Chris Rizen, EVP of Sales
Perform Air International Inc. is an industry leading provider of aircraft component repair and overhaul services (MRO). For 34 years, they have provided countless air carriers around the world safe and reliable component repairs with exemplary customer service, product support and an insightful approach to continual improvement. We recently had the opportunity to sit with Cindy McGown and her leadership team and learn more about her repair station.
Cindy McGown, Owner and President ensures uncompromising standards are achieved at Perform Air International Inc. every day with the singular goal of being the best in the industry. She has achieved this by leveraging her two primary assets; technology and personnel.
Inspired by Bill Gates “digital nervous system” as described in his 1999 book Business @ the Speed of Thought, Cindy along with her team began designing and implementing a proprietary enterprise management system in 2001 to redefine all aspects of the repair process and create a transparent and user friendly work environment. With the system being designed and developed in house it has been adaptable in an ever changing industry and afforded Perform Air an extreme competitive advantage. As the system matured, she assembled a team of aviation industry professionals with experiences in engineering, technical operations, administration, supply chain management and quality from every corner of the industry. This team strives for excellence in every aspect of the business, instilling in all employees a four point focus on Quality, Turn Time, Service and Price which has become known as the Perform Air International Diamond Excellence Program.
Now, many years into the evolution of these ground breaking programs, Perform Air International Inc. has become a repair station used by nearly every major airline in the world and is continually experiencing growth. Most organizations plan growth followed by periods of adjustment. Perform Air has never really had the opportunity to adjust and rest on their laurels. This has induced an organization wide focus on continual improvement, that without would cause the company to stagnate.
Safety in the Sky Begins on the Ground.
Through our discussion with Cindy and her executive team there was continual reference to safety, both for the flying public and their employees. The team explained to us their latest efforts to ensure the repairs they accomplish provide the level of safety their customers have come to expect.
While most regulatory agencies required air carriers to have what is known as a defined SMS (Safety Management System); this is not yet a requirement for repair stations. Once again, Perform Air International has put themselves at the leading edge of the industry, implementing an SMS program several years ago prior to any regulation requiring such. This program is now maturing and is founded in their mantra, “Safety in the Sky Begins on the Ground.” All employees are trained and educated on Human Factors and Aviation Safety Principles focusing on each person’s contribution to providing a safe and reliable product. “Every employee in our company has a hand in providing a safe, reliable, quality product to our customers,” says Cindy. Unlike many employers their size, Perform Air also has a dedicated training department, providing classroom instruction on everything from soldering training for technicians to risk assessment and leadership development courses for mangers. This is precisely what makes Perform Air a unique organization, continually redefining what can be expected within the MRO industry.
All of this sounds amazing, but true context can’t be seen without understanding what exactly Perform Air does; Perform Air International repairs not the actual airplane, but almost everything that goes inside an airliner. Their specialties fall under four primary types of aircraft parts: Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Electro-Mechanical and Waste & Water. With such a diverse variety of aircraft components within their capability and over 1300 active customers, you can truly begin to understand why their focus on their employees, enterprise management and safety is so strong.
The recent impacts of Covid 19 on the entire aviation and airline industry brought the Perform Air team a truly unique set of obstacles to overcome. Having never executed a reduction of force, furlough or layoff in the company’s entire history, Cindy and her team stood up to the challenge. Perform Air not only survived the pandemic induced industry contraction, but added new customers and retained their entire workforce. “Understanding the financial challenges our customers were experiencing and working with them to find our way through the pandemic was key,” says Mark Davis, Executive Vice President of Operations. “We worked hard to provide our customers with a safe haven for their components when the parts were not needed, and maintained our staff to ensure we were ready to support the airlines when the skies reopened.”
Perform Air International Inc. understands that the industry is more than just that; it is an aviation community, where every individual, regardless of who they work for, or where they are from, is working for the same common goal. As a pillar within this community they carry a responsibility; Supporting outreach organizations such as the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the National Aviation Heritage Invitational, as well as helping provide STEM education to young people at events such as Pathways to Aviation and providing tuition reimbursement to employees seeking their FAA certificates and education, Perform Air hopes to continue to add value to their community and the industry as a whole, redefining excellence within the MRO industry.