July 2004 
Volume 03, Issue 3 
Commercial Airplanes

Ready, set, deliver

'E-business' sets stage for speedy review process


Vicki Brazil of Quality Delivery RecordsCustomers asked. Boeing "delivered." The result is a streamlined delivery documentation process that ties the bow on the entire order-to-delivery package.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes recently piloted a way to provide customers online access to technical delivery documentation required to transfer ownership of an airplane. Now, all Boeing customers have the option to view their delivery documents online-weeks before final delivery and from anywhere in the world-saving customers loads of time in final review and making the process more efficient.

"We knew our airline customers were interested in digitizing the massive amount of delivery documentation," said Dick Wing, customer engineer in Renton, Wash. Wing is part of a cross-functional team that developed the new capability. The team consists of representatives from Quality Delivery Records, the business-to-business web portal MyBoeingFleet, Customer Engineering and Contracts.

"We're operating within an electronic business environment where documents need to be 'e-capable,'" Wing said. "It makes sense for us to provide this capability and make the process easier for customers."

Delivery information consists of documents and records specific to the airplane being purchased that new owners need to review-such as seating configuration, flight logs and reports, and engine performance summaries-prior to transferring ownership.

Customers can now gain access to this information through their secured customer account on MyBoeingFleet, weeks before delivery, instead of viewing the documents for the first time when arriving at Boeing to take their new airplane home. This new capability reduces the time customers spend at document reviews at Boeing by more than 50 percent.

"When customers review the documents ahead of time, it reduces the final review time from one hour to 15 or 20 minutes," said Helene Beck, Boeing Contracts regional director, Renton, Wash. "The time is better spent focusing on specific matters or clarifications, rather than going through boxes of paperwork and reviewing each item."

Paul Wolf, senior quality manager at the delivery center in Seattle, said the process makes customers more productive. That lets them accelerate their airplane maintenance program and bring the airplane into revenue service faster, he said. Less paperwork also means fewer boxes for customers to transport, distribute and store.

"The new process furthermore eliminates the need for additional copying or scanning for both Boeing and its customers-which is inefficient and time-consuming-and avoids the need to store paper copies in warehouses, which can be costly," Wing said.

The proposal for digital delivery documents was customer driven. Boeing initially piloted the project on 737-700 deliveries with European-based easyJet, a low-fare carrier that prides itself on being a "paperless" airline.

Allen Marking, easyJet chief engineer who instigated the online process, said that reviewing boxes of paperwork at final delivery is time-consuming and costly.

"It fits within our culture at easyJet to do things electronically. We're used to that standard," Marking said. "Electronic documentation makes the process easier for everyone; it's a mutually beneficial partnership."

Drew Hoffswell, a Boeing applications analyst in Tukwila, Wash., worked with easyJet to define system requirements and secure access administration.

"We received ongoing customer feedback and 'wish lists' for system capability," Hoffswell said. "Working cross-organizationally, we fundamentally changed the way we did business to meet customer needs."

The system moves in step with the delivery process according to the delivery agenda. Customers can view documents as they are uploaded into the system. Users can search by model number, delivery date or document type, and view all related Service Bulletins on a particular model purchased. "A series of deliberate steps and cross-checks are performed to ensure that the correct documents are uploaded as required," Wing said.

Customers are pleased with the new process. Along with easyJet, it is also being used in Long Beach, Calif., for deliveries of Boeing 717 airplanes to AirTran Airways.

Wing considers the new process a "win-win" for Boeing and its customers.

"It's like offering paper or plastic [at the grocery store], only we're offering 'e-documents' rather than paper," Wing said. "It's clear Boeing will continue in this direction."



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