Customer partnership is defined by Panavia to mean the proactive management of the customer relationship and customer involvement in the programme/project and company.
Panavia delivers a wide array of products and services to its customers ranging from studies and investigations, through development qualifications and clearances, to hardware and software modifications and ultimately spares, repairs and full in-service logistics support (technical publications, training etc.). In order to accommodate the wide range of business, over the years Panavia has developed through extensive negotiation with its customers a range of contract vehicles appropriate to each specific business area, which constitute the formal interface to the contractual partners.
A comprehensive network of formal business review forums has been established with the customers NETMA, BAES and more recently AEC and SMSCMC, which address all aspects of the contracted requirements, and in many cases which also have ‘mirroring’ Industry-only forums.
Customer Business Reviews are primarily focussed on the areas:
This formal communication is supplemented by a large volume of informal communication arising from a strong customer liaison ethic developed over the programme life and predominant in Panavia as the prime contractor focal point on the Tornado programme since its inception.
A Customer Feedback Procedure exists under the control of Quality, in order to ensure that customer feedback is solicited, identified, formalised, logged, an action plan is put in place and the feedback is followed through to satisfactory resolution. This procedure describes handling mechanisms for both concerns (where the action plan will involve appropriate corrective action) and commendations (where the action plan will encourage dissemination of best practice). A Lessons Learned Capture Plan/Workshop is also in place to allow Panavia staff to identify improvements in performance, procedures, processes, approach or strategy which may benefit the customer, arising from experience gained on current or historic business.
Performance Measurement Parameters have been developed at company level (Key Performance Indicators) as part of the Quality Management System and a significant number of these are aimed at gauging and improving customer satisfaction.
Whilst metrics and statistics provide an essential foundation in establishing customer satisfaction, Panavia is highly conscious that ‘softer’ and less tangible concepts such as trust and appropriate behaviours are also vital in establishing a relationship based on reliability and professionalism, and hence in enhancing customer satisfaction. These concepts, whilst no less important, are nevertheless difficult if not impossible to measure. Panavia has therefore also established a set of guidelines which lay out the company’s expectations of all staff when involved in customer interface. This is entitled the ‘Charter of Behaviours in Dealings with Panavia Customers’.