22 Frontiers May 2014 “In field service, frequent communication is important,” Yamamoto said. “Even when there are no technical issues, you need to go to the customer and have conversations. Listen carefully and try to put yourself in their shoes.” Boeing Commercial Airplanes has a Field Service organization within Commercial Aviation Services. Field service representatives support all Boeing jetliners, including some out-of-production models. When hiring a field service representative, Fullington said she looks for people who have a good technical knowledge of the airplanes as well as an understanding of airline customers. They must have a passion for solving customer problems and experience in working within the company’s various networks. “We look for people who know how airlines operate because there are times when we get in the middle of some very intense discussions between Boeing and a customer,” Fullington said. “We work toward win-win situations where the customer is satisfied at the end of the conversation. We build bridges.” Field service representatives with Global Services & Support, unlike Commercial Airplanes representatives, support specific programs and generally focus on individual products. While many Global Services & Support field service representatives have military experience, others developed their experience through a range of past Boeing assignments. “In many cases, our reps are stationed side by side with customers in war zones,” Anderson said. “And like our customers, they are in harm’s way. They are committed to doing whatever it takes to support our customers’ missions— anytime, anywhere.” n email@example.com these missions, because I’m going with the Marines,” said Grubbs, who is based out of Air Station New River in Jacksonville, N.C. “I want them to know that there are people back home who are willing join them in the things they do to protect our freedoms.” Another field service representative, Alain Garcia, supports ground-based pilot training for the Singapore Fighter Wing, which takes place, under contract, at the Cazaux Air Base in France. He helped develop the curriculum that is used in the training. While serving as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy, Garcia flew numerous combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. “I have a background in tactical flying, which gives me credibility with the Singapore pilots who are conducting the training, as well as pilots who are being trained,” Garcia said. “We can all relate to one another, which makes it easier for us to work together and understand each other.” DiVito, the field service representative in Buenos Aires, said her daily routine includes checking on airplanes in need of maintenance, discussing issues with Argentine engineers over a hot cup of yerba maté tea and communicating with her Boeing colleagues in the Seattle area. Some of her greatest challenges have involved AOGs (Airplane on Ground), in which a plane is unable to fly due to some problem. “It often involves waking up in the middle of the night, and working through the night and on weekends,” she explained. “You work until it’s done—until the airplane is flying again.” Takeshi Yamamoto, based in Tokyo, supports Japan Airlines’ 787 Dreamliners and Skymark Airlines’ Next-Generation 737s. He joined Boeing in 2010, after previously working at Japan Airlines. He finds that his experience with the airline has helped him provide better customer support. He has handled difficult issues, including early problems with 787 batteries.
Frontiers May 2014 Issue
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