that, in 2009 we will open identical centers in Hong Kong and Dallas for our Asian and American customers.
Our spares and logistics business has also seen important improvements in 2008, which has resulted in on-time delivery of spares increasing to around 90%.
We have also continued to invest in our global maintenance repair and overhaul facilities with investments in 2008 in our Romanian subsidiary and the acquisition of Motorflug GmbH in Germany.
What are the objectives for eurocopter support and services?
D.S.: We must support our customers with accurate documentation, rapid delivery of spares, cost effective repairs, the highest quality technical support and the very best training media and courses. Our objective is to guarantee the maximum operational availability of our customers’ helicopters.
Our 2,700 customers in 142 countries vary from VIPs operating a single machine to major offshore oil and gas fleet operators. Each requires a different approach, so we must be innovative and flexible, ready to support our customers around the clock anywhere in the world according to their expectations.
What are your support and service priorities in 2009?
D.S.: In 2009 we will deliver an increasing number of NH90 and Tiger military helicopters. As these enter into service we will increase our investment in spares provisioning, in technical troubleshooting and in repair capacities. When requested, we will support our military customers on overseas deployments while at the same time developing new mission training systems.
For our commercial customers, our first priority is to accompany them through the current difficult economic climate. Around the globe, we will continue to invest in support and new services that create real value for them. In addition to our new Customer Service Centers, the globalization of our spares management, linked directly to Keycopter, will provide customers with greater visibility and access to parts with shorter delivery lead times.
In 2009, we will work to reduce the maintenance burden and increase system and component reliability on our fleet.
Through greater proximity support we will reduce the operating costs and increase the online availability of our customers’ fleet. We will continue to invest in our subsidiaries’ maintenance capabilities; we will for example bring online in the USA new dynamic component repair capacity for the EC135 main gearboxes.
With 18 subsidiaries around the world, Eurocopter is better placed than any other helicopter manufacturer to provide on-site support and work side-by-side with our customers’ technical, maintenance and logistics teams.