Mike Abrams, Triumph executive VP, Product Support

Fast 5: What To Expect From Triumph’s Product Support Unit Amidst Turnaround

Mike Abram, Triumph Group’s Product Support executive VP, spoke with Lee Ann Shay on Jan. 11 about the company’s restructuring, plane-side service expansion and discussions with Boeing. Abram, who joined Triumph in 2003 and has held leadership roles in the company’s structures and aftermarket services units, has been in his current role—leading the Product Support unit—since April 2016.

Triumph’s turnaround has included divestitures, closures and restructuring. What are your 2018 goals for Product Support, now one of three Triumph units?

Our 2018 goals are to work more closely with the carriers, airframers and MROs to bridge any gaps in the supply chain associated with any product—whether it be a product that we or somebody else manufacturers—where we either do the repair or overhaul or any task in between. We call it a Total Life Cycle (TLC) solutions program--we started by looking at the products we manufacture and seeing them through the end of their lives. The C-17 is a good example. We manufacture a number of C-17 components and we repair and overhaul them, as well as manage the out-of-production supply chain.

You mentioned divestitures: we right-sized our portfolio so that we are in products we can grow. We are not planning on divesting any other pieces. Everything today we consider core. We plan on growing Triumph Aviation Services-NAAS division, which delivers our products and the products of the OEM and others directly plane-side.

How will the Product Support unit grow—organically, via acquisitions and/or partnerships? Are there particular areas into which you’d like to expand?

It will be a combination of all three. For rotables, we could add capabilities via new products in the ATA chapters we already serve or introduce services for new ATA chapters. In addition, we’ll be partnering with airlines and customers overseas, primarily in Asia to start with, focusing on accessories and structures.

Should we expect more agreements like the one with IS&S to install its flat panel display system? Where is that working being done?

The work on the IS&S product will be done wherever the plane is—whether at an airline or MRO hub or a line station, depending on the level of service that it needs. IS&S will provide the products and we will install them. We’ll look at other products that we can service plane-side, where we eliminate the need to ship units to a centrally located factory. We’ll look at interiors, environmental and safety, and some of the products that we service today.

We have go-teams in about 30 locations around the world. Each factory has go-teams that can provide on-wing service at a customer’s location—whether it be accessories or structures.

Triumph signed a memorandum of agreement with Boeing in May to support its growth platforms within commercial and defense programs, as well as Global Services (BGS). What long-term partnerships in MRO are being considered?

The discussions are ongoing as to where we fit exactly. We’re in conversations routinely to figure out where we can help Boeing and customers. We currently support Boeing on multiple structures and accessories programs and we’ll be looking to expand our relationship with them on both fronts. This is not a new start-up for us: today we work on the C-17 and a number of platforms directly with Boeing as BGS comes online.   

Boeing’s Partnership for Success, however, has squeezed some suppliers. Under this program and the MOA, how is Triumph’s product support for Boeing changing? Are margins decreasing?

We have not seen any changes in the margins. I have not run across that situation in Product Support.

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