Pearls of wisdom in customer teaming
Raytheon UK customers purchase capabilities not just 'products'
Great relationships don’t just happen; they are nurtured.
Raytheon UK capability service contracts generally last 15 to 30 years, so what is the company’s secret to long, collaborative relationships?
“When a customer procures Raytheon UK technology they are not just buying a product, they are buying a capability,” said Steven Cant, head of Customer Services and Support for Raytheon UK’s Sensors business.
Maintaining a high level of customer intimacy, having an integrated customer teaming ethos and agile technologies to support the customer mission over decades, are some pearls of success.
“We want to ensure we sustain that operational capability for as long as long as the customer needs and are committed to providing them with the right level of optimised support,” added Cant. “Because we work very closely with our customers and frontline staff, and have the highest level of team integration, we build enduring, long-term customer relationships organically.”
“We are a service organisation as well as a technology organisation” said Cant, who oversees customer support for the National Air Traffic Services (NATS), the UK Ministry of Defence (British Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy), United States Air Force, Federal Aviation Administration, Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo.
Raytheon UK has dedicated customer services teams that provide support across the company’s defence, aerospace and cyber businesses. These teams include programme managers, commercial managers, technical engineers, supply chain specialists, quality assurance managers, training SMEs and export/import specialists.
“It’s very much a collaborative approach to customer support,” Cant explained.
For instance, our work providing the Army with collective training sessions sees Raytheon UK operate in three Command and Staff Trainer (CAST) purpose-built, military training facilities: Warminster in Wiltshire; Catterick in Yorkshire; and Sennelager in Germany. These sites provide collective training for British Army and NATO units from battlegroup through divisional level to corps level.
At the heart of CAST is our Advanced Battlespace Computer Simulation (ABACUS) training technology, one of the few training provisions within the British Army that uses a constructive simulation. Used by UK and Canadian Armed Forces, 6,000 UK soldiers take part in CAST exercises each year, with 1,250 trained on ABACUS.
One of the unique aspects of our CAST training team is its level of integration and close relationship with the military. The joint Raytheon UK CAST/military team model sees military staff permanently located at the CAST sites alongside Raytheon UK staff, working closely together to ensure that users’ CAST training needs are understood and met in full.
Exercise planning and preparation is a key aspect of the offering; with a permanent core team which facilitates all activity. Once the military produce their training plans and define training outcomes, assess the requirements and data, load databases, run tests, carry out pre-maintenance activity, service hardware, perform software updates, all while being onsite. Having our expert teams on hand, many of who are ex-military themselves, also means that if users’ training needs change at short notice, we are able to adapt quickly.
In a letter paying tribute to the work performed by Raytheon UK engineers at the British Army’s Command and Staff Trainer (CAST) sites, the MOD customer highlighted “the manner in which the engineers approach the role, the added value that they bring and the way that they integrate with the military staff to achieve this.”
Rob Rowbotham, Raytheon UK’s site lead at CAST (South), said: “The comments validate the efforts expended by our engineers who, primarily because of their own military backgrounds, share a common ethos with our customers and strive to deliver the level of service that is demanded in such circumstances. However, the role of the military staff who embrace this level of integration and value the close relationship is equally enabling."