The Uptime Blog
A recent BusinessWeek article (Big Oil’s Talent Hunt, Dec 24, 2007) describes one of the oil industry’s biggest challenges — the workforce is graying. That’s a nice way of saying that a lot of workers are getting old and retiring. This seems like business as usual, older workers retire and younger workers take their place, but right now the number and quality of new workers can’t meet the demand. This situation is great for employees, they get higher salaries and bonuses, but the business takes a hit as the quality, consistency and efficiency of service deteriorates. The problem goes beyond the loss of manpower, the bigger problem is the loss of expertise.
Most labor-intensive businesses face the same challenge as the oil industry. Whether it’s technicians, mechanics or field service engineers, companies that need people to keep assets up and running are finding it harder and harder to attract, educate and retain workers. Experienced technicians are leaving the workforce, and it can be difficult to “ramp up” new technicians; as a result, many companies are extending the retirement age and offering bonuses in an attempt to delay the inevitable.
But coaxing people out of retirement or into a second career is essentially the same as giving all those gray hairs a dye-job. It works for awhile but no matter how young it looks, sooner or later that hair will fall out. Fixing the problem of the graying workforce requires more than a dye-job.
It should be obvious that reading page after page of technical information looking for clues to complete a repair isn’t efficient, but that’s the norm. Fortunately, technologies like Enigma 3C understand the context of each situation —the configuration of the machine being fixed, what’s wrong with it and the parts needed to fix it —and provide exactly the information mechanics need to get equipment up and running as soon as possible. Enigma helps new technicians perform like pros. With this kind of system, even a novice mechanic can display wisdom beyond his/her years—without getting any gray hair.
Check out this three-minute demo of how you can use the Enigma Electronic Parts Catalog not only for parts and service info, but also for distributing aftermarket parts marketing and training collateral. Watch Enigma EPC maestro Rob Bannerman illustrate how you can help your dealers get the information they need to better service their customers.
This is the first in a series of podcasts that we’ll be offering to demonstrate the real-world applications of Enigma aftermarket parts and service solutions.
Welcome to the inaugural episode of the Enigma podcast.
Over time, we intend to have specific audio and video content for you. But, to get started, we are putting into our podcast feed a replay of an important webinar we recorded on the Enigma electronic parts catalog (EPC) system.
We hope you enjoy it and stay tuned for more new content in the near future.
The Boston Globe recently published an article about how airlines are getting creative in finding ways to conserve fuel due to the rising cost of crude oil, which is now roughly $100 per barrel.
Prices for jet fuel, which now accounts for up to a third of a carrier’s operating costs, have surged 58 percent this year, according to Platts, a division of McGraw-Hill Co. that tracks energy prices. For some airlines, the cost has tripled in the last few years, as crude oil prices approach $100 per barrel.
Another article in Airline Procurement (which unfortunately, I cannot link to) also bemoans the rising cost of oil, and gives a more in-depth view of the forecast for oil prices and consumption.
Some airlines are squeezing more passengers onto fewer planes, scheduling flights to leverage tailwinds, and even using less paint on aircraft exteriors (because it adds weight and when it chips it creates more air friction).
They’re not doing it to “go green” either; they need to pinch pennies wherever possible, so that they can stay competitive and profitable. After all, it wouldn’t be wise to simply pass on the cost to the consumer.
Airlines can’t control the cost of oil, nor can they use “Bio Jets” like the one pictured above, but they can take additional steps to stay lean and competitive.
Bottom line, the fuel cost of heavy paint pales in comparison to the cost of a down airplane sitting in a hanger awaiting repairs. A more valuable action — and something we help our customers like KLM, United and Iberia achieve — is improved maintenance productivity, which ultimately reduces the cost of maintenance, which keeps aircraft up in the air, and profits up too.