It’s been my privilege to work in the aerospace and defense industry for more than 30 years. During this time, I’ve been a part of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures involving Hamilton Standard, Sundstrand and several for United Technologies Corporation. So I’m no stranger to M&A—from both sides. And with each, I’ve seen new opportunities for the companies involved and for the customers who rely on them for state-of-the-art services and solutions.
But I’ve never seen the game-changing opportunities for the aerospace and defense industry that are enabled by the recent combination of UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins to create Collins Aerospace.
Let me explain.
The goal of corporate M&A is to enable the newly-formed company to provide our customers broader product offerings, deeper intellectual resources and more robust solutions to customer challenges. Internally, our goal is to deliver accelerated revenue growth, enhanced employee career opportunity and greater shareholder value.
Yet despite the considerable advantages that M&A can bring to the marketplace, it almost always results in serious questions from concerned customers of the heritage companies:
- "Will the new company keep its eye on the ball?"
- “Will it meet my company’s deadlines?”
- "Will it continue to deliver the customer support that I’m used to?”
- “Will it remain focused on my company’s specific challenges?”
During the past year, I heard each of these questions many times. My response was always the same: an enthusiastic “yes.” But because the deal wasn’t closed, I could never provide details. Today I can. So here’s how Collins Aerospace is answering these questions. Right now.
“By integrating numerous heritage organizations … our customers now have access to a broader range of fully-integrated solutions for the intelligent aircraft of the 21st Century.”
Collins Aerospace understands that its future rests on how well it integrates and builds on the strengths of both heritage companies. By integrating numerous heritage organizations from aerostructures, avionics, interiors, mechanical systems, mission systems, sensors, and power and controls, our customers now have access to a broader range of fully-integrated solutions for the intelligent aircraft of the 21st Century.
One of the ways that Collins Aerospace has operationalized this value proposition is by standing up a global customer service organization that provides executive-level support to major OEM and defense customers.
It's my privilege to lead the Customer & Account Management organization as it delivers on three overarching priorities:
- Global Executive-Level Support: We deliver a regional single point-of-contact for major customers. This is crucial because Collins Aerospace operates in most countries around the world. So the company is expected to deliver on OEM needs that can be similar, as well as country or regional needs that can differ significantly and that demand unique strategies.
- Strategic Business Unit Support: Day to day, Collins Aerospace business units have full responsibility to satisfy customer needs and expectations. Yet the scale and scope of Collins Aerospace ensures that customers will frequently require solutions that cut across the company. By partnering with the business units, we help ensure the best products, programs and systems are integrated appropriately and delivered with the speed, agility and value that customers expect.
- Industry Forecasting/Analytics Support: We ensure that Collins Aerospace has the pulse of their industry segments. Business units are provided with forecast analytics that enable them to anticipate what their customers need. Our proactive approach to staying ahead of the industry ensures that when it comes to innovative, high-integrity solutions, Collins Aerospace will always push and customers will never have to pull.
To say this is an exciting time is an understatement. At Collins Aerospace, every day we imagine ways to make our products and solutions smarter, safer and more amazing than ever. And we do this by putting the customer at the heart of everything we do. The paths we pave together lead to limitless possibility.
Join us on this exciting journey as we redefine aerospace.