The mission of Adam Aircraft Company is to explore all the avenues that can bring better improvement to the aviation industry. This has been facilitated by the worrying trend in aircraft accidents. This is in line with the major objective of the company, which is to develop twin-engine planes. The company wants to produce more of such planes because they are the safest ones yet they are very few and expensive. The situation may have worsened because Beechraft baron invented and built the twin-engine aircraft in 1961 but later stopped more production in the mid-1980s and at the same time stopped further inventions (Guillermo, 154). Since then, orders for these good aircraft have been going down while their prices continue to rise.
However, the biggest problem that may hinder Adam Aircraft from achieving its objectives is the lack of funds. As John pointed out, Adam Aircraft has not had millions of dollars that are required to bring its products to the market and thus reach a cash flow that is positive. The lack of funds is attributed to the fact that most investors prefer to invest in biotechnology, and other industries that they are sure already have established markets. This has brought about another challenge for inventors of new planes because the demand for used planes keeps on increasing and hence negatively affecting the market for newly manufactured planes. Most customers prefer to purchase used planes because they are cheap. The average age of aircraft used in aviation is said to be over 30 years and it continues to increase by one year every year (Carey, Tanewski, and Simnett, 38).
The mission of Adam Aircraft
Rick and John started their mission of assessing the commercial viability of a twin-engine aircraft by contacting the best business individuals in the aviation business (Junior, Arhur, Gamble and Trickland, 193). At this point, the two inventors met Burt Rutan and described to him their requirements and their preliminary design so as to help them lay down strategies. It seems that Burt Rutan is someone with a lot of experience in this field otherwise there would have been no need of consulting him. Potential business individuals usually seek good ideas for people who have seen success in the same field and I think both Rick and John were on the right path. A strategy in developing the intended aircraft is to first consider centerline thrust arrangement because it reduces the difficulty of flying by a very big margin compared to power plants that are mounted on the wings of the plane. The trick Rick decided to use was to concentrate only on one strategy at a time. For example, the main objective of the organization was to develop an aircraft that was aerodynamically refined. There was a need to first consider one piston engine to see how the new project could be initiated.
The problem started when the organization embarked on developing a new airframe and at the same time developing a new engine. The engine refused to work and by then, the inventors were already two years off their schedule. This might have been caused by a violation of their initial plan that was to handle one part of the aircraft at a time. In addition, it is clear that the innovators just wanted to use everything that had earlier been invented but only change the shape of the aircraft after their initial attempt had failed. They also recognized that bringing a certified plane into the market was not an easy task and therefore they had to work harder. It is at this point that Rick suggested to his partners that they should study the development of M-309, which was a certified version by FAA so as to see how they could improve on it or come up with a new version based on the same principles (Said, 128).
Objectives of the company
Rick together with his team embarked on a mission to study the aerodynamic characteristics of M-309 and collect the relevant data that could help them in their work. They collected the aerodynamic data using the M-309 plane and therefore they had the opportunity to survey the available market and collect views from potential customers. Rick then came to the conclusion that there was high demand for the type of aircraft they were trying to invent. This gave him a lot of hope and he started recruiting top management members of his staff. One thing that I think Rick did not do well is to recruit almost all of his top management members that were initially pilots or who had earlier worked in the aircraft industry. He should have included a few other professionals that were related to the aviation industry to give their contributions that might have helped speed up innovation. He should have known that innovation does not require rigidity but reasonable flexibility (Oakes, 234).
Funding was still a big problem for the company and the price of aircraft was still very high therefore Rick suggested that the only way out was to cut their development cost by about 75 percent. To do this, very brilliant engineers were required and a very strong culture of aviation manufacturing was also very important. I think that it would have been appropriate if Rick and his team would have put the project on hold and continued searching for funds. It is clear that if someone needs to purchase an item but the funds are insufficient; the best thing is to go for the alternative item if the person cannot postpone the purchase. Unfortunately, it seems there were no better alternative materials for the design and therefore they had to purchase the expensive ones. Another obstacle was time, time was running out and Rick together with his teammates feared that their competitors could hijack the innovation and complete it ahead of them. They, therefore, embarked on a 24-hour schedule to run their data centers and network centers. Their staff also continued to work overlapping shifts. This was a very good idea because they were able to complete all their work on time but my fear is that they could easily come up with sub-standard results because of rushing.
The team also recalled that over the past few years major players in the aircraft industry such as Boeing and McDonnell Douglas had come up with more sophisticated design tools that were aided by mainframe computers which were very expensive. However, things have changed in the recent past and the introduction of PC, which are small and cheap computers has made it possible for small companies like Adam Aircraft to continue with their inventions. Rick stated that with a cost of $300,000 per system, Adam Aircraft was able to build a 40-station CAD/CAM engineering center. This helped the company to keep all the design processes under one roof. This was good because of coordination among members of the design team as possible. Time wastage was also reduced because all the working tools could easily be accessed. The time that could have been wasted in moving from one room to the other while looking for tools and materials was made good use of.
Problems in the company
When Adam Aircraft did not have its own tooling mill, the situation was very difficult, especially with aluminum technology. For example, the required part is hard to be designed before bidding it out for tooling. Awarding the tooling was a big problem for Adam Aircraft because its cost was in most cases over $1 million. It also took between six to nine months before completing it and hence a lot of time was being wasted. After Adam Aircraft obtained its own tooling mill, work became easier because the required part could be designed and then modification of tooling starts immediately until the right shape is obtained. However, management of the company realized that it was difficult to fulfill the mission of the company, which was to develop the redesigned airplanes by simply working 24-hours a day. They intended to adopt computer concepts that could permanently change the aviation industry. It implies that the team intended to come up with an innovation that would be irrelevant even in the future.
The organization is currently building enormous modularity in its proposed design with the aim of making major changes to the initial design that failed. The first change was to move, modification the size of the cabin, changing the power plant among other things. This is in the organization’s effort to ensure that the airplane is certified within an inclusive cost of 50 million U.S dollars. The organization also has a plan of slightly adjusting the modules to come up with a jet at a cost of about 10 million U.S dollars. Another plan is to get a turbo propeller at a cost of about 5 million U.S dollars. The total cost for what the organization intends to accomplish is 65 million U.S dollars. Like I pointed out earlier the organization did not have enough cash effectively to go on with its operations. However, what the organization is planning to do should cost more than it is participating and it must adjust the budget upwards to effectively accomplish the tasks. It is because of this kind of planning that some competitors of Adam Aircraft think that the organization is just having wishful thinking and that the project is not viable. They argue that the modular approach being is by Adam Aircraft is potentially going to compromise the performance of the aircraft. They also argue that a problem of center of gravity is likely to be caused when all the three power plant systems are installed in the same airframe. The competitor also noted that using the empennage design in a single-wing is likely to make the plane fly below the acceptable performance level.
I strongly feel that the top management of Adam Aircraft should consider what their competitors are pointing out to see if they can do something to correct the situation. The issues the competitors are making sense and should not be ignored. It is clear that the downfall of Adam Aircraft will be to the advantage of their competitors and therefore it would be very difficult for Adam Aircraft to take advice from them. It is said that a good manager should take advice from different professionals but should not let any professional make decisions on what should be done in the business. Adam Aircraft should also take advice from people and other organizations but should make the best decision depending on relevant information. The initial attempt for Adam Aircraft organization to build an aircraft failed mainly because of carrying out two activities ago against the laid down strategy of completing one task before moving to the next. It should therefore take precautionary measures by keenly considering every detail of the design to avoid two consecutive failures.
How to tackle the problems
Top management team members of Adam Aircraft ignored the views of their competitors and said that the challenge of the center of gravity becoming uncontrollable will be under control. This will be made possible by a smart-tunnel, which is a device that can be used to change the location of the wing on a fuselage and thus vary the center of gravity of the airplane. The team is also confident that the new system they are devising will enable the engineers to modify the airframe so as to be compatible with a range of engine sources. They also believe that their research is going to complete three aircraft that are commercially viable according to their designs.
The biggest challenge for Adam Aircraft since its plan to invent an aircraft started was to get certification from Federal Aviation Authority. For example, Rick recalls how the process was started by Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in 2001. Most government department officials and other major stakeholders in the aviation industry visited the site where Adam Aircraft was building A500 type of aircraft. Federal Aviation Authority personnel usually carry out a thorough inspection on newly developed aircraft by approving it through what is known as Type Certification (TC). This is usually to ensure that the aircraft is safe and can be used for carrying passengers or any other type of goods. Adam Aircraft organization had an advantage over its competitors because besides submitting the design of the aircraft on paper, it could also be submitted electronically to Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). This was able to save a lot of time for them and at the same time ensure that the documentation process was of the highest accuracy. In July 2002, it was good news for Adam Aircraft when A500 type of aircraft was cleared by FAA for its inaugural flight. FAA process has been a thorough process for a long time and therefore Adam Aircraft engineers were justified to be happy that they had done a great job.
After the first flight for A500 experimented, John Hamilton was appointed the Vice President of marketing for Adam Aircraft. The two basic markets that John Hamilton, identified were; owner flown market and professionally flown market. Owner flown market meant that the owner of the aircraft was also the pilot of the same aircraft. Such aircraft are usually made to be small in size and they are comparatively cheaper than big ones. Marketing such aircraft is also not a big problem. Professionally flown meant that the owner of the aircraft was to hire a professional pilot to fly the aircraft. Such aircraft are usually big in size because they can be used for passengers or cargo. Market such planes is usually difficult because the owner is concerned more about the comfort of passengers and their safety too. The customers will be interested in knowing how much luggage area is available and also the entertainment system. A plane with a pressurized cabin is able to fly over weather and therefore preferred by most customers. These features make the construction of big aircrafts expensive and marketing them by convincing customers that everything is correct is not an easy task. John Hamilton understood all these challenges and was determined to face them.
A500 aircraft are preferred by many customers who buy them for private uses. Some fire fighting agencies have also been using A500 aircraft for firefighting purposes. The successful design and construction of A500 aircraft motivated Adam Aircraft organization and it started working on A700 aircraft and successfully completed. Adam Aircraft is currently being quoted in business journals including New York Times as a success story. I would like to advise the management of Adam Aircraft not to put all its systems in one location. This is to avoid the risk of losing everything in case of fire or any other destruction. The business can be set in a different location and then a networking infrastructure is installed for easy coordination.
Good networking infrastructure is very important for the smooth running of a company or any other organization for that matter. Networking management should therefore be considered as an effective tool for managing an organization. Networking management simply means all activities that are involved in ensuring an effective networking system within an organization run smoothly (McClintock, 212). It is important to note that the term organization is sometimes used instead of a company in this paper because the network infrastructure application is similar in both of them. In network management, maintenance means repairing damaged parts or upgrading the network so as to offer better services. The provision means configuring network resources so as to offer desired services. Network operation means ensuring that the network is performing its tasks smoothly as intended.
We are living in a dynamic world and therefore companies should have new management systems that can enable them to compete favorably in the dynamic business world (Dunn, 25). ManageEngine is a company that is able to do this through network visualization. This is done by first identifying all the networks available in a given organization and grouping them with inappropriate views as desired by the organization. This is exactly what is required to be done in Adam Aircraft. For example, ManageEngine has software known as ‘custom maps’ that can provide a magnified view of a network in an organization. This can be used to view and link all regional offices and all other local offices for easy management. This means that all the offices can be well configured so that they can be viewed from one central point. This also means that all the offices will be remotely configured so that they can all be viewed from a computer. The company has always described that it is able to make the new management system function through automated response, which implies that remote configuration is possible.
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