Spitfire team takes aerospace company to new heights

Aerospace Supply Chain Project Manager

Following unprecedented levels of demand for precision jet engine components manufactured onsite, the busy turbines division of a global defence and aerospace company found itself in need of some expert support to lead it to new heights.

While the increased sales were welcome to this division, the speed of growth was a significant challenge. The Spitfire team was brought in to lead the delivery of key strategic capacity uplift programmes in order to meet customer demand.

Following an initial meeting with the aerospace machining operations division, the Spitfire team were requested to lead on two major challenges affecting the company's ability to grow in line with customer demand. These challenges related to both external supply chain development to release internal capacity whilst investing in growing internal capacity in parallel.

A key member of the Spitfire team was introduced as an interim rate project manager, drawing upon the team's expertise in project management and supply chain establishment to develop and mature both the UK and US supply chains.

Further down the line, the rate project manager also took on responsibility for the end-to-end delivery of a £13.9 million capital investment project. This project would provide world class machining capability and capacity to facilitate the production of an extra £25 million in sales per annum for the in-demand jet engine components.

While this support focused on the delivery of a programme of capacity enabling projects to meeting existing demand, the embedded Spitfire capability also reinforced lean principles, ensuring that managers, leaders and key personnel exhibited the core knowledge and confidence to implement them on other major projects.

With the forecasted customer demand continuing to rise, outstripping even the additional installed capacity, Spitfire worked with the team to develop a full factory re-design incorporating lean, one-piece flow principles in order to minimize inventory and floor space requirements. Spitfire facilitated the detailed layout of all equipment and building and infrastructure works, to support building a robust business case, eventually leading to the approval of a further £23 million of capital investment.

It was another success for Spitfire, with one company executive in the aerospace turbines division noting that, "The agreed deliverable was achieved on time. Even when the scope was changed at the last minute, Spitfire pulled the team together to complete the work required. I found Spitfire to be very calm and clear, which instilled a lot of confidence in the team. They operate to a high professional standard, from time keeping to their ability to steer discussions in the right direction and keep everything on track."

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  • "With Spitfire's support we have been able to identify impressive savings and with the tools and coaching they provided we will be able to identify even greater savings. The Spitfire team were impressive from the start, quickly becoming part of the team and working in a structured way."

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  • "A stellar performance from a rotating team of consultants achieved all I could have hoped for. A great programme which should be wider applied in my organisation."

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