In-depth Q&A with Scott Dial on Vertical Mag Survey Results
Operators of our helicopter engines participated in a 2018 Vertical Magazine survey naming P&WC Number One. The honour came with some tough questions; P&WC’s customer service expert Scott Dial responds.
Earlier this year, Vertical Magazine conducted a survey of its readership, asking operators to rank the top six helicopter engine OEMs in the world. We were gratified that for the second consecutive Vertical Magazine survey, P&WC was named number one among a field of six helicopter engine OEMs.
The magazine also invited survey respondents to make comments or pose questions to the engine OEMs covered in the survey. Few people in P&WC are as knowledgeable – or as widely known to operators in North America – as Scott Dial. For almost 20 years, he’s been responsible for selling the company’s aftermarket services. But his job is much deeper than that.
“For many operators, I am the face of the company in the field and I am often called upon to troubleshoot service-related issues. I am always ready to answer questions and find solutions. That’s really the heart of my job,” says P&WC’s Scott Dial.
Airtime: Some operators expressed frustration with the annual cost increase for engine parts in the Vertical Magazine survey.
Scott Dial: We’re sensitive to the fact that cost is always a factor for operators. We encourage our operators to look at costs over the product lifecycle and on this metric we’re competitive and envisage to sign up to our long-term maintenance programs which are designed to provide financial visibility. For operators, as for us, priorities include improving reliability, durability and time on wing. On this front, our engines provide a definitive advantage that benefit overall costs, not only direct maintenance and repair, but also logistics and operations.
We also continue to invest in more repair capabilities in our shops and services focused on increasing availability and moving customers toward fully planned maintenance environments. Proactive solutions like FAST™ and our Oil Analysis Technology allow a predictive and preventive maintenance approach – driving down the cost of repairs by detecting issues well in advance so they can be troubleshot or avoided entirely.
Also on the topic of cost reduction, we have introduced a number of P&WCSMART maintenance solutions for hot section inspections, engine exchanges and overhauls that have capped, competitive cost guarantees and that exchange non-OEM parts with genuine P&WC parts. Read more about how P&WCSMART solutions are benefitting operators.
With this broader view, we are confident that our engines remain highly competitive and that our spare parts policy is balanced. As I said, we know that price is an issue for our operators and we continue to look for ways to reduce the overall lifecycle costs of their engines.
Airtime: Certain operators also complained about having to pay for technical publications when other OEMs make them available for free.
Scott Dial: First, I should point out that our technical publications are provided free to operators for the first two years of new-engine ownership. On this topic as well, we tend to take a broader view; we invest heavily in the development and delivery of our technical publications. The goal is to guarantee customers that they’ll always have the latest and most accurate information for compliance and airworthiness.
We continue to focus on the user friendliness of our publications. We also realize that many of our customers work in environments where Wi-Fi is not available so we are improving our off-line capability. The new formats we are working on will also provide more interconnectivity among the various publications.
With these and other initiatives we aim to offer a premium service. But we are also maintaining a more basic package for customers who require fewer enhancements and who want to maintain a basic library at a lower cost.
Airtime: Some respondents reported finding the P&WC customer portal difficult to use. Are you working to make it better?
Scott Dial: We have 20,000 users registered on our customer portal – MyP&WC Power – and continue to add new features and updates all the time, leveraging the latest digital technologies to automate processes. It is a very powerful tool in its ability to be fully transactional and customers can manage an array of engine services online via the portal.
We know there is always room for improvement and we are committed to investing in our portal. For example, we’re simplifying the registration process and making it easier for users to report issues or make suggestions. Every two weeks, we make changes to improve the ease and speed of navigation.
Airtime: Finally, can you share some of the details of the survey results?
Scott Dial: Sure, P&WC was ranked first place overall in the Vertical Magazine survey with a score of 4.125 on of a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent). The next closest OEM was at 4.007 and the lowest score was 3.458. We were ranked number one in several categories, including overall service satisfaction, overall engine/product satisfaction, and satisfaction with authorized service centers.
Despite the anecdotal comments about our technical publications, we placed second on the quality of technical publications. Thirty-three per cent of our respondents said they were enrolled in our hourly cost guarantee program (i.e. Eagle Service™ Plan -- ESP™ Program) and of that number, 82 per cent said the cost and value of the program is good to excellent.
You can read more articles on how our expert technical tips help keep our customers’ helicopter engines operating at peak efficiency.