Logistics: Cracking Down on Bad Blackhawk Spares


December8, 2006: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation is in hot water for poor quality control of the spare parts it manufactures for Blackhawk helicopters. Sikorsky was officially warned about the problems last June and, when there appeared to be no improvement in parts quality, a stronger warning was sent last month. If Sikorsky continues to turn out too many defective parts, current contracts to supply the Department of Defense with Blackhawk parts, will be terminated. While none of the bad parts have caused an accident, the military does not like their own quality inspectors to find so many defects, and then have to go through all the effort of getting the parts replaced by the manufacturer. The problem is blamed on a Sikorsky cost cutting measure, that reduced the number of quality control inspectors 89 percent (from 70 to 8.) This time around, Sikorsky has fired some senior people and promised to make it all better.


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