LOOKING FORWARD WITH Piper Aircraft CEO Simon CaldecottWritten by Steven Ells
PF: What areas at Piper need strengthening right now?
SC: I took over as CEO last October; the first thing I did was stabilize the business. I had already been working on that in my previous role on the operations side in terms of leveling out production schedule—getting the production demand to match our sales need.
Then we launched a series of improvement programs at the end of last year in order to attack every part of the business that we felt needed strengthening. We actually have about 50 projects on the go right now and every one of the senior staff—director and above—is responsible for one or more projects. And it covers everything from product development, to meeting the needs of our customers, and looking at our cost controls so we can build a strong company.
Probably our biggest one is actually attacking the markets that we’re not really playing in. I call that “new market development,” and I mean markets like Australia, India, China. We haven’t been addressing those markets properly as a company for a long time. I see that as a big growth opportunity.