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Sheltair Aviation: Lean Six-Sigma

Abstract

Management is one of the most important concepts in the operation of a firm. The management of Sheltair Aviation, a firm that deals with the fixed-based operation of airlines in North America, has integrated this concept. Over the years, its performance has been optimal due to various management strategies and concepts such as the personalization of delivery services to its customers. It also has a policy aimed at forming alliances with other firms. The firm’s employee training is aimed at ensuring that the firm performs optimally. To ensure customer satisfaction, the firm’s procurement policy enables the firm to acquire its products from the best suppliers. In line with this, the firm also integrates value addition in its production process. In order to increase its efficiency of operation, the firm should incorporate the concept of lean six -sigma. This concept leads to a reduction in the cost of operation by helping the management to identify and eliminate the possible errors. This is because the management will be conversant with the entire operation process, thus delivering according to the customer needs. This is through the concept of measurability. It will also be possible to identify the root course that will lead to the firm’s improvement. This means that it is possible for the firm to control its improvement so that it can be maintained in the long term.

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Introduction

In the current business world, the rate of globalization has become very rampant. This has resulted in a change in the manner in which the customers execute their businesses. This is due to the fact that there is reliable access to products and also the information. An increase in the rate of globalization means that the rate of competition within the business environment is increased. This means that firms must direct their activities in a way that leaves no room for error. These changes in customer’s expectations have led to the need to incorporate the concept of lean -six sigma. Six sigma concepts are aimed at the detection of any possible errors in the process of product or service development in order to eliminate it. On the other hand, lean is aimed at ensuring that the firm is working on the correct activities. This helps in delivering products and services that result in customer satisfaction. The discussion of this paper is to show how Sheltair Aviation can incorporate the concept of lean-six sigma in its operations.

Firms History

Sheltair aviation group is described as the largest network involved with operations that are primarily of a fixed base. The firm is located in North America and was established in 1988. Sheltair Aviation started from Holland Builders Incorporation, a firm that was involved in the development and also contracting in general aviation. With the establishment of Sheltair Aviation, hangars were established with the assistance of Holland Builders. The firm has got its headquarters in Miami that is in the Fort Lauderdale area. For efficient operation, the firm has got branches in other states such as New York, Florida, and Georgia.

The firm operates within the aviation and aerospace industry. It has got three hundred and sixty employees of which 57% are male. It operates in the business of providing services to the aviation industry. The firm lays much emphasis on the jet community.

The firm deals with a wide range of activities that are aimed at serving individual, group T-hangars, maintenance of airline bodies that is narrow and wide. It is also involved with flight schools and the building of cargo. The firm is also involved in the provision of Fixed Base Operations (FBO). These include the provision of services such as the supplying of fuel, sale of aircraft, flight training, and also execution of other services at the airport (Holland-Sheltair Aviation, 2009, para.1).

Over the years, the firm has earned a reputation in terms of planning, building, and also in the management of a diverse range of already completed aviation facilities.

Firm’s concepts of operation

Personalization in delivery of services

The management of Sheltair Aviation appreciates the concept that the customer has a choice in regard to his desire. The demand of the customer may either be with regard to establishing a home for his aircraft or the establishment of any other business that is related to aviation. In line with this, the management of Sheltair Aviation incorporates professionalism in the process of delivering its services to the customer. This results in the creation of a good relationship with the customers since there is the concept of personalization. This gives the firm a competitive edge over other firms that are in the aviation business. The personalization of its services is evident from the fact that it is possible for the firm to provide services to a wide range of customer demands (Sheltair Aviation, 2009, para.6).

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Effective management; alliances

The firm has also incorporated the concept of effective management in its operations. This is through the adoption of the business alliance strategy. This is evident from the fact that Sheltair Aviation formed an alliance with the Sheltair Facilities and the Holland Builders Incorporation. The Sheltair Aviation Services currently forms the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) section of Sheltair Aviation. Through the formation of alliances, Sheltair Aviation is able to derive a synergistic effect in its activities. This is due to the fact that the management skills related to the aviation properties and also other operations of aviation are effectively executed(Holland- Sheltair Aviation, 2009, Para 2-3).

The alliance also gives the firm more success in its operation. This is due to the fact that the firm is currently able to conduct its operations without contracting from outside. All its employees have got the necessary skills and experience in the aviation industry. The firm can be able to conduct its activities and plan right from the initial stage to its completion since it has all the necessary resources in terms of management. For instance, Holland Builders Incorporation has a track record in its construction of aviation facilities that exceed five million square feet. The firm conducts the evaluation of the projects in terms of cost to ensure that their cost is correctly determined and is completed in time. The effectiveness of the firm is also enhanced by the fact that all the firms are under the same leadership of the company. This increases the firm’s consistency and also the quality of the products.

Employee Training

The firm has also incorporated an employee training program in its human resource management. This ensures that the employees are conversant with the changes within the industry. This leads to their gaining of new knowledge and experience related to their different roles, thus becoming more effective in their operation.

Sheltair Aviation procurement policy

Sheltair Aviation has got a policy that guides its procurement of goods and services it delivers to the customers (Holland Sheltair Aviation, 2009, Para. 4).

This is due to the fact that the firm is involved in service delivery to customers, which means that it has to obtain its supplies from outside sources. This means that the firm deals with a wide range of suppliers. The objective of the procurement policy is to ensure that the firm obtains the necessary products from the best suppliers. This is through a quality assurance strategy that is integrated into the procurement policy.

The procurement policy also ensures that all the supplies are efficiently and effectively procured. This is through ensuring that all the supplies are obtained at the most favorable cost available from the different suppliers.

Production policy

Sheltair Aviation has a policy that is aimed at ensuring that its service delivery and other operations are streamlined. It also ensures that there is increased value addition in the process of service delivery. This is through the elimination of possible wastage. This policy gives the firm an additional advantage to survive within the hyper-competitive global market. This is due to the fact that the market demands products and services that are of high quality and delivered speedily (Holland Sheltair Aviation,2009, para.4).

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Lean six-sigma

Six-sigma is a business concept that is aimed at ensuring that a firm eliminates possible defects in the process of operation. This is usually through sufficient knowledge of the entire process. According to research, it is evident that the integration of six-sigma in the process of a firm operation can result in the reduction of the cost of operation with an approximate range of 50% (What is six sigma and lean manufacturing, 2006, para.2).

The concept of lean ensures all the non-value-adding processes. It also ensures that the speed of the firm’s processes is improved.

Implementation of lean six sigma controlled process

The incorporation of lean six sigma controlled process improvement by the management can make Sheltair Aviation be more effective and lean in its operations. This would lead to Sheltair Aviation gaining a more competitive advantage in the process of operation. This is due to the fact that the firm will gain operational excellence in relation to its competitors. The purpose of lean implementation is to help in the process of assessing the flow of the entire process of production or service delivery. The concept of leanness is aimed at the identification of activities that result in value addition and those that do not. This makes the management to be able to eliminate the value-added activities from the non-value-adding activities. This is advantageous to the firm since it is able to reduce the cost. The following are the ways in which lean six-sigma implementation will help Sheltair Aviation improve on its efficiency.

Understanding the value stream in relation to the customer

The management of Sheltair Aviation will be able to understand the entire process of value addition in line with the customer’s needs. This will be through defining the project that the firm is intended to undertake. This will ensure that the development of the firm designs of services that lead to customer satisfaction by finding a solution to a problem that they are facing. It will also be in a position to identify the key factors that drive the aviation business.

Effectiveness of measurability

Lean six sigma process improvement concept integrates the concept of measurability. Through the implementation of lean six-sigma, the firm will be able to understand the demands of the customers effectively. This will enable the firm to determine whether the customer’s demands are related to the firm’s objectives. This is due to the fact that the firm is able to identify its current performance. This will help the firm in avoiding deviations from the projected course, which can lead to the production of goods and services that do not result in firms’ value addition and also the areas that are characterized by high leverage. From this, it would be possible for the management of Sheltair Aviation to develop the relevant process measures (Leonard, n.d, para.2).

. In order to effectively deliver the desired products and services, Sheltair Aviation should ensure that it conducts market research. This would result in to increase in the firm’s efficiency of operation since it is able to conduct effective analysis of the data since it has the collected data. The lean –six sigma concept would also enable the firm to identify the sector that has got the most significant impact in terms of profitability within the aviation industry. This would benefit the firm in that it would be able to utilize the scarce resources effectively, resulting in keeping the cost of operation lean. This means that the firm is able to develop and sustain an advantage in terms of cost.

Analysis of root causes

It is also possible for Sheltair Aviation to be able to develop a flow that will enable it to statistically define the course that is most appropriate for improvement. According to Leonard (n.d), the analysis concept of lean six-sigma enables the firm to effectively define and understand the cause and the possible effects of a particular activity relating to a project (para.5).

Sheltair Aviation will also be in a position to conduct a multivariate analysis. This means that it will be able to determine the effects of the variables that affect the aviation industry and their effect on the firm’s operation.

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Improving the root cause

After conduction of analysis of the root causes of a particular issue affecting the operation of the firm, it would be possible for the management of Sheltair Aviation to improve on the particular issues that will result in its effectiveness. In order to do this effectively, the management will be able to evaluate the possible options available, thus arriving at the most appropriate that will result in the firms’ improvement. The firm’s efficiency will also result from the fact that it will be possible for the firm to reduce the possible variations. This makes the firm’s process of operation to be more standardized. This will result in Sheltair Aviation delivering products and services that will be of high quality (Leonard, n.d, para.4).

In order for the improvement of the firm’s process to be effective, the adoption of the lean six sigma concepts will ensure that the firm is able to identify the possible risk. This will put its management on the alert, which means that it will be proactive. This will lead to the firm mitigating or eliminating the effects of these risks leading to improvement of the quality of services delivered.

Ability to control its improvements

For Sheltair Aviation to completely gain a competitive advantage, the implementation of the lean six-sigma concepts will enable the firm to control all its operations. Through the control concept of lean six-sigma process improvement, Sheltair Aviation will have to first pilot all its activities. This will ensure that all the improvements with regard to its services are maintained in the long term. This is due to the fact that the firm will already have a well-formulated strategy to control all its processes.

In order for the management of Sheltair Aviation to be lean, it has to develop a control chart. The control chart will enable the firm to identify all the key variables in the process of the firm’s operation (Leonard, n.d, para.6).

It will also be possible for Sheltair Aviation to identify and prove the possible mistakes in its processes.

The efficiency of operation will also be improved from the fact that it will be possible for the management to evaluate the outcomes. This means that it is possible for the management to determine whether it has achieved the desired objective or there were deviations.

Through the control policy of Lean six-sigma, it will be possible for the management of Sheltair Aviation to leverage the opportunities available. This means that it will be possible for the firm to identify areas of future improvement.

Conclusion

Sheltair Aviation has been able to perform effectively within the aviation industry. This is attributed to a number of factors. These include efficient management policies. One of these policies includes the incorporation of the concept of alliances. The alliance of the three firms that is Sheltair Facilities, Holland Builders incorporation, has given Sheltair Aviation a competitive advantage. This is due to the fact that it has a wide range of skills necessary to ensure its success in the aviation industry. The firm has also developed an employee training program that enables the employees to gain new knowledge that enables them to increase their efficiency.

The incorporation of lean six-sigma will result in Sheltair Aviation improving its operational efficiency and also the quality of the products and services of a firm. This is due to the fact that its processes will be effectively controlled. Lean six sigma concepts enable the firm to be leaner in the fact that it is able to effectively reduce the cost of its operation. This is due to the fact that through the evaluation of projects to be implemented, the firm is able to effectively determine the most profitable projects to be implemented.

Customer service is also improved due to the fact that by incorporating the concept of lean, the firm is able to deliver its services timely. This is due to the fact that there is efficiency in terms of speed.

Lean six-sigma enables the firm to control its processes. This means that it is possible for the firm to remain competitive in the long term. Through control, Sheltair Aviation is able to identify the risks in the environment. The management will be able to take the necessary actions. The control concept of lean six-sigma also enables the firm to identify the possible opportunities.

It will also be possible for the firm to standardize its operations. It also leads to an increase in the quality of goods and services delivered to the customers. This results in increased customer loyalty since the products and services delivered are of high quality. This is through the elimination of defects in most of the firm’s processes. This is advantageous to the firm since they form avenues for further improvements. This results in advancement in the success of the firm in terms of profitability.

It is thus evident that integration of the lean six-sigma concept in the operation of a firm will result in the firm’s success in the current hypercompetitive business environment.

References

  1. Jacob, Chase, Aquilano (2008). Operation and supply management. McGraw-Hill Publishers.
  2. Leonard, P. (n.d) Process involvement: lean and six sigma methodologies. San Diego: University of San Diego publishers- Supply chain management Institute.
  3. Six-sigma systems (2006) what is six-sigma.
  4. The Holland-Sheltair Aviation Group. Orlando, Florida: NBAA.

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