Airbus: Capability Development

Airbus has worked in partnership with Oakland for more than a decade.  The aim was to equip Airbus people with the skills and knowledge to improve On Quality, On Time and On Cost performance, so as to enhance their reputation as a global leader in the aerospace industry.

Throughout the relationship, Oakland built up an in depth understanding of Airbus’s ways of working.  This has helped Airbus build and develop continuous improvement – and contributed to creating value for the company.  It has already resulted in savings of more than €200m a year.

Oakland has been working with the Airbus Group since 2002 on quality and operational excellence.

The Oakland team have worked with a series of Airbus improvement managers and teams to develop a Lean Six Sigma-based improvement programme.

The Oakland programme manager explains:  “A lot of the training, coaching and project work focussed on the costs of failure which came from not having robust and optimised processes. It was also tailored to different skills levels.

“We developed the training entirely around Airbus systems and processes so that delegates immediately identified the relevance to their working environment and then applied what they had learnt and practiced to their job.

We delivered this programme in Europe, India, China, Japan and the US, which meant we had to be agile and adapt some aspects to take account of local cultures and practices.”

The programme has had very high feedback scores from delegates and the value of the benefits delivered has demonstrated an extremely high return on investment.

“Delegates really like our ‘real world’ skills and experience of what happens in other companies so they get a mix of what is relevant to them but it also challenges them to think of new ways of doing things.”