Emilie Cappone, operational leader at Safran Engineering Services
From the start of her career at Safran, Emilie Cappone has always taken on positions that involve a lot of responsibility and managing teams. She has made use of her operational-focused approach throughout her career. We caught up with her to find out more
A career in production that got off to a great start
As part of her studies at ICAM from which she graduated with an engineering degree, Emilie did an internship at Canalab, now Interconnexion Systems Eurasia Services, at the time when Safran Electrical & Power was still known as Labinal. The entity was notably in charge of installing electrical harnesses on the final assembly lines of airplanes. “In 2004, after completing an internship in the management of multi-site tools, I was offered a job as production manager in Toulouse, when the Airbus A380 program started”, she explained. In her first role, Emilie was in charge of services for installing wiring, customer relations, the technical estimation for calls for tenders and the management of nearly 150 people.
In 2007, Emilie Cappone became manager of the Toulouse site. It was at the time when the A380 was being scaled up: “At the highest level of activity, we were nearly 600 people”, she added. Her job involved coordinating production managers on wiring installation activities, modifications and flight tests. Over time, she became manager of the teams and activities at Saint-Nazaire, Seville and Broughton. In 2009, she took over the management of all Airbus-related activities, adding Hamburg to her scope. “My job was to support the site managers in their functions. It was an operational as well as strategic role. The idea was also for the client to have a single contact partner for our multi-site contracts”, she added.
Focus on continuous improvement
On her return from her first maternity leave in 2011, she asked to change position at the time when the Airbus A350 program was being launched. “I had acquired a lot of experience in terms of responsiveness and quick decision-making in my previous roles, and I felt that it was time to take on a larger structure”, she said. She therefore became manager of Safran+ for the Interconnexion Systems Eurasia Services entity. She used her operational knowledge to serve continuous improvement. It enabled her to target important issues and to respond to the right problems. She learned the Lean Sigma methods and obtained a Green Belt. “My new role also allowed me to have a more transversal vision, and to understand how other clients worked”.
Having obtained her Green Belt, Emilie went on to become a Black Belt after adapting the company’s reference production manual to the services activities. “This project allowed me to use my operational experience and the Lean and Sigma methods”. In 2016, she left the services business line to join the financial department of Safran Electrical & Power, where she managed a major project for reducing overhead costs.
In November 2018, she joined Safran Engineering Services as a Black Belt expert, in order to recommend areas of improvement for the activities that the company conducts for its client Safran Aircraft Engines. “I also took part in the support service to help increase offshore operations and improve the times and quality of deliveries”, she said.
An in-depth look at engineering business lines
Since January 2020, Emilie has been managing the Safran Engineering Services Toulouse site. “It gives me real insight into engineering business lines even though I had already gained a lot of experience in serving customers in my previous roles.” Her responsibilities are similar to those of her past functions as site manager. She is in charge of managing and organizing the Toulouse site around the business lines of aerostructure and electric design, systems and software engineering, and flight physics. She ensures the operational performance of projects in terms of customer satisfaction, deadlines, quality, as well as subcontractor and offshore rates. “This latest challenge is proving difficult with the crisis, particularly as I had to start the job without being able to meet the teams in person for the first few months. But we found technical solutions and rituals to keep the work going when necessary and to maintain the social link”, she concluded.
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- © Alexandre Ollier / Safran