New focus for Thales training and simulation
Thales has taken the brave step of acknowledging flaws in the delivery of its training and simulation services and investing significant time and money to launch a new standard of service.
Branded “The New Reality”, the programme is the result of an 18-month period of research that showed Thales that better customer engagement was required. The new focus comprises four pillars: integrated solutions; commercial solutions; support solutions; and equipment solutions.
“We’ve had some feedback from customers who questioned whether Thales was really interested in the simulation business. The answer is most definitely ‘yes’, and we want people to know it,” said Marion Broughton, managing director of the Thales training and simulation business.
To increase the occasions when it can listen to customers, the training and simulation business has announced: a customer involvement panel, which will meet twice a year; expert working groups, to meet as required; an annual customer survey, a biannual customer conference; plus increased account management visits.
The new customer service approach will be backed up by new technology such as the new RealitySeven full flight simulator. The device, shown for the first time at The New Reality launch, has a modular design (the three modules being cockpit, docking and visual), with a common core element independent of the aircraft type. Different aircraft modules can be swapped in and out as a customer’s fleet or training needs change, without the entire simulator needing to be replaced.
The first RealitySeven (named as such because “Seven is the new Level D”) will be delivered in the third quarter of 2009 to Airbus, which has four on order. ATCT in Tunisia has ordered one device and there are seven orders for undisclosed customers, taking the total sold to 12.
The New Reality coincides with a significant investment in Thales UK that sees the opening of a new 18-acre flagship site in Crawley. By the end of 2010, the work af the current six sites in the town will be consolidated on the flagship site. This will feature a 12-bay manufacturing facility for civil simulators.
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net