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Case Studies

 

Success Story 2

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Background
A British aviation technology manufacturing company had developed a revolutionary propeller deicing system, which was not only more effective than the current technology, but would also save thousands of man hours each year in unscheduled maintenance. The universally-used existing technology, which has remained unchanged since the 1940s, is particularly difficult to maintain on the Rolls Royce/AllisonT-56 engine and Hamilton-Standard 54 series propeller which are common to the C-130 and P-3 aircraft in the U.S. military inventory. The company had made some inroads in commercial aviation with both operators and manufacturers, but had not been able to gain any traction with the U.S. military services. Ross Associates was engaged to assist in developing a DoD sale.

Action
Plane being servicedRoss Associates conducted preliminary research with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force to determine if there was a receptive market and the basis for a business development effort for this new technology. The initial reaction from the Navy was fairly positive, mainly because the manhours expended to maintain the old propeller system were well documented. The Air Force's maintenance man hour accounting system did not adequately capture the similar effort that was being put forth, so Ross Associates recommended that the client's efforts be concentrated on the Navy.

The Navy P-3 and C-130 program managers were receptive to the new technology, but did not have the
discretionary capability to fund the non-recurring engineering and development required to expand the small commercial system to conform to the military aircraft. Ross Associates' defense programming experience identified an alternative funding mechanism in the Commercial Operations and Support Savings Initiative (COSSI) program. COSSI funding could be obtained through a competitive process in which the non-recurring and recurring costs of the new system were compared with the cost of maintaining the old system, and a return on investment ratio was identified.

Since the data that was the basis of the COSSI submission could only come from the Navy program managers' engineering and technical support staffs, Ross Associates carried out a daily liaison plan for the 9 months of proposal development. The resulting submission was complete and thorough, and every possible saving was identified and claimed.

Results
The company was selected from the large pool of worthy applicants for a COSSI award of US$4.7 million. The award was based upon the program manager's support and the high return on investment ratio. Ross Associates continued to maintain close liaison with the Navy P-3 and C-130 program staffs as the development contract was written, and represented the company in frequent meetings with NAVAIR, as it had throughout the process. Basically, the company's military development effort has been substantially underwritten by the U.S. government, and the funding the company had to provide as its share of the development effort will be recovered rapidly through sales to international P-3 and C-130 operators.

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