Jess Losada
CEO and COO
Techops Mexico
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View from the Top

Backbone of Queretaro MRO Built on Education, Safety

Sun, 04/01/2018 - 13:14

Q: How has TechOps Mexico improved its capabilities?
A: We doubled our capacity thanks to changes to our organizational structure in 2016. We completely renovated the way we operate to increase our efficiency. TOMX in Queretaro inhabits three hangars, which can accommodate 12 aircraft simultaneously and 12 operation lines. We are the biggest player in Central America after Aeroman in El Salvador and one of the largest in Latin America. 2016 was our best year in terms of financial results. Our teams are operating at full capacity but this facility was designed to host an additional hangar. Once the fourth hangar is built, between 400 and 600 jobs will be created as part of our commitment to Queretaro. In return, the state will continue to allocate funds to education and other incentives to support human capital growth.
As we are owned by Delta Airlines and Aeroméxico we had a fixed number of projects in 2016. Having incorporated additional lines to support our existing operations, in the future we could incorporate third-party airlines. As an incubator for new ideas for Delta Airlines, we became a center of excellence for safety, which is our main priority. Our security risk decreased from 1.7 percent to 0.7 percent last year. Safety and training our people are the backbone of our operations. We have doctors and an ambulance on site 24 hours a day. Since 2015, incidents have been reduced by 60 percent and injuries by 33 percent. This has led to a reduction of our insurance premium of several million pesos, which we are reinvesting in safety certifications.
Q: What strategies did TechOps Mexico implement to mitigate problems and take advantage of operational growth?
A: We began building our facility in 2016 under the Six Sigma three-year framework. We analyzed the areas that needed improvement, doubling our workload to 12 lines. This was a challenge but allowed us to determine further areas for improvement. A comprehensive plan was developed to sustain this growth and we added 200 people to our team. Today, we are focusing on our partnership with the cluster to share best practices and incorporate the Six Sigma culture into our operations. We are also investing in Dale Carnegie training to continue generating front-line leaders.
In line with our customer focus, we are introducing the principles of KBKC for the first time in Latin America. KBKC dictates you know your customer, be proactive, keep your promises and create value. To optimize operations, we created a central “brain” to coordinate all MRO lines, which saved thousands of man-hours per month. This team is responsible for setting the strategies for every other team. We have an interior workshop and are bringing many other capabilities such as paintwork. Eventually we might even develop capabilities for low-volume, high-value manufacturing.
Q: What changes were necessary to prepare the facility to incorporate projects from other airlines?
A: We have received many enquiries from airlines from the US and Canada, which have been impressed by our capabilities. There is no other MRO like ours in Mexico, the US or in Europe. Being only three years old, the facility’s design is modern and environmentally conscious. Solar panels over the parking lot supply 30 percent of our electricity costs. We have water-retention systems and a reverse osmosis water-filtration system. This system recycled 264,700 liters of water in 2016, which was used to irrigate green areas.
Q: What are TechOps Mexico’s long-term goals and plans to achieve them?
A: Our Queretaro facilities can receive and maintain the Boeing 717, Boeing 737, Embraer ERJ-145, Embraer E170, Embraer E190, McDonnell Douglas 88 and McDonnell Douglas 89. We are certified by the FAA and DGAC. Our center registered 1.8 million man-hours in 2016 and in 2018, our goal is to be known as a world-class organization under Six Sigma, also increasing our services for the Boeing 737. We will also generate skills to receive the 757 and begin manufacturing parts.