FSL Aerospace Ltd

Flying high

Through heavy investment and continuous improvements, world-class stockist and distributor of fasteners, fixings and associated components, FSL Aerospace Ltd has enjoyed rapid growth over recent years

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015, FSL Aerospace Ltd (FSL) has been supporting the aerospace and defence industries since 1985. In close proximity to Heathrow airport, the M25, M40 and M4 motorways, the Uxbridge based company’s impressive logistical services and unrestricted product range ensure FSL can add value to its clients supply chains.

Products within the company’s complete range include nuts, bolts, screws, washers, rivets, pins, collars, bushes, bearings, adhesives and lubricants, and it also supports products made by many proprietary manufacturers. They can also offer a complete sourcing service on ‘made to print’ parts, utilising their extensive manufacturing contacts. These can be manufactured from a wide variety of materials and with a complementary range of surface treatments, if required.

“FSL offers stock management services to monitor and replenish clients’ products on-site, which significantly reduces overheads. Moreover, in-house inspection facilities, clean room and kitting areas enable FSL to satisfy customer demands; this strength is complemented by our ability to listen to the needs and expectations of our customers as well as our commitment to expanding product ranges and services to stay one step ahead of market trends,” says Richard Woodward, General Manager of FSL Aerospace Ltd.

Small enough to care, yet flexible enough to adapt rapidly to every-changing dynamic conditions, FSL aims to not only be a supplier to its clients, but also a partner, as Richard notes: “We want to work together with our customers to achieve common goals by adding value. To do this we give our clients the best possible service levels by looking after the details, using our knowledge and long-term skills in the industry and operating with integrity and honest communication throughout. Our performance is critical to clients as a late delivery could cause delayed production or for the line to stop; we know that product quality is paramount due to the stringent regulations in place within the industries we operate in. The highest levels of quality are expected, which is why we have a knowledgeable quality team in place, as well as extensive inspection facilities.”

FSL was awarded its fifth consecutive SC21 Bronze Award by ADS at the Farnborough International Airshow 2016. FSL has embraced the SC21 national aerospace and defence sector improvement programme to drive continuous improvement throughout the organisation.Designed to accelerate competitiveness in the aerospace and defence industry by raising the performance of supply chains, adherence to SC21 has resulted in FSL delivering more than 98 per cent of its products on time, 99.3 per cent of which have reached quality expectations the first time; these improvements have resulted in the company achieving a sales increase of 18 per cent this year.

“International competition, together with the challenges posed by the defence internationalstrategy, necessitates rapid improvement inthe effectiveness of supply chains. At the sametime, the industry must ensure that it delivers competitive solutions for customers while maintaining profitable business growth. We use the SC21 excellence programme to examine every element of the business to measure key performance areas and to analyse, remove waste, drive efficiency and, most importantly continuously improve,” highlights Richard. “FSL’s SC21 scores in the three key areas are currently: Business Excellence: 450, Manufacturing Excellence: 469, and the recently introduced Relationship Excellence: 431. Our continuous improvement activities are driving us towards SC21 Silver standard.”

Having developed operational effectiveness within its purpose-built, highly efficientenvironment, FSL is in a strong position for further growth as the aerospace and defencemarket remains buoyant thanks to an influx in civilaircraft being constructed. “The challenge for FSLis to get involved with important programmesand platforms early in order to reap rewardswhen the projects go into production. To remaincompetitive, we have a team of experienced salespeople with contacts at our major clients whoare always pushing for the next opportunity. Wehave worked hard to achieve 18 per cent growth in 2015 and increase turnover by £1 million; apositive development that stems from the signingof long-term agreements and certain projectscoming to fruition. We anticipate this trend will continue and expect a further five to ten per cent growth for 2016,” explains Richard.

Moving forward, FSL will seek to consolidateon the rapid growth it has enjoyed throughout 2015 while also continuing to enhance operations with strategic investments in IT, stocks, training and improvement projects. “We believe that IT development is essential to keeping systems effective and efficient without having to add to personnel levels. Furthermore, our investment inthe SC21 programme has also made us leaner and more efficient,” says Richard.

“Moving forward, we have been significant in signing long-term contracts with our main clients, which has been key to our success so far; to remain competitive, we need to get closer to our clients to ensure we are the first choice service provider for the next generation projects that are constantly being developed. The industry is very buoyant, even with political uncertainties that theUK is going through at the moment; however, we need to be aware of any changes that could affect this and be ready to react in a positive way for the business,” he concludes.

FSL Aerospace Ltd
Products: Fasteners, fixings and associated components for the aerospace and defence industries