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Bristow Rolls Out Operational Roadmap

July 10, 2015

Consistent Customer Service. Operational Excellence
While you may have seen major transformations in Bristow operations in 2014, get ready for 2015. This year, Bristow is entering the next phase in its operational transformation – which it describes as the Operations Roadmap. This new chapter in Bristow’s history outlines the company’s journey toward operational excellence, taking it through 2017.

Where We Are Now
As announced in 2013, Bristow’s strategy has focused on integrating and aligning its structure and processes globally and introducing new supportive technologies, including the global implementation of SAP and its phased rollout of eFlight, a new global flight operations system.

“More than two years ago, we announced that we were embarking on a journey to achieve operational excellence,” says Chief Operating Officer Jeremy Akel. “We have been focused on transforming the business to create a simpler execution model and a culture of superior performance. Since then, we have been designing the right transformation strategy to support this goal. This strategy is now complete and features alignment of our people, processes and organizational structure globally, utilizing the best technologies and standardization, to allow us to improve on execution while building a responsive service culture locally.

“We are now in action through the global implementation of Fleet Management, SAP and eFlight, our new global flight operations system,” he added. “These are important building blocks for long-term success.” The implementation of these technologies will continue in 2015.

“Within Europe Caspian, the move to eFlight ties together our flight operations in a way that INTOPS (the previous IT system) never could,” said Captain Tim Glasspool, head of Flight Operations. “We have one database across the region (and globally) that allows data from all the bases to be viewed everywhere, not just on the base concerned. Since we no longer have separate systems for each base, we have had to harmonise procedures and standardise best practices across the Europe Caspian Region. It is a living example of Operations Transformation as we move toward operational excellence.”

Where We're Going
In developing the company’s Operations Roadmap, team members focused on strategies to simplify Bristow’s business, enhance service capabilities and leverage technology to make the company more nimble in the market and better positioned to take advantage of new opportunities. Akel continues, “You will see and participate in additional initiatives that achieve our goals of simplicity and performance. These initiatives will build on our SAP and eFlight capabilities to deliver a more mature safety capability, stronger client focus and complete planning integration between Bristow functional departments.”

The Operations Roadmap Includes:
An integrated corporate plan. Led by George Bruce, vice president, Integrated Planning and Performance, the corporate plan includes analytics that will clearly show how the company is performing on a more consistent basis and provide measures to ensure flawless execution.

John Cloggie, vice president, Operations Transformation and chief technical officer, says the plan will include commercial and operational planning using a three-step approach – a sales plan, a fleet and maintenance plan, and a combined flight crew and engineering crew recruiting and training plan. “The integrated plan process will align our operational demands, provide common metrics and, most importantly, give business development, service delivery and operations the ability to track and report leading reliability indicators related to aircraft availability, technical aircraft on ground (AOG) and AOG duration, reducing AOGs and improving our Bristow Value Added.”

Global standards. Cloggie and his team are working to achieve operational convergence around the globe. The goal is to have a consistent look and feel wherever Bristow operations are located. “We’ll harmonize standards so every aircraft is maintained, every flight operated and every Bristow pilot trained to the same high standards across the organization,” Cloggie explains. “Our global standards initiative will ensure operational excellence across the organization by identifying, implementing and standardizing best-in-class policies and procedures that make us more efficient and reduce our operational risk. Standards for maintenance, search and rescue, and global flight operations will be the first part of the global standardization rollout. This is now underway.”

“OUR CUSTOMERS HAVE TOLD US THAT WHAT THEY WANT IS SAFETY, CONSISTENCY IN SERVICE AND THE ABILITY TO REACT FASTER TO DISRUPTIONS. ALL THAT IS UNDERWAY WITH THE OPERATIONS ROADMAP.”

Service culture. As the company grows, customers will have a consistent experience of the Bristow brand as it continues to meet and exceed expectations. This initiative is being led by Mike Imlach, vice president of Operations.

Target Zero. “We’re taking our Target Zero safety program to the next level,” says Steve Predmore, vice president and chief safety officer. Bristow will move from tracking lagging indicators to leading indicators in key areas, including return-to-base events, wrong-deck landings and first aid cases – or recordable injuries. “These leading indicators will work in concert with enhanced risk mitigation standards,” says Predmore. “This will enable Bristow to evaluate every aircraft mission using innovative awareness and readiness evaluation capabilities similar to those used today in the commercial airline industry.”

Global training standard. Drawing on the experience and success of Bristow Academy and other elements of Bristow training, Todd Smith, director of Bristow Academy, and his team are working to create consistency in company training, instilling the Bristow culture in the development of pilots needed for future growth.

“The Academy’s Flight Operations have undergone a restructuring in pursuit of implementing a single ‘best practice’ as the foundational basis of all of our training programs,” says Smith. “Traditional flight training programs have typically been built around regulatory minimums, in order to keep the training costs to a minimum. In other words, they are commodity-based programs that often focus on the physical aspect of flying and ignore the mental (or ‘soft’) aspect of it. We know the value of this ‘soft’ aspect and have stepped away from regulatory minimums as the guiding element in order to produce a standardized baseline for the initial training phase of all of our programs.”

Smith continues, “The Bristow Academy Professional Pilot Program (BAPP) has a heavy emphasis on academics, threat and error management, Safety Management Systems and, among other things, Target Zero. It is a true ab initio program, developed from our years of experience in both training and global operations, and it is designed to teach aspiring pilots to think, act and execute like professionals, regardless of the career stage they are in. We endeavor to teach them that the journey to becoming a professional pilot begins with a professional attitude.”

Predictive risk analysis capabilities. By leveraging its technology, Bristow will have the capability to assess risk on every flight and takeoff, similar to what’s done today in the commercial airline industry. “Operational excellence enables us to achieve measurable and significant improvements across our four strategic objectives—clients, operational excellence, growth and people,” Akel says. “It’s important to our growth strategy and our leadership in providing point-to-point transportation solutions.”

According to Akel, achieving the goals of the Operations Transformation strategy starts with striving for the highest level of collaboration, achieving clarity and commitment around strategy, and ensuring that communications are consistent. “Operational excellence is doing things right. It’s focusing on every aspect of our culture and continually striving for excellence in everything we do.” He says that the projects and initiatives that come out of Bristow’s Operations Roadmap will ultimately improve uptime, increase asset efficiency and help the company better meet client needs. “Our customers have told us that what they want is safety, consistency in service and the ability to react faster to disruptions. All that is underway with the Operations Roadmap.”

This article appeared in Bristow World Issue 2, 2015. View the full magazine here.