Last December, Embraer merged its service and support activities into a single business unit. Headed by president and CEO Johann Bourdais, Embraer Service & Support is a unified organization that now looks after all Embraer aircraft, bringing together support operations for the commercial, defense and executive jet segments.
This development recognizes the growing importance of product support in the marketplace. “We don’t sell a product any more,” said Bourdais, “we sell the solution. When you sell aircraft you are also selling availability.” Although the new organization was created at the end of last year, it has become fully operational as a single entity only in the past few weeks.
With the executive jets division having come out on top of AIN’s business aviation product support survey for three consecutive years, Bourdais is keen that the new business unit loses none of the expertise, quality and reputation that it has painstakingly built in the previously separate sectors. “The customer hasn’t felt any difference,” he reported. “The customer relations managers, the technical representatives, they remain the same.”
However, the customer may begin to notice improvements as the new unit aims to move to a new level of support. The organization is focused on drawing the best practices from across the fields of its commercial, defense and executive jets divisions to improve the company’s aftermarket offering without affecting or diluting its previous levels of service. “Learning from each other without losing anything,” is how Bourdais described it. “It would be foolish to do otherwise.”
One immediate change is that the coverage footprint has been extended, nearly tripling in the case of executive jets support by making access available to Embraer assets from other segments. However, Bourdais is quick to note that the needs of, say, a regional airline are very different from those of executive jet customers, and that service and support activities need to be tailored accordingly.