Advanced Services Growth

Case Study: AE Aerospace

The Advanced Services Group behind the programme is rare in that it understands and can relate to businesses.
Academic research needs to be applicable to commercial results and the Advanced Services Group at Aston Business School has the ability to achieve this.

AE Aerospace is a precision-machined components manufacturer for the aerospace and marine industries. Traditionally, the company has based its business on the ability to produce low volume spare parts for industry from old drawings and design prototype/components through to original equipment high volume manufacture.

AE Aerospace’s senior management team was initially interested in servitization as a tried and tested framework to grow the business by improving revenues and margins.

Peter Bruch, Managing Director, explains that:

“Although we could create and grow a good business, we recognised that having just one to two people who were focused on our customer service was a barrier.

"We joined the programme to find out what we could do to differentiate ourselves from the market and grow in a way that would be difficult for others to challenge.”

The initial objective was to educate staff on understanding that providing services to its customers was key to the company’s overall growth and success, but the management quickly realised the need to go beyond this. It was essential that they put themselves in their customers’ shoes, to understand what they need and how AE Aerospace could make their lives easier.

As a result, AE Aerospace’s ultimate goal is to provide their customers with their own machining cells and a business model of ‘machining-by-the-hour’.

It’s new ‘glass factory’ model allows customers to have their own cells of operation aimed at reducing machining time and lead times for delivery, as well as reduce costs and increase production quality.

Results

  • More than doubled its turnover – from £2m to £5m

  • Took on more staff – its workforce has expanded from 38 to 45 employees

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