Aerospace Engineering Transition Director – Engineering Turnaround

The business is a £130m subsidiary of a major Global Aerospace Group that design and manufacture aircraft engine components, supplying most of the major global aero engine builders. There had been a missed opportunity to capitalise on the high growth potential to design and build aerospace engine components at this traditional facility. With a history of over 80 years aerospace deign – manufacturing  a series of initiatives led by an recently promoted engineering director had failed  and no one knew why. The legacy was serious motivational, cost and quality variance, delivery  and customer dissatisfaction with the associated contractual risks. The solution required a different approach that went beyond the norm of the aerospace industry.  As Transition director and Interim Head of Engineering the objective was to turnaround and create the capability on which to grow the business, launch new products and attract some major product development contracts to raise the value add and business profitability.

Ability to integrate into the client company:
Immediately implemented a team motivation plan to retain and develop the scarce specialist engineering resource. Working very closely with the MD and other key board members, “Integrated quickly into the client team.” Within days identified the issues, implemented and defined a containment strategy, engineering structure, outsourcing strategy and recruitment requirements to create the capability to deliver on time to budget.

Impact on the business / bottom line:
Created a strong team with adherence to the new structure to manage the complexity”, “protected bottom line through risk reduction” devolved ownership of the budget to the team through a structure of KPIs /governance process. The 4 pronged Vendor collaboration strategy implemented setting a new standard for the Aerospace industry. Attracted through an uncompromising recruitment process some of the best industry experts. Created the basis of the Engineering Academy and foundations of a centre of excellence. The recently appointed engineering directors whose role was initially in question, was coached by the transition director to outperform some of his peers on the board. In 3m – external customer satisfaction was measured and improved from 55 – 76%, and program on time delivery from an unknown to 85%.

Working style
In order to create a centre of excellence a complete focus on creating a high challenge / supportive fast learning motivating environment “Very challenging, with a tendency to solve every issue” delivering an outstandingly capable team delivering complex aerospace engineering on budget on time, with the internal framework and supporting capability to create the basis of a centre of engineering and customer excellence, and attract and develop the best team members.

Leadership / people management skills
Very strong challenging but highly supportive leadership, some comments from the stakeholders “thank you for pushing through and resolving many of the issues both me and the Engineering team have had difficulties resolving for some time “ “I learned a lot at your contact and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support”. “So, it’s been great working with you over the last six months or so. You’ve certainly brought a new dynamic to the management team here and put in place some robust and sustainable practices;  Our big job now is to keep it going and move ourselves even further forwards. We have some good people now and I’m confident that we can do it.”