Dassault vows to improve Falcon customer support

 - April 16, 2008, 10:47 AM

Dassault has pledged to make strides in Falcon customer service to reduce its response time to operators. At the manufacturer’s Worldwide Falcon Maintenance and Operations Seminar, held last month in Deauville, France, Dassault officials outlined a new organization designed to reach this objective. New “operational services” were also presented to Falcon operators.

According to a Dassault spokesman, some 500 of the 852 Falcon operators in the world were represented at the seminar, which attracted 1,200 attendees. Although faster response times are now the main goal of customer service teams, “our customers acknowledge we have already improved our response time,” the spokesman told AIN. He said other customer wishes include less expensive spare parts, secured supply and reducing the probability of a serious aircraft-on-ground problem.

A major organizational change has been the creation of “Le Plateau” task force (not to be confused with the Falcon 7X “design plateau”). Its role is to “improve the time between when a technical problem is identified and a solution is offered to the Falcon fleet” and to “reduce the number of technical problems under investigation.”

Every month the task force issues a product-support agenda. “The statistics show an encouraging trend that reflects a decrease in the number and duration of open items,” according to Donald Pointer, director of service engineering and a Le Plateau participant. The cycle time includes confirming issues, analyzing them, formulating solutions and implementing fixes.

Since June 2000 the number of Service Bulletins issued, offering product improvements, has increased nearly 50 percent, according to Gerry Goguen, senior vice president of customer service at Dassault Falcon Jet. Le Plateau was established under the direct leadership of vice chairman Bruno Revellin-Falcoz. Bruno Roland, based in Bordeaux, France, is the director of the program team.

Dassault also announced the appointment of Frank Youngkin to the newly created position of vice president of worldwide Falcon spares. This change in the organizational structure should “streamline the working relationship between the U.S.-based people and their counterparts in France,” Dassault said. Youngkin said the company has repositioned inventory for shorter delivery times and increased inventories to improve availability.

New operational services presented at the seminar included, among others, Petal, Ccredo and Flight attendant. Petal, which stands for performance table library, is aimed at making performance data calculation shorter and easier. “We have digitized the existing chart diagrams,” Mathieu Quoi, services marketing and sales manager, told AIN. Pilots can choose their own parameters and then get a customized performance table.

Ccredo (customized crew documentation) is a set of documents that can be tailored to each customer’s aircraft and, more important, to company-specific procedures. It can be the basis for the operations manual and the quick-reference handbook. According to Dassault, “Having manufacturer-generated documentation avoids possible conflicts between the owner’s operations manual and the aircraft’s flight manual.”

“Flight attendant” is the name of Dassault’s training program for business aircraft flight attendants. The one-week session helps flight attendants to meet the specific needs of executive passengers and to “become autonomous, in, for example, catering management,” Quoi said. He noted that the introduction of this service was in response to customer requests.