When Steve Heath joined IAE as president and chief executive nearly two-and-a-half years ago, his first task was to identify the major challenges facing the company - and then put a programme in place to address them.

Maker of the hugely successful V2500 engine - which was specifically designed 20 years ago for 150-seat, single-aisle aircraft - IAE has four shareholders: Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, Japanese Aero Engines Corporation and Germany's MTU Aero Engines.

Speaking at Le Bourget on Tuesday, Heath explained that the senior team sought the opinions of all 280 employees and quickly identified a raft of major processes that could be categorised effectively under three headings: Products; People; and Processes.

It was decided to create a name for what became effectively a quality initiative, and the marketing team came up with Vista.

"Despite the success of our engine," he says, "our employees and customers alike wanted to know more about our long-term future and vision, while I wanted to know whether we were easy to do business withÉ and whether we were known for doing what we said we were going to do, when we said we were going to do it."

Having reviewed every process - from schedules to training and from contracts to manuals - the team identified 80 of the 123 processes that needed defining or were definable. Some were broken and needed fixing, while others just needed clarification.


"Vista has become a state of mind within IAE, rather than any other old programme with a start point and an end date. It's an ongoing process and is helping us to become smarter and even more successful as we move into a new era for IAE."

That new era includes the all-important decision about whether IAE remains as a 'single product' company.

"Very definitely not," says Heath. "We've learned that lesson and are now working with our shareholders to come up with an engine configuration suitable for the next generation of single-aisle aircraft, probably by 2010-12."

"We currently have two possible engine configurations which we're talking to our shareholders and partners about and we'll have to see which one comes to fruition."

Source: Flight Daily News