Volume 04, Issue 6
'It works; it just takes
For the past two years, Perry Beaty and Don Cress have learned the "Boeing way" and the "Korean way" are as different as fried chicken and kimchi, the pickled spicy cabbage dish that's a staple of Korean cuisine.
"It works; it just takes time," Cress said.
Cress, the liaison manager and Beaty, the productions operations manager for the F-15K are in Sachon, Korea, as part of F-15K technical assistance team working with Korea Aerospace Industries engineers who are learning the "Boeing Company Way" of building airplanes. KAI produces the wings and forward fuselage for the F-15K.
"Working with people who come from a different culture and mindset is not easy," admitted Cress. "People from different cultures and languages don't think alike, and that causes some issues; but we're working through them and turning out a good product, and that's what counts."
Added Beaty: "It definitely takes more than technical skills to get things done the right way. It also takes patience, on our part and on theirs."
KAI employs about 2,000 people in Sachon, with 160 people assigned to the F-15K program. Despite the differences in culture and language, Cress's boss agrees that the Koreans are producing quality products.
"While there have been many challenges, there have been many successes," said John Kowalczyk, senior manager for the technical assistance team. "KAI has delivered quality assemblies on time that have exceeded Boeing's expectations. Some people would consider this impossible, but people rose above petty challenges and achieved great things because they put their minds to it."
The work Beaty, Cress and their teammates do is not only of the
highest quality, it's also of the
"We believe the 40 F-15Ks that the Republic of Korea is getting will meet their defense needs and help protect vital national security interests," said Steve Winkler, Boeing F-15K program manager. "That is why we take our role in building the world's most successful fighter aircraft so seriously."
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