Singapore’s SIA Engineering has announced the launch of its Lean Academy, which the company is calling “a key thrust of SIAEC’s Transformation journey to create greater value for its customers, workforce, and the aviation community as the company readies itself to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 landscape”. The launch of the Lean Academy reflects the company’s dedication towards continual re-skilling, upskilling and development of workforce capabilities to enhance competitiveness. The Lean Academy is part of SIAEC’s Transformation Phase 2 which was launched in January 2021. Of the S$40 million in planned investments for Transformation Phase 2 over the next three years, SIAEC will invest more than S$10 million to accelerate and sustain a Lean transformation enterprise-wide.
Lean involves a value-driven process to improve work processes through the adoption of Lean methodologies. SIAEC’s adoption of Lean methodologies to optimise certain operational processes has achieved marked results in the pilot phase at the Line Maintenance and Base Maintenance units, with such projects attaining productivity improvements of up to 30% in check turnaround times for the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, as well as shop and task output. Building on this success, the Lean Academy will further accelerate enterprise-wide adoption of Lean methodologies by delivering tailored Lean training by qualified instructors to meet the varying proficiency levels of the workforce, while establishing Lean Certification to recognise the progressive attainment of Lean proficiency. In addition, the Lean Academy will also implement a Lean Accreditation Framework to certify and enable the Company’s business units to achieve and progress in their Lean journeys. With Lean training, every individual will be empowered to contribute to improving work processes in their respective areas and sustain the culture of continuous improvement.
As a start, the Lean Academy will serve the SIAEC workforce with SIAEC targeting to have 100 percent of its workforce trained in Lean by early 2023. This will be done with S$2.4 million in salary support from the Economic Development Board. The company has mapped out a detailed Lean Training Matrix comprising a blended mix of interactive e-learning modules, instructor-led classes and practical training on the floor. In the longer term, training at the Lean Academy will be extended to the wider aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) community. The Lean curriculum will also strengthen the SIAEC Training Academy’s extensive suite of aerospace-related training programmes.
Ng Chin Hwee, SIAEC’s chief executive officer, said, “The ongoing wave of transformation across the aviation sector is a reminder of the rapidly changing MRO landscape and the need to constantly improve ourselves to enhance our competitiveness. The progress in our Lean journey has been very encouraging thus far, and we are confident that the Lean Academy will serve as a launchpad for us to scale up our efforts in this space. It also marks the latest milestone in our ongoing transformation journey that had begun in 2017, and a testament to our unwavering commitment to retain our position as one of the world’s leading MRO providers.”
The Lean Academy is an extension of SIAEC’s Training Academy, which provides aerospace-related training programmes for staff and the aerospace industry. The Training Academy also partners with government agencies, original equipment manufacturers, and institutes of higher learning such as Singapore Institute of Technology and Singapore Polytechnic to jointly develop and deliver degree and diploma programmes to groom and develop skilled talents for the industry.