We all love to travel. And we all want to feel safe when flying to our destination. The fundamental principle of aerospace is to care for safety.
Over the history of air travel, we have learned what works and what poses risks. The result is an astounding record in terms of safety, compared to car travel or even the railway. Per 100 million miles travelled there are 1.33 deaths by car, 0.13 fatalities per train and only 0.0077 casualties by air travel (air is safe).
Therefore it is essential that the aerospace industry complies to these hard learned lessons on safety. While we all agree on this principle, it poses a strict discipline on the production of aerospace equipment.
The challenge is not only to stay in full compliance to the rules, regulations and lessons from history, however. Suppliers also need to deliver economic performance at the same time.
That is the task: high performance and high compliance – together. While neither is easy to deliver by itself, all together are a real challenge.
For a recent example, see how VW managed to grow profits and violate environmental standards, breaking emission rules.
How to deliver performance and compliance together?
While performance usually focuses on the top and the bottom line, compliance traditionally was delegated to a representative for quality, security, health, environment, risk, etc. It seemed an afterthought.
In any case, often the compliance officer was a secondary or less important function to the performance stars. This thinking was changed quite a while ago in quality by Dr. Juran, who first taught quality control and by Dr. Deming with his quality management.
At that time professional managers learned that quality is not an afterthought, after the product was produced, but an integral element to high performance.
Compliance is performance in disguise
Despite the fact that compliance today still is approached in a normative fashion with ISO norms, laws, audits and finger wagging, modern managers are integrating the various compliance requirements in their Integrated Management System (IMS).
The emphasis is on big capital Management, implementing the performance circle of
- setting goals
- organizing resources
- monitoring the implementation
- handing out consequences – positive and negative.
As a result, compliance work contributes to organizational and business results the same as performance work does.
The secret to modern compliance lies in applying the management principles to requirements, being these customer driven, financial driven or compliance driven.
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