Turbomeca: throttling up services

Support and services are at the core of the development strategy that Turbomeca (Safran) is rolling out. The helicopter engine manufacturer is developing preventive-maintenance and remote-diagnostics tools to bundle them into new services for its customers.

Turbomeca's support and services business generates two-thirds of its revenue, employs 2,500 people on five continents, and is essential to the company's development today. "We have been active on the MRO (Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul) market for a long time," says Franck Saudo, Executive Director for Support & Services of this subsidiary of Safran. He adds, "Over the past 10 years, however, we have been developing a lot of high-value-added services, for instance by guaranteeing repair costs and the reliability of our engines." The SBH (Support By the Hour) deal, enabling customers to pay for maintenance according to the number of hours they use their engines, is the perfect example (see box). In 2009, these deals generated 20% of service revenues. Six years later, that figure has grown to almost 50% and everything seems to suggest that it will continue to grow. Turbomeca is also particularly keen on supporting military fleets. For example, it is now providing a GSP deal (Global Support Package) guaranteeing engine availability while improving spare-parts inventory management.

 

Airbus Helicopters medium twin multi-mission EC 145 helicopter in flight powered by two Safran Helicopter Engines Arriel 1E2.

Spectacular progress

"In our lines of business, our top priority is to earn customer satisfaction," Franck Saudo adds. "Our position as leaders, in other words, depends on the excellence of the technical support and services we provide, on our responsiveness and on our ability to honor our commitments on equipment availability and shorter maintenance cycles." This last area saw considerable progress between 2013 and 2014, when turn-around times on Arrius and Arriel engine ranges dropped 40%. Over that same period, MRO grew 17% and reached an all-time-high in 2014, when it repaired nearly 1,800 engines. Efforts on Makila and RTM322 engines have stretched into this year. "We are also aiming to bring our customers innovative services, focused on preventive maintenance and remote diagnostics," Franck Saudo continues. We will be reaching a major milestone in early 2016 when we introduce the BOOST tool, which will reach all our customers. »

 

A strategic site

To roll out this sales strategy, Turbomeca is leveraging its 12 sites around the world, and its network of around 40 partner certified maintenance centers (CMCs*) and international distributors. Turbomeca is planning to double its revenue from this business by the end of 2016, and to triple it by the end of the decade.

This worldwide maintenance solution's flagship is the repair shop in Tarnos (Aquitaine, France), which handles 40% of Turbomeca's MRO activity. Last April, the company kicked off its "Cap 2020" program, which is aimed at modernizing its repair shops and setting up a control center.

 

* CMCs are third parties authorized to service and repair Turbomeca engines, using certified equipment and tools.

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Support By the Hour: a win-win contract

Support By the Hour (SBH) provides Turbomeca customers with a clearer picture of their engine maintenance costs. They pay for maintenance based on the number of hours their engines fly: that is the you-pay-as-you-fly concept . The hourly rate is determined in advance, depending on the customer's activity and missions, and the options they choose. Options may include maintenance tasks, logistical or financial services, or equipment loans. This deal gives operators more control over their costs and spares them unexpected expenses. From Turbomeca's perspective, it also means a constant revenue stream all year round.

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