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Private Jet Producer



Private Jet Producer


Leading producer of private/business jets had a need to reduce its manufacturing costs and become profitable.


  • Reduce delivered cost per jet by $1,020,000 by 1st quarter.
  • Reduce lead time to 52 weeks by 1st quarter; and to 46 weeks by year end.


  • Achieved profit objectives in current year.
  • Created ability to budget higher profitability targets for next fiscal year.
  • Increased productivity by 20%.
  • Achieved lead time objectives.
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Case Study

Reduce Costs Achieve Profitability


A leading producer of private/business jets had a need to reduce its manufacturing costs and become profitable.

Highland Approach

The Highland Group analyzed the operation and defined and launched several work streams focused on reducing lead and cycle times, direct and indirect labor, and defects and rework.

Actions Taken

  • Developed and installed new operational standards for direct labor activities in Aero Structures, Final Assembly, Paint and Completions.
  • Reengineered the support processes in Quality, Methods and Procurement, resulting in lower indirect cost per aircraft.
  • Revamped the change process and created a concurrent engineering environment resulting in an earlier launch of engineering, less rework, and a shortened cycle time.
  • Developed and implemented an integrated work team approach to product and process change.
  • Provided the ability to “hold the line” on support department additions as production rates climbed by 20% to 50%.
  • Revamped quality reporting and the corrective action process.
    Instructed teams of people in the three business units in basic Lean techniques and assisted them through kaizen (rapid improvement) activities.
  • Developed and implemented databases to manage defects, collect and prioritize projects and manage back-shop operations.
  • Implemented a “War Room” to bring the leadership of the company together to discuss issues that would adversely affect deliveries. This was a major component of the most successful quarter (based on deliveries) in the history of the company.

Increased productivity by


while achieving profit objectives

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