How A&D Prime Can Benefit From GE’s Service Model

January 23, 2023

Aerospace and defense manufacturers can benefit from emulating GE’s service model in several ways. GE’s service model includes a range of services that are specifically designed to address the unique needs of the aerospace and defense industry, including maintenance and repair services to help customers maintain the performance and reliability of their equipment over time, spare parts and logistics services to help customers quickly and efficiently get the parts they need, technical support and expertise from experienced engineers and technicians, and training and education programs to help customers learn how to operate and maintain their equipment effectively. By adopting this model, manufacturers can improve the reliability of their equipment and reduce downtime, while also utilizing data analytics to identify potential issues before they occur. This proprietary service model has played a key role in helping GE become the gold standard for aerospace aftermarket services, such as maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services. Emulating aspects of GE’s service model can help aerospace and defense manufacturers improve the performance of their equipment, increase top-line revenue, and better meet the needs of their customers. 

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Analysis of GE’s Service Model 

GE’s service model has been highly successful for several reasons. One key factor is the company’s proactive approach to maintenance and repair. This proactive approach helps reduce downtime and improve equipment reliability. Other factors include a deep reliance on data analytics, highly skilled technicians, robust supply chains, and a profound commitment to continuous improvement. A&D companies who implement even a few of these are likely to run more efficiently and see an increase in revenue from services. 

The Importance of Maintenance and Service in the Aerospace and Defense Industry 

Maintaining and servicing equipment is critical in the aerospace and defense industry. The equipment in this industry is often complex, expensive, and mission-critical, meaning that any downtime can have a cascade of costly consequences. Additionally, equipment in the aerospace and defense industry is often subjected to extreme conditions and must meet strict safety and reliability standards. As a result, regular maintenance and servicing is necessary to ensure that equipment is operating at its optimal level and to prevent issues that could impact performance or safety. Keeping equipment well-maintained can help extend its lifespan and reduce the overall cost of ownership. 

A Proactive Approach to MROs 

GE’s service model focuses on proactive maintenance and repair, rather than reactive repairs. This means that the company works to identify and address potential issues before they occur, rather than waiting for equipment to fail and then reacting to the issue. By taking a proactive approach, GE can reduce downtime, improve equipment reliability, and save money for the airlines on which their engines operate. This is achieved through data analytics to identify potential issues and regular inspections and maintenance activities that help prevent problems from arising. Other aerospace primes can adopt a proactive posture to increase service frequency while also reducing emergency maintenance. 

Data Analysis 

The role of data analytics in GE’s service model is to help the company identify potential issues before they occur. GE collects data on equipment performance and uses advanced analytics techniques to analyze this data to identify trends and patterns that may indicate a potential issue. By identifying potential issues before they happen, GE can take proactive steps to prevent them, improving efficiency and reducing costs. Additionally, the use of data analytics helps GE make more informed decisions about maintenance and repair, allowing the company to optimize its processes and improve equipment performance.  

Skilled Technicians 

In GE’s service model, the company includes a team of highly trained and experienced technicians who can quickly and accurately diagnose and repair equipment issues. These technicians have extensive knowledge and expertise in the specific types of equipment that GE services. Because of their specialized knowledge, they can identify and resolve problems efficiently and effectively. This team of experts allows GE to reduce maintenance costs and improve equipment performance. Primes can emulate GE’s inclination by creating specialists rather than generalists, especially when it comes to maintenance. This will decrease the amount of time spent on individual jobs, while increasing the value offered by each technician. 

Logistics and Supply Chain Management 

Supply chain management holds a prominent position within GE’s service model. One key benefit of efficient supply chain management is the ability to streamline maintenance and repair processes, which can help improve efficiency and reduce costs. By having a global network of service centers and technicians, GE can quickly and easily dispatch personnel where needed, reducing the time and effort required to get equipment back up and running. 

Kaizen Focus 

GE’s service model includes a focus on continuous improvement and innovation or Kaizen. Leadership is always looking for ways to improve its processes and systems to better serve its customers. This can involve implementing new technologies or techniques, or reevaluating and updating existing processes to make them more efficient. By focusing on continuous improvement and innovation, GE can stay ahead of the curve and maintain a competitive advantage in the industry. While 360-degree kaizen may be difficult for many companies to implement, selecting the most impactful area of improvement and then creating a plan can yield sizable dividends. Many times, most of the possible improvements come from implementing improvements in only a few areas. Targeted and meaningful improvement is well within the reach of almost every company.  

Improved Efficiency 

Finally, training and development play a significant role in GE’s service model. The company invests in the ongoing training and development of its technicians to ensure they have the necessary knowledge and skills to accurately diagnose and repair equipment issues. This training can include both on-the-job learning and more formal classroom instruction, and may cover a wide range of topics, including equipment maintenance and repair techniques, data analytics, and industry best practices. By investing in the training and development of its technicians, GE can build a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce better equipped to handle the complex maintenance and repair needs of its customers.  

Conclusion 

Regardless of how efficient a prime is, there is something to be learned from GE’s superior approach to aerospace aftermarket services. In the day-to-day operations, primes can implement continuous improvement protocols to become more efficient. Seraph has expansive experience increasing process efficiency, maintaining equipment, and mentoring plant management teams to improve their manufacturing operations. Thanks to our team of specialized operational consultants, Seraph can come alongside a new company and act as a support structure and begin adding value from day one. Our advisors are former management at many suppliers and OEMs and are experts in production and supply chain efficiency. Contact us today to schedule a discovery call, or see our case studies for more information.  

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