Sikorsky rides out oil and gas downturn

Since 2013/14, the oil and gas industry has seen a significant downturn, impacting industries throughout the supply chain. David Martin, Sikorsky, shares his insights on how Sikorsky has tackled challenging times.

David Martin, Vice President, Oil and Gas, Sikorsky, told FINN: “I've been in the industry about 26 years and this has been a really tough time throughout the whole value stream. It started with the oil companies and turned into a real price pressure for them – and that has now flown all the way through their value stream, within the aviation industry as well as other parts of their supply chain.

“It's resulted in some real pressures in the industry as they try to resolve those cost differentials. There are indicators now that we are seeing more offshore activity. It appears to be resulting in some more problems as the pricing pressures are a little bit sticky. That is  they fly more; it can cause even more pain, so we're working with the operators now to try to address those things as they have an uptick in flight hours.”

Cost reduction

Martin noted that Sikorsky has initiated a focus group internally to work on reliability and cost reduction.

He explained: “There are no less than 42 projects that have been initiated within the company to execute on. A couple of those have already closed, and we're now moving on to the phases to talk about how we bring those cost efficiencies to the market.”

S-92

Sikorsky’s S-92, for example, is one of the most popular oil-and gas-models in its classes

Martin said: “The S-92 is having a really exciting time in its product maturity right now. We're seeing monthly flight hours increasing month over month from 2017 onwards, which is a pretty good sign for the overall industry and a really good indicator of how the S-92 is performing for its customers.”

Acquisition

In 2015, Lockheed Martin acquired Sikorsky.

Martin commented: “To be part of an aviation company like Lockheed Martin is a fantastic opportunity. The cultures match very well, and we've seen a really robust commitment by Lockheed Martin to make us feel welcome and part of the family. I think there's a real interest across Lockheed Martin's business areas to invest in the commercial space and understand what those markets look like and how they differ from a large portion of their revenue base.

"There's a pull from Lockheed Martin to talk to us about the commercial market space. They want to understand it, how it differs in their business processes, and what we need to do to invest to be successful in the future.”

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