Boeing Frontiers
November 2003
Volume 02, Issue 07
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Cover Story

Global Support Network aims to meet customers on their turf

Get close to your customer. Deliver personal service. Make the customer's priority your priority. When your customer wants to talk to you, be there.

Sounds like the good old-fashioned, small-town way of doing business, doesn't it? Guess again. It's also the newfangled way that Boeing Integrated Defense Systems' Aerospace Support unit is doing business through a developing Global Support Network.

With regional support in Europe and Australia, and another to open in Asia, the Aerospace Support Spares and Technical Data team, through the Global Support Network, is fashioning an image of Boeing as a global, one-stop-shopping provider of service needs. The effort is paying off in the form of increasing purchases of spare parts from Boeing, better relationships with international customers and the promise of additional business (including aircraft sales) in the future.

The driving force for the Global Support Network is the recognition that Boeing should be "next to our customers and have a regional presence oriented around relationship management," said Jim Brunke, Boeing IDS director of Aerospace Support Spares and Technical Data. "We want to shift our focus from a product-based orientation to a service-based orientation."

The components of the Global Support Network are regional support centers at key locations around the world where Boeing products operate; partnerships with companies near the centers to act as regional parts suppliers; a front office that staffs the regional support centers with customer-facing representatives who deliver personal service; and a back office that processes orders and transactions quickly and efficiently through such innovations as an online parts catalog.

CH-47Boeing established the first regional support center last year in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, for the Dutch Air Force CH-47 helicopter program. The arrangement includes a partnership with a Dutch company, Fokker Services B.V., to act as a regional parts supplier, and a comprehensive warehouse for CH-47 parts.

Since the establishment of the Amsterdam regional support center, the Dutch have steadily increased their purchases of CH-47 parts from Boeing. In fact, Brunke said, the value of their purchases is seven times greater today than it was in early 1992.

What's strengthened the relationship between the Dutch military customer and Boeing is the work of Julia Jiggins, Aerospace Support manager of the Global Support Network - Europe. Working out of an office near The Hague in Amsterdam, she's there whenever her customer needs her.

The relationship already has produced quicker parts delivery and greater customer satisfaction. This year, the Boeing team, working through the Global Support Network, delivered 38 parts in four months for three Dutch Air Force CH-47s scheduled to deploy to Iraq. In the past, such an order would have taken 18 to 24 months to complete.

The regional support center in Australia works a little differently, in that the partnership for a parts supplier there is with Boeing Australia Ltd., a Boeing subsidiary. The Asia support center, scheduled to be established in November in Pusan, South Korea, will involve a partnership with KAL, the service organization of Korean Airlines that performs support for Korean military and commercial aircraft as well as U.S. military aircraft such as U.S. Army CH-47s and U.S. Air Force F-15s.

Boeing plans to expand the network to other IDS aircraft platforms and to establish regional support centers "in every critical part of the world where Boeing aircraft are operating," said Peter Thompson, Boeing IDS program manager for the Global Support Network. That would include Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Canada.

—Daryl Stephenson


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