-T / T / +T | Comment(s)

Friday, October 1, 2004

Executive Roundtable


Leaders from the manufacturer customer support divisions speak candidly about aging aircraft, training of A&Ps, the FAA, and the impact of technology.

Serious About Service

Airframe, engine, and component manufacturers continue to make inroads into the aftermarket service arena. At this year's OEM Executive Roundtable, eight senior executives from top aviation manufacturers joined Aviation Maintenance publisher Nancy O'Brien and editor Matt Thurber in St. Louis, Missouri for a lively discussion of current topics. The meeting was graciously hosted by Midcoast Aviation, which provided the meeting facility and delicious meals for roundtable participants.

Attendees Scott Taylor, vice president business and general aviation aftermarket sales and account management, Honeywell Commercial Aerospace; Michael McConnell, vice president sales and product support, Eclipse Aviation; Gerald Goguen, senior vice president, customer service, Dassault Falcon; (rear row, left to right) David Orcutt, vice president of customer support business aircraft, Bombardier Aerospace; Beno�t Brossoit, vice president service centers, Pratt & Whitney Canada; Drew McEwen, vice president product support, Raytheon Aircraft Company; Larry Flynn president product support, Gulfstream Aerospace; Ron Chapman, senior vice president customer service, Cessna Aircraft Company.

Aging Aircraft

Aviation Maintenance: Let's begin our discussion with aging aircraft and how OEMs are dealing with aircraft that require more support.

David Orcutt (Bombardier): From a safety standpoint, there's no question, we will continue to support the older aircraft. I'm talking about aircraft in the 20-year realm. Safety is no question. We continue to put out bulletins for the older aircraft, from a safety aspect. Reliability, there's less emphasis on that. Our sister company [Bombardier] Regional Aircraft has developed a separate organization to support regional aircraft from that standpoint, and it's totally separate, and they are running it as a profitable [entity] so we are looking at that model. The parts issue is a difficult one for us, we work with the gray market to insure that there are parts out there and that's hard to do at times.

am: Are you signing licensing agreements with PMA manufacturers for some of those older parts?

Orcutt: Yes.

am: What about creating specific support groups for older aircraft, could that be a revenue opportunity?

Orcutt: That's what we're looking at. The regional people have had a pilot program for a year now, which seems to be successful. We're reviewing it. And there are other third parties out there that have done it successfully as a revenue-based [entity].

Larry Flynn (Gulfstream): We're doing the same thing. We've already shifted the Westwind product support over to GDAS [General Dynamics Aviation Services]. We are in the process of shifting our service work on the GIIs and GIIIs over to GDAS. So we've shifted in that direction and so far, so good. Parts-wise, we're a little bit different. We're still doing the parts for ourselves. We have initiated a parts-pricing program that's called Meet the Quote. We will meet the quote of anybody that sells parts. The customer just has to verify that it's a like part with the same cycles. We initiated that to try to get back some of that business. We've been doing that about six months now. That's been very popular.

am: It's almost like you're creating a separate service network for the older aircraft.

Flynn: Well, the GDAS the mission is two-fold, one is to support the entire Gulfstream fleet, but we are putting an emphasis on the older airplanes so we've got more room for the new airplanes at the Gulfstream sites. We are shifting it slowly.

am: Cessna has lots of airplanes in the fleet. How is Cessna dealing with these issues?

Ron Chapman (cessna): Very much like Dave, I think for all of us. Service bulletins are available on all the airplanes and that's a continuing activity. We make manuals available to anybody at a price. So technical data isn't an issue. The parts issue is probably the toughest one. We certainly attempt to keep parts available for any age airplane as long as it's got any predictability. The problem is if you get a request for a part you sell every five years, you're not going to have it in inventory. The second issue that I see, with the acquisition of a lot of old-time suppliers, even though we may have had business arrangements with them, the new buyers of those companies are making some fairly dramatic changes. Either the parts aren't available or they're available at a price that tells you they really don't want to make them available. We can't control the price but we certainly can attempt to control the availability. All the airplanes are welcome at our service centers now.

am: But you'll still support that local maintenance entity with the data, parts, and support they need?

Chapman: Absolutely. We'll sell parts to anybody. Manuals are available to anybody. There are technical hotlines available to anybody.

am: Are any companies charging for tech support?

Chapman: Certainly thinking about it, but we haven't yet.

Flynn: We do. We have for several years. Most phone calls to supply technical data or troubleshoot, there's a charge if your airplane's out of warranty, we've been doing that for several years. When we first started that, we had to find that reasonable ground. The people on the phone are flexible with dealing with that, particularly the first six months of doing that. With the amount of phone calls that we get, there was no way not to charge for that. We charge if somebody wants an extension on the maintenance for their next maintenance visit; we'll charge for the research, write the letter to the FAA. Somebody wants to buy an STC, we're going to sell it for a price. An engineering repair on a damaged airplane, same kind of thing. Particularly when it takes up engineering time, then we're charging for the time.

am: Is the fee dependent on the situation, the amount of research?

Flynn: Yes, we have a standard fee basis for the different disciplines, engineering being the highest. The person on the phone makes that determination of what to charge.

Drew McEwEn (Raytheon): We roughly have 40,000 airplanes to support and we really look at our strategies and we've made it public that we're going to support the 1947 piston Bonanza and the Hawker 1As. It is difficult, but we look at out-of-production and current-production airplanes a little different. Out-of-production, we continue to always find a way to procure those parts, even though the customer might not like the price, the customer has to understand they're older airplanes versus current-production. Strategy on the service side, we're starting to focus on are the Ma and Pas really doing the right thing to make sure that those airplanes are being well maintained?

Beno�t Brossoit (Pratt & Whitney canada): We also have quite a diversified fleet. We have over 30,000 engines and 8,000 customers, only 3 percent of them are fleet operators, which means that we have one hell of a challenge to support this fleet. Our first strategy has been to develop a very extensive network so we have 21 Pratt & Whitney Canada-owned facilities, 15 designated shops. We're trying to get as close as possible to the operators, so that even as you go into the third-, fourth-, fifth-generation, people can find Pratt Canada-approved services close by.

I think the second aspect is education. We've been doing several operator conferences.

am: Didn't Bombardier move a parts warehouse to the U.S.?

Orcutt: We're in the process of doing that. We announced a parts logistics organization, and we'll be putting a parts warehouse with Caterpillar. It's a joint venture with Caterpillar in Chicago and in Frankfurt and should be online probably by first quarter of 2005.

Going back to the parts issue, one of the issues that we face with the older operators, when there is no longer a system in place to replace a particular failed component, to get a vendor on board, you now have to go through a pretty extensive non-recurring exercise to get them on board. What that does is automatically boosts the price for that part or replacement system. So there's quite a bit of pushback from the operators because they're used to paying a dollar here, now all of a sudden because of nonrecurring [costs], it's gone up to $10. That's probably the biggest education that we have with operators. We have to bring in a new vendor, they've got to invest nonrecurring, they can only amoritize it over so many aircraft, so that gets passed on to the operators, there's no way around that in the big picture.

am: So how do you educate operators of older aircraft, especially those who don't make an effort to talk to the OEM?

Orcutt: We go to all the technical committees, we have regional seminars, we have our advisory board meetings, and we use that format to educate the older operators on what we are doing. But too many times you don't see a lot of communication with the older operators, you just don't see them at the seminars, you don't see them in the technical meetings. It's difficult to get the message out.

McEwen: We are relying on our field service organization to communicate to our jet and turboprop operators. We've got strategies to make sure that we are more customer focused. Once you are really just honest with the customer and tell them this is an unplanned part, we can't stock the whole airplane for every model that we've ever built, and this is what it's going to cost. In a lot of cases, though, we only want to build one, otherwise our inactive and excess inventory continues to climb. We show the customer we haven't had this requirement in 12 years, why would we want to stock another one for 12 years?

Orcutt: I have to agree with Drew. When you lay it out from a business standpoint to the operators, normally they understand. About a year and half ago I was getting beat up fairly hard over support of our older aircraft, a 23 Series. There were about eight operators that were complaining. I related it to their business. There were two software manufacturers and one was an aircraft manufacturer and they operated Learjet 55s and 23s. [I asked] how many of them supported their products longer than five years and not one of them could raise their hand.

Scott Taylor (Honeywell): From a parts and equipment supplier's perspective, another aspect is to continually invest in alternatives or upgrades to whatever they have on their airplanes. I'm speaking avionics or engines, giving them an upgrade path, if something does become obsolete, and that happens far faster in the avionics world than it does in the engine world, but on both sides, to continually invest in technology to give them the follow-on solution, to keep the airplane flying.

am: Is it because you're making these upgrades that everybody's airplanes are flying so much longer?

Gerald Goguen (Dassault Falcon): I think certainly that contributes to the fact. In our case we are supporting the out-of-production, the 10, 20, 200 Series, but the aircraft like the Falcon 20, with the SSIP program that we have, you can take that out to 60,000 cycles. The Falcon 50 will in a matter of a month have an SSIP program for an extended life. These aircraft will probably have other cockpits and other powerplants. In the out-of-production area, especially on parts, what we've done is set up two locations, one at Le Bourget and one in the U.S. in Wilmington and we've developed more of a rapid manufacturing process, because we have intact all of what we call the industrialization process of how to make every part we ever made, ever. We set up a system that allows us to make the part today, designing off of the aircraft some components and parts which are today essentially obsolete. Part of the difficulty of managing that and planning it is that we don't have visibility of the total consumption because of the gray market or third-party [maintenance]. That makes it difficult to plan what levels you actually should have.

am: You're not getting any data back from that community?

Goguen: That's right. We updated a fuel pump to a brushless type, that became an on-condition pump versus one that came off at a specified time. A very good improvement, but not necessarily everybody will rush to put it on the aircraft.

am: Is there a process where if someone looks for the original fuel pump, they'll get a message that there's a new one?

Goguen: We provide information in many forms to the operator. It may or may not be a full service bulletin, or it may be something we call a service advisory, we have multiple ways of communicating this to him, even when someone purchases and provides the part. What happens often, especially on out-of-production, more than half the time the people involved in either making the purchase or decision on what to do probably are not the maintenance professional.

am: Who are the people that are receiving the communications then?

Goguen: It could be the pilot or his contract copilot who may have an A&P.

Orcutt: Theoretically, they can't put a part on the aircraft unless it's in the IPC, unless you have an engineering release. So if you want to get it out there, it has to go in the IPC, and is so noted in the IPC as a preferred part. Also, your front-end people normally taking the order usually have the notes on their screen that indicate that this part may have been superseded by [so-and-so] and so they offer it right there. From a legality standpoint it's got to be in the IPC or it has to have an engineering disposition to do a one-off. The protection is there, SAP fixed all that for us. And in fact SAP did help us a lot from that standpoint.

Chapman: The Citation is 32 years old, we've got lots of piston airplanes that are much older than that that we continue to support by manufacturing parts in small numbers. I think we're all doing a remarkable job of supporting airplanes in the numbers we produced over the age that we've done it.

Orcutt: I totally agree with you. We as OEMs are doing a far better job of supporting the older aircraft than the operators themselves of supporting their own aircraft. That to us is a bigger issue of getting the operator to take responsibility for the ownership of the aircraft.

Taylor: I think we're all getting a lot more sophisticated in supply chain management as well. The OEM contracts, most of them have requirements for having product available for a certain period of time. We certainly have gotten a lot more sophisticated in supply chain management for lifetime buys, predictability.

Michael McConnell (Eclipse): We're very fortunate in some ways in that we've been able learn from this team as we've studied and watched what is occurring, how these OEMs have addressed aging aircraft, which I think Dave really hit upon, operators who operate aging aircraft.

By design, we have an electronic airplane. The things that we're really working toward are software revisions, how we make sure that we have the right software rev on the airplane, either for legality or for block changes. Block changes could be nothing more than a software rev, and how that's implemented. We're still 18 months out, it's hard to talk about what we're going to do about parts.

Goguen: That brings up our newest airplane, the 7X. The support going forward will be very different. That was built with CATIA, we're the inventors of CATIA.We have a new tool for the support of that airplane, PLM, standing for the product life-cycle management. In the future, there will be no paper files. Every serial number is essentially a computer record. That will be available, wherever the support organization gets the call, we'll have everything in that aircraft, the engineers will see what's there, what my configuration is, make a change, point-click, put boxes in, [prepare] wires, but not the way we do it today. It revolutionizes the way we support the airplane.

am: Does it have onboard health monitoring?

Goguen: Yes. The aircraft will have multiple computers that you download this information. The PLM system's function is primarily to perform structural analysis, [for example] if the airplane is damaged by a vehicle driving into it and a structural repair is needed. That's a process, you need to stress the load data, this changes drastically the whole flow of work and reduces it significantly. It'll be different in the sense that it will be quicker, more efficient, and the operator will have essentially a real-time digital record, cradle-to-grave, of the aircraft.

am: Is Eclipse looking at taking advantage of engine monitoring? Or health monitoring of other systems?

McConnell: All of this is designed into the Eclipse, to take these costs out. The cost of that digitization isn't as great as it used to be, to design an airplane 30 years ago. What that potentially does, if you look at it from an operator's standpoint, the old computer term "TCO" or total cost of ownership, the total cost of supporting the aircraft goes down with time plus you provide a new order of magnitude customer experience.

Flynn: On the G550 it's live from the cockpit down to our technical operations. The airplane's transmitting down to our computer screens what's going on in the airplane, we're troubleshooting live via that and the flight phone.

am: This sounds like it offers good opportunities downstream to maintain communications with your older aging aircraft operators. Do you foresee that?

McEwen: Our Horizon is the same thing, totally out of the box a different support structure altogether. We are looking at strategies to take some of that technology and put it in current production aircraft. Raytheon has that technology, we've been working with them because they do it for the military, for jet fighters. I think that long term this industry's seeing more now in technology than we've ever [seen]. We're thinking outside the box. Ten years ago it was just the same old status quo. We talked about how our industry was so far behind. I think that you'll see quantum leaps in our entire products in the next ten years. We'll look back and go, wow, we finally did something different. I think it's an exciting time.

A & P Certification and Training

am: What are your thoughts on maintenance training?

Taylor: One of the implications is, how do we make sure that the schools are training their A&Ps because an A&P yesterday is not the same skillset as an A&P now. Not two years, five years from now, I'm talking right now. As these aircraft start hitting the fleets, there's a whole new skillset that's required and I'm not sure that the schools have that in their curriculum.

am: We've lost a lot of people in our industry, and if we're able to offer this technology it might be more attractive and lure some A & Ps back. We need to educate the schools, and is it going to be your job to do that?

Flynn: If I could tie that thought back to something that [we discussed], which has to do with whether or not an operator ought to have a director of maintenance and what that DOM should be capable of. The operator should be and is interested in reliability and availability. Availability being the number of days a month the airplane is ready for a mission and reliability is making the mission. It is clear to me that if you have a DOM, your reliability and availability will be significantly better than if you don't. If you look at going from a GII where you needed a hands-on A&P maintenance person to a G550 where you need a computer genius, there's a big swing in events here. The G550 has five times more software than a GV. It's a significantly different airplane to be thinking about as far as reliability and availability. Because we offer these fantastic warranties for five years, there's an assumption made by the people buying the airplane that that means you don't need a maintenance person on the airplane and that's a bad assumption.

Orcutt: I would agree with that. We see it. You can look at an aircraft performance and you can tell immediately someone who's managing that aircraft seriously or not just by the component-removal rate and the warranty costs. The value of a chief of maintenance, the right person, you can't say enough about it. They'll pay for themselves time and time again. The person that you need today is not the kind of person that you needed ten years ago. The aircraft are electronic aircraft. You need someone who can understand that and interpret that more so today than ever before.

Taylor: It's a challenge for manufacturers of the equipment as well, we've got a cadre of field service engineers, and those same people that have been around, they have to be trained, and you get to the point of maintaining the 25-year-old airplane and staying on top of the airplane that just got delivered and that entire spectrum of equipment functionality. It's a challenge.

am: Should A&Ps have varying levels of certification?

Orcutt: Being the chairman of PAMA [Professional Aviation Maintenance Association], I support that. I look around here, if all of us would put our resumes down, you would probably see a whole listing of other schools, other training that we have gone through, that doesn't have any bearing from a licensing standpoint, and somehow that needs to be captured to give the recognition so that you know the person working on the aircraft has gone far beyond that basic training and it's recognized right up front. I think there's value in a certification program beyond what the FAA's offering today or even tied in with the FAA. We will probably all agree that the regulators have gotten behind the 8-ball in the certification of AMTs as well as the training. The schools are only training to the regulations and there isn't a direct incentive on their part to train beyond that.

McConnell: I'm encouraged to hear you say that. In all of our meetings with the FAA on type certification, we have asked the FAA for these things. We absolutely recognize that dope and fabric, I mean, you might as well be on Mars compared to our airplane. Electronic components, electronic diagnosis, even just understanding what a USB port is, it's the mode of diagnostics in our airplane. So we've asked the FAA to look at this and have this as part of our type certificate program.

Goguen: One of the things we've done, is a detailed analysis of the knowledge levels, tasks, skills for the person who needs to support this aircraft. Especially in the avionics/computer end of the airplane. It's difficult to know where the cockpit ends and where the cockpit begins.

McEwen: Training is one of the areas that all of us are going to be focusing on more. If you want a great example of what's going on in training, look at what Gulfstream's doing through FlightSafety and how they're doing hands-on. And I think it's just a matter of time before we all start doing some hands-on training at the factory instead of just having classroom training. You've got to have some actual experience.

am: It's interesting you bring this up because the big issue is how to train pilots who will fly these small jets. But no one seems to be concerned about training the maintenance side. Do you see the same thing?

McEwen: We're teaching that. Sorry, we're back to dope and fabric. We had to put on specific training for our new technology airplanes with composites, and the training that we're now doing on composites, it is amazing how we had to teach the FAA all about this. We have to be the leaders, we have to educate them.

Orcutt: We've had to teach the FAA on software loads. It was something they had no knowledge of, and even today it's almost an individual education from FSDO to FSDO [FAA flight standards district office]. I think the FAA's always been more focused on the pilot aspect because it's more in the forefront from an accident standpoint, not on the maintenance person. The maintenance has got to be revamped or looked at differently than years ago. It's long overdue.

Taylor: The good aspect is as systems get more advanced, the amount of information that is available to the mechanic, the diagnostics available to more quickly assess a problem and take action is far greater than before. It's predictive, not reactive. It's a matter of obtaining the access and knowing what to do with it. In the end we will be a lot better off than we were 10 years ago.

Flynn: We call it triple T, it stands for total technical training. It's been in place for three years. We co-develop and co-teach the classes with FlightSafety. The classes have my technicians and the customers in the class at the same time. The practical part of it is, either they come over to the Savannah service center, or we leave a green airplane right outside of FlightSafety. FlightSafety built a small maintenance hangar where we're putting components. We've got a wing there, we've got a landing gear, wheels, different electronics. They have a non-motion training simulator just for the maintenance people plus they get live simulator time. If you go into our classroom, it's all computer, every seat has a computer and the computer's up on the main screen.

What I see is an incredible increase in the number of attendees. The flight departments didn't used to send their people to maintenance training and now they're doing it in a big way.

Goguen: We're doing something similar in Little Rock. We have a training center with FlightSafety and we're developing the materials, providing them all the information, how we want it taught, the requirements for the non-motion fixed training device, because the fixed training device has really become critical especially for maintenance technicians. You have to do it once or twice, you just can't have somebody explain it to you. One thing Larry was saying, people are coming back.

Flynn: I would say that the trend is in the right direction. I particularly see it on the GV, we've got 200 of them out there. We've been out there about seven years. The training is good, so we're getting a lot better penetration and we pitch it at every forum that we're at and any chance that we get in front of the CEO, the director of flight ops, we are pitching the maintenance side from a reliability and availability standpoint. The amount of investment that's put in an airplane and in pilot training, it's not right for the maintenance side to not even send them to training.

Orcutt: We do our own training and we do a lot of the same things that Larry has done. Fixed training devices are a must. You cannot replace the hands-on; that is intended to imprint in the brain the way it is in the cockpit. We do taxi testing, engine runups, the whole bit. I continue to be concerned with the amount of returns, after the first five years, that third, fourth-tier owner, you don't see them coming back at all. Yet they will invest a significant amount of money in the pilot training, but they will not invest in a relatively small number to support a technician. If you look at the ratio of maintenance versus the amount of pilots in a flight operation, I'm going to take a guess on this, it's probably four to one. There are always alternate crews. But there's usually just one maintenance person. We have tied our training budget into our SmartParts program, where you pay by the flight hour, and that has helped protect maintenance training budgets, because it's in that hourly pay. But it's still not what it ought to be.

The FAA and Training

am: Many pilots go to large training organizations to meet insurance requirements. Do you think the FAA has been lax in requiring recurrent training for maintenance personnel?

Orcutt: There's no requirement. They still avoid that issue.

Flynn: One other piece of training that's worthy of note is cabin training. In the large cabin airplanes, it is critical. We have probably gone overboard putting gadgets in the back of the airplane at the customer's request. We've had customers ask for enough equipment, you end up handing them ten remote controls. We run around the world trying to help them make their DVD player work. We're streamlining that, giving them what they want technologically and making it easier to operate. With FlightSafety we have a full-time staff that does cabin training, even to the point of evacuation into a pool in Savannah so that they can get water evacuation training.

Orcutt: One of the biggest challenges that we face as an OEM is not so much the green aircraft, it's the interior of the aircraft. We have more issues today with the interior because of the type of vendors that are brought in, the variance involved. We're all becoming toilet experts, water experts, cabin management experts, things we thought we'd never have to do. We've tried to standardize that with some success.

am: Michael, who's going to be the trainee for all the electronics on the Eclipse? The pilot, the owner?

McConnell: Just like Bombardier, we're doing our own pilot training as well as maintenance training. Before a technician comes to Eclipse for the two-week maintenance course, they have to take a test, if they don't pass, they have to go back and study. It's a pretty simple airplane from a design standpoint; there's no hydraulics. But the electronic component is one that needs to be up to speed.

We have some fanatical, wonderful, brilliant customers who have waited about six years for an airplane and they're anxious to learn everything they can. Recurrency is done in two ways, it's included when you buy the aftersales support product. What we're looking at is currency via the web on video. So we try to use technology to scale as much as possible. I don't think that's anything new, but we also believe that hands-on is very important.

Maintenance Documentation and Web-Based Parts

am: Maintenance documentation is getting increasingly interactive, but are OEMs using these features to close the feedback loop with customers?

Flynn: We're making a significant investment in a new product called CMP.net. We've had a computerized maintenance program for 34 years called CMP, it was mainframe-based, and 98 percent of our customers are on it, we own it, we supply them with an analyst that helps them keep up on their maintenance documentation. We're moving toward a web-based product. We'll still provide the analyst, but this has a lot more features. We'll enter it into service in the fourth quarter. It'll do all types of airplanes, so our intent is to offer it to a flight department for every type of airplane that they have. These flight departments are all on different systems because each OEM offers a different product, so we're attempting to offer the opportunity to go onto one system. The technology we're using for the web works on a slow dial-up modem. It flips the pages quicker than anything I've ever seen. It's not a joint venture. AvTrak is a vendor of ours. We own the product, we own the software. [AvTrak is providing software to Gulfstream.--Ed.]

Orcutt: We just recently switched over to CAMP. We felt that was the best direction, from a web-based standpoint. With CAMP being web-based, the information is as real-time as you can get. It just seemed like it was a smart move for us rather than trying to reproduce what CAMP had already developed. Most of our manuals on the current production aircraft are web-based today. I also see that we will continue to provide hard copy as well. I don't see that going away for a number of years.

Flynn: We will still offer the paper copy, but our intent is to go to this system. We anticipate, particularly international customers still want to get paper copies.

Goguen: For our out-of-production, we have all our manuals on the web. You can get them as paper or plastic, and we have them on CDs. The current production is in a format, called FIELD or Falcon Interactive Electronic Documentation, and we've had that for a number of years. It's quite good because it has electronic wiring diagrams and you can search any keyword to see where the all the references are. You can look at a part number and find the IPC and find the maintenance manual and find the maintenance procedure, it works very well. We have that on all the current production [airplanes]. It will be moving to a DVD format here probably by the end of the year, because we'll be embedding video clips of specific maintenance procedures and operations. On the record keeping, we have been with CAMP for many years and we're working with them today. We continue to have paper available. The numberwho want to have it is decreasing every year.

McEwen: We support current production, we have CD and paper, we also will be web-based at some point. On out-of-production and possibly smaller airplanes we are looking at other alternatives. It's pretty hard to make revisions on every single product that you built, and we are looking at strategies on some of the older out-of-production airplanes to possibly just be a web- or CD-based. We're looking at that because the cost to get the customer the most accurate information--the smaller older airplanes for the most part--it still is a disservice to the customer, and yet, internationally they almost all still need paper, and we're thinking maybe we give them a $400 laptop as well.

Orcutt: There's still a high degree of computer illiteracy out there with a lot of the old school. To go fully [electronic] is going to take some time. One of the strategic moves we made with the Model 300 is to provide the computer with it, with everything loaded, and that was a way to force the operator to go there. We need to continue to push the industry in that direction.

[X] Dismiss Ad
Live chat by BoldChat