Bohemia, N.Y.-based Corporate Service Supply & Manufacturing (CSSM) is celebrating its 35th anniversary as a helicopter and fixed-wing accessory and component repair facility at NBAA with a drawing for a new Apple iPad. CEO Gene Portela invites visitors to stop by Booth No. N2012 to enter the drawing and to learn about new strategies implemented by the company.
“We’ve reviewed all our pricing policies and reduced mark-ups on parts,” Portela said. “We’ve made investments in parts cleaning equipment that helps reduce the need for armature and stator rewind, which translates into a lower cost to the customer and a faster turn time.” CSSM is renovating its 9,000-sq-ft facility and adding shop space. “We found we had so much wasted space that we can increase space where we need it without having to increase the size of the facility,” he said.
By the end of this year, CSSM’s on-hand rotable exchange pool will increase by 25 to 30 percent, and Portela plans to double the inventory pool next year.
To keep up with the growth, increase efficiency and hold down overhead, Portela said CSSM recently selected Component Control to provide the company’s new operating software. “Component Control will permit better trend monitoring and historical data of our customer’s units,” he explained. “It also allows us to manage our inventory to reduce the need to place last-minute orders and decreases transportation expenses. It will have a significant impact on controlling the cost to the customer and allows us to provide a more comprehensive and detailed work order and faster ability to quote jobs.”
CSSM employs 18 technical and administrative personnel. “We anticipate growth through 2012, which will require hiring more technicians,” he said. The company is an FAA Part 145 and EASA certified repair station and has an FAA unlimited rating for accessory repair. “You essentially can’t get [an unlimited rating] today, “ Portela said, “but we’re grandfathered in. We work on Class 1, 2 and 3 mechanical and electrical accessories, and that is a major advantage. If we don’t have a given component on our capability list and we can get the technical data and appropriate tooling, we can work on it without additional FAA approval.”
Portela began his aviation career in 1984, hiring on with Raytheon Beechcraft in Farmingdale, N.Y., as an aircraft washer. Within seven years he had worked his way up to parts department supervisor where he remained during his 10-year stint with the company.
His next job was as parts department manager at Eastway Aircraft Services, which subsequently became ExcelAire. During his 18-year tenure at ExcelAire, Portela managed the company’s repair station then became general manager of ExcelAire’s FBO at Islip Airport. After four years running the FBO, Portela was offered the CSSM position. “This is a unique opportunity to run a company,” he said.
In 2010 Portela also became president of the Long Island Business Aviation Association. “We represent about a hundred member companies. We’re the largest aviation advocacy group on Long Island and are very involved in working on behalf of aviation, not only on Long Island but throughout the state of New York.”