MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) is pleased to share that it has considerably strengthened aftermarket support for MDHI customers, boosting sales, partnerships, and customer satisfaction. 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. The needle in all of these areas continues to move in a positive direction as additional process improvements, partnerships, and agreements take effect.
“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 Nick Nenadovic, Vice President of Aftermarket and Customer Support at MD Helicopters. “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% year to date reduction in past due commercial orders, a 20% reduction in AOG instances, and significant increases in fill rates.”
“As we considered an aircraft purchase for our operations, it was imperative the aircraft receive high quality, timely support,” says Ben Williams, president of HeliService Powerline Solutions. “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.”
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 favorable prices, quality assurance, and delivery time on parts. To better support customers where they live and work, MDHI also expanded its Authorized Service Centers in 2021, adding Axxeum of Huntsville, Ala. Axxeum provides support for a large fleet of local and regional government and commercial MD aircraft in the Gulf Coast region. In addition, MD expanded outreach to collaborate with companies to deliver advanced support options for customers. Last week it was announced that MD collaborated with GPMS to achieve an STC for Foresight MX on the MD 530. Now available as an OEM solution for the aircraft platform, Foresight MX is a predictive health and usage monitoring system (HUMS) that provides customers with the data needed to improve readiness, enhance safety, and lower maintenance costs, all of which will help dramatically improve the OEM support relationship.
As a result of a stronger customer support system, MDHI has been able to expand its already strong utility customer base. Most recently, utility operators HLH Aviation of Gainsville, Va., and HeliService Powerline Solutions of Apopka, Fla., chose to expand their capabilities with MD aircraft. HLH Aviation 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 (DOC). HeliService Powerline Solutions purchased an MD 902 in direct response to increased customer support.