Known for industry innovation and leadership, an air fleet company thrives on change as a competitive advantage. The company’s management analyzed how Six Sigma quality improvement disciplines, when applied to aircraft maintenance and air operations, might yield competitive advantages.
Management understood that in order to achieve their continuous improvement goal, they needed to clearly communicate their changed vision to the workforce. Managers and workers would also need to embrace new behaviors and interaction skills that would eliminate tension, promote interdepartmental cooperation, streamline maintenance processes, and get aircraft back into service faster.
To prepare managers and the workforce to lead and support the implementation change effort, Wilson Learning implemented a series of enterprise-wide workshops on interpersonal and negotiation skills. These workshops involved four different maintenance and air operations departments. Cross-departmental classes helped develop cross-functional knowledge and broaden resource availability. To increase buy-in, top management kicked off each workshop to convey urgency and leadership’s trust in the training initiatives.
As a result, operating efficiencies improved by 56%. Furthermore, employees’ use of these new behaviors and skills improved their ability to more quickly check, repair, and return aircraft to active service, in turn helping the company avoid the need to acquire additional aircraft.
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