MD Helicopters has considerably strengthened aftermarket support for MDHI customers, boosting sales, partnerships and customer satisfaction.
“MDHI formed a cross-functional team to directly address challenges to our aftermarket support and customer service experience, and that work is truly paying off,” says vice president of aftermarket and customer support Nick Nenadovic. “Despite the pandemic and supply chain challenges of the past year, the needle is moving in the right direction on all fronts with a 37 per cent year to date reduction in past due commercial orders, a 20 per cent reduction in AOG instances and significant increases in fill rates, service representative responsiveness and service speed.”
The MDHI team achieved these results by incorporating direct feedback from its customer engagement survey to review, revamp and deploy several process enhancements. These changes concentrated on order and delivery improvement, service representative responsiveness, past due reductions, increased parts availability, timely AOG resolution and strategic customer engagement opportunities.
Since March 2020, MDHI has invested nearly $24 million in spare parts to support customer requests. It has also entered numerous agreements with third party suppliers to negotiate favourable prices, quality assurance and delivery time on parts.
To better support customers where they live and work, MDHI also expanded its authorised service centres in 2021, adding Axxeum of Huntsville, Alabama. Axxeum provides support for a large fleet of local and regional government and commercial MD aircraft in the Gulf Coast region.
As a result of a stronger customer support system, MDHI has been able to expand its utility customer base, most recently with utility operators HLH Aviation of Gainsville, Virginia, and HeliService Powerline Solutions of Apopka, Florida. HLH Aviation has ordered an E-to-F conversion, which will be delivered in mid-April. Ideal for long-line operations, the E-to-F conversion upgrades an MD500E helicopter to an FAA-certified MD 530F, increasing the aircraft's gross weight to 3,350 lbs, improving flight characteristics in confined areas and boosting cruise speed, all for comparatively low direct operating costs. HeliService Powerline Solutions purchased an MD 902.
“As we considered an aircraft purchase for our operations, it was imperative the aircraft receive high quality, timely support,” says HeliService Powerline Solutions president Ben Williams. “We were impressed with MD's investment in aftermarket improvements and supply chain upgrades to better serve customers. Ultimately, these vast improvements gave us the confidence to choose the 902.”