Sivadass Krishnan, SR Technics Malaysia's first employee and human resources manager, wants 90% of the staff at the component-repair facility to be local. Each employee will undergo 6-9 months of training, with a special emphasis on hand skills. The first wave of hires, 21 technicians, received theoretical and practice core skills training at D'viation Solutions near Kuala Lumpur in June-August 2013 and then went to Zurich for additional on-the-job process and parts training. The technicians then returned to Malaysia to prepare test benches, organize material in the warehouse and prepare for the production line ramp up, including reassembling parts sent from Zurich.
The second wave of technicians, 45 of whom were mostly recruited from local technical schools and universities, started training last September. Eight of these also will fly to Zurich for “on-the-job training for specific part numbers,” says Freimann. They might have less experience, “but we'll show them that they can move up,” says Joel Lin, head of maintenance operations at SR Technics Malaysia.
SR Technics expects to receive Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation/European Aviation Safety Agency audit approval any day. The first components to undergo repair will be hydraulic pumps, ball-screw actuators, power drive units and audio control panels. By the end of this year, SR Technics Malaysia aims to have 1,200 product capabilities; its Swiss operation covers 3,500. “We'll concentrate here on mature products we currently do in Zurich,” as well as labor-intensive ones, says Andy Renggli, senior product manager for component maintenance at SR Technics Malaysia.
While having a local presence should speed turnaround times, it's important that SR Technics Malaysia “brings Swiss quality and the same standards here from the beginning, including workmanship,” Freimann says. “Customers shouldn't see a difference” from components repaired in Zurich or Kuala Lumpur, he notes.
“We're like a start-up within an established company,” he says. “Without the group, we wouldn't have chosen SAP, but we must comply with group standards.”
“We're like the fertilizer that can grow a bigger tree,” says Krishnan. “This could become an SR Technics hub!”