Bombardier Aerospace is in Atlanta this week highlighting its increased emphasis on worldwide customer service and product support for the entire Bombardier business jet and regional airliner customer base. At an NBAA press briefing yesterday, James Hoblyn, president of Bombardier's customer service organization, noted the addition of three AOG line maintenance facilities, expanding Bombardier's service network presence to 60 service centers in 26 countries.
Earlier this year Bombardier opened its first wholly company-owned European service center at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and a regional support office in Mumbai, India. Other newly appointed service facilities are ExecuJet Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur and Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services in Riga, Latvia, the first line maintenance facilities in those countries. Aerovitro S.A., at Monterrey, has become Mexico's second Bombardier-approved business jet maintenance facility.
Hoblyn also discussed the expansion of Bombardier's customer delivery teams to include all business aircraft customers throughout the world. These teams consist of avionics technicians and cabin interior experts along with Bombardier-trained third-party maintenance specialists. They accompany customers to their operating bases to provide in-depth instruction in aircraft systems, equipment and troubleshooting. They also facilitate customer interaction with Bombardier field service reps.
Mike McQuay, president of Bombardier's Dallas-area service centers, remarked that doing business in the less developed areas of the world requires flexibility and, above all, patience. "That's something we in the West don't have so much of, but you have to develop it to get along in many parts of the world." He explained that such operations often require "workarounds" to deal with local "problems" arising from bureaucracy, inefficiency and a culture of corruption.
He noted that areas have differing cultural environments that shape behaviors. "For instance," said McQuay, "there's a difference between India and China. You might say India is process-oriented and the Chinese are more results-oriented. It's essential that we develop local partners," he continued. "That doesn't mean payoffs. We don't do that, ever. It does call for making special arrangements, establishing a quid pro quo, if you will, a bartering system where you make something available to get something in return."
McQuay concluded by observing, "Once a local relationship is established, though, then those people often become extremely helpful, cooperative and enthusiastic partners."