How Textron Aviation Navigates Growing Aftermarket Demand  

Rod McDermott, CEO of McDermott + Bull, had the opportunity to talk with Kriya Shortt, Textron Aviation Senior Vice President, Global Customer Support, on how the OEM has thrived in aftermarket services with increased competition.

How important are aftermarket services to Textron Aviation’s ultimate bottom line performance?
The Textron Aviation team works diligently every day to provide unrivaled support for the aircraft we produce. As the OEM, we offer true factory-approved MRO and aftermarket parts, services and solutions to ensure optimal performance and maximizing the service life of aircraft.
What plans does the company have to expand its offerings in this area in the next 5 years?
Textron Aviation has been steadily investing in company-owned facilities, mobile service units and 1CALL fast AOG response, and we will continue to evaluate how we can best support our customers now and in the future. In 2018, we logged nearly 3 million service hours around the world.
What are some of the major challenges you face in your aftermarket offering and how is the company adapting to those? 
As demand for our products grows around the world, so does the need for expert MRO services wherever our customers live and work. In the last year, Textron Aviation expanded service options and facilities in Canada, Europe, Singapore, and the broader APAC region, and invested in mobile service units and “go teams” at company-owned facilities. The company is also doubling the size of its European parts distribution center in Düsseldorf to increase available part numbers to nearly 35,000 items across Europe. These investments and expansions keep Textron Aviation ahead of growing demand and ready to support customers at anytime, anywhere in the world.

But of course, our success depends on our workforce, and the competition for employees is tightening across the manufacturing industry. About 3.5 million jobs need to be filled over the next decade, and about 2 million will be left unfilled due to a skills gap. Working with the communities where we live and work is critical to ensuring a pipeline of talent for the future. We are recruiting from more than 50 tech schools nationwide, including WSU Tech (the fastest growing technical school in the U.S.), and partnered with the Wichita community to create Aviation Pathways, a new high school aviation curriculum. Aviation Pathways participants receive both their high school diploma and technical certificate at graduation, which creates the potential for immediate employment within the aviation industry. 

With both in-house offerings for maintenance as well as authorized service centers, how does your company manage potential channel conflicts and maintain support of both offerings for customers?
When you buy a Cessna or Beechcraft aircraft, the largest and most capable support network of any aircraft OEM in the world supports you—in part, due to our commitment to working with quality authorized service partners. Our mix of company-owned and authorized service partners enables us to offer a robust footprint no matter where in the world our customer’s products take them. Textron Aviation customers might choose to visit a company-owned location for its size and expertise, or an authorized service provider for a location closer to home. From service, technical support, parts support and warranty, our customers have access to people and tools when and where they need them.
What is your strategy for offering service on a global basis? Is it both in-house and outsourced or primarily outsourced? 
With 18 company-owned service centers around the globe, our customers are never far away from expert support. Textron Aviation utilizes authorized service partners when and where there is a customer need to expand our company-owned network.
How do you maintain a high level of customer quality utilizing authorized service partners?
Our authorized service facilities are required to meet strict criteria for hangar space, tooling and training, ensuring customers receive the quality of work they know and expect. Many of our authorized service facilities have partnered with us for more than 60 years. 

Kriya Shortt

Senior Vice President, Global Customer Support, Textron Aviation

Kriya Shortt leads Textron Aviation’s global aftermarket service. She began her career at Cessna in 1996 and has worked in many customer-facing roles throughout her career. She has held positions in customer service, sales and marketing, contract management, and delivery. After serving as an Area Sales Manager for Citation sales in Arizona and California, she became the Regional Vice President of Sales for the Southwestern United States. Later, in 2014, Kriya transitioned from Senior Vice President, Sales for Cessna Aircraft to the Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Textron Aviation.

Rod McDermott

CEO + Co-Founder, McDermott + Bull

Rod McDermott is the CEO + Co-Founder of McDermott + Bull, one of the fastest growing firms in North America with offices domestically and internationally; the President + CEO of M+B Interim Leaders, which he founded along with Angela Anderson in 2011 to address an increased client need for time-sensitive solutions to important leadership challenges; the Founder of the M+B Executive Network, a community of in-transition senior-level executives seeking guidance to land their next role, serving over 10,000 members since inception; and the CEO + Founder of Project Activate, which provides recent college graduates with expert insights and best practices to achieve ultimate job satisfaction and career success.