Rolls-Royce service centre ups pace, goes global

Ewen McDonald, Senior VP for Asia Pacific, Rolls-Royce, explains how, since opening its first customer service centre in Singapore three years ago, the company has halved its response times to airlines and developed and deployed a successful global model.

McDonald said at the start there were two key goals: “When we set this up [we wanted] a one-stop centre that would answer all the questions an airline would warrant…from engineering to operations, to the commercial side, the legal side, to the sales side in one organisation.

“The other point…was how to move at the pace of an airline and not the pace of an OEM. There is quite a difference in that pace…they require answers much quicker usually than OEMs can answer. So, we set out [to create] a very agile lean organisation that would run at the pace of the airline and I'm really glad to say that we're getting there.”

He said the service centre in Singapore responds 50% faster than the company did previously and added, “The thing that really brings it home to me is when I go out and meet CEOs of airlines and I talk about how their performance is these days, and they say to me,

‘Well, you know things have really changed since you opened up the service centre in Singapore’ and that's actually much better than a metric – the customer is actually saying that it's made a difference.”

The pilot service centre in Singapore proved the model and the value to airlines and the company, so Rolls-Royce replicated the approach in other regions. McDonald said, “Today we have a customer service centre in Beijing, and Abu Dhabi, in Washington [D.C], and also in Derby [UK] supporting Europe.

“So we now have the whole world covered and we're doing exactly the same thing. We're bringing that pace of business – answering the questions locally with the team who has the accountability to deliver those answers to all these different regions. So not only is Asia Pacific benefiting, but the whole world.”

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