Issue Fall 13
At Greenpoint Technologies, control over quality starts with control over supply. As a premier Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) Completion Center, the company creates superior aircraft products and VIP interior completions exclusively for Boeing aircraft. The custom-made projects are tailored for private high-net-worth individuals and heads-of-state.
Last year, Greenpoint completed three Boeing 747-8 Aeroloft® projects and two BBJ interiors, all delivered on time. It is currently focused on a full Boeing 747-8 VIP interior completion project and recently won its first airline contract. The build‐to‐print and testing program includes manufacturing interior bar units, coat closets and video control cabinets for eight Boeing 777‐200 aircraft planned for delivery prior to December 2014. With the amount of work going forward, CEO and President Scott Goodey says it’s necessary for the 25-year-old company to keep a tight rein on its supply chain, focusing on quality as well as cost.
“We started our manufacturing facilities to ensure we control those items that most affect the interior appearance of our projects and the higher-risk items,” Goodey explains. “When we started the cabinetry facility, for instance, we knew the market was expanding rapidly with a limited number of good-quality companies available to meet the demand. Having our own facility provides the quality control and aesthetic craftsmanship necessary to meet our customer’s requirements.”
Five years ago, Greenpoint began adding to its design, engineering and installation capabilities with a number of in-house manufacturing skills, as well. Cabinetry was a vital addition, but Greenpoint’s diversified skillset didn’t end there. The company established Greenpoint Products and Services (GPS) in Marysville, Wash., to manufacture build-to-print products such as crew rests, class dividers, closets, dog boxes, low-volume lavatories, light galleys, ceiling panels and structures. GPS services include soft furnishings installations, rapid decompression testing, mock-up and prototype fabrication, static load testing and kitting. The division runs an FAA-Approved Quality System and has been granted Parts Manufacturer Approval from the FAA, as well.
The most recent investments in its in-house capabilities include purchasing assets of the Denton, Texas-based Jet Works Air Center. Greenpoint plans to perform interior refurbishments, VIP completions, maintenance, aircraft painting, and avionics repair and installation at the plant. The facility has more than 100,000 square feet of hangar and office space at the Denton Municipal Airport and employs 80 technicians and support staff. The facility is located near another Greenpoint location in Denton where the company is launching a wire shop to manufacture wire harnesses. It also made significant investments in its machining technology between last year and this year, including acquiring a new 5-axis CNC router and CNC press brake.
“We look at that spend as a way to get better accuracy and higher quality,” Goodey explains. “Even adding tools such as the CNC press brake may seem small, but it enables us to be agile and bring additional capabilities in-house.”
Although Greenpoint has made significant strides in beefing up its internal skillset, it still works with a reliable set of partners. The company’s supply chain management program regularly conducts rigorous quality surveys, supplier audits and surveillance to ensure timely, high-quality components are on dock when needed. However, because Greenpoint works in the high-end VIP market, the company’s interest focuses on quality rather than quantity. Because external purchases are not as frequent as the mainstream “commercial” market, the company keeps open and active communication with suppliers to maintain relationships.
“Some of our suppliers work exclusively in the VIP market and are familiar with the industry’s sporadic nature,” Vice President of Operations Adrian Osborne explains. “Suppliers who work in the mainstream industry are used to a repeating business, which is unlike our custom, one-off programs. So when we work with our supplier partners, it’s all about keeping a good relationship. We appreciate and nurture those relationships.”
Among the relationships that have served the company well are with B/E Aerospace and Techno-Coatings. B/E Aerospace is the worldwide-leading manufacturer of aircraft passenger cabin interior products for the commercial and business jet aircraft markets, including all classes of seating products from super first-class environments to business and main cabin-class seats.
It also works closely with Techno Coatings, a full-service plating contractor and one of the largest platers for aircraft interior components. It offers a variety of finishes and recently introduced four new finishes: almond gold, champagne gold, peach gold and blush white gold.
“Both of these suppliers are experienced working in the VIP market,” Osborne says. “B/E is a large company and their division in Florida supports VIP seating. Techno Coatings is also in Florida. They are specialists familiar with working in the VIP environment. We have good relationships with them and they’ve performed well for us.”
Full integration of its supply chain, whether in-house or third-party, is a key foundation to Greenpoint’s success. The company has seen consistent growth over the past 15 years and steady double-digit growth over the past four years, ensuring a stable and quality supply chain plays a key factor in that growth.
“Getting the job done right the first time is critical to our success,” Osborne says. “We make sure we have a robust production system in place, stable supply chain and the right people with the right skillset to ensure its right the first time.”