With An Order Book To Install RAVE(TM) On 57 To 137 Aircraft, IMS Is Just Plain Busy!

At Aircraft Interiors in April, the lion’s share of pre-AIX announcements were seat-centric in nature, and when the sales announcements were being made, The IMS Company’s RAVE™ seemed to corner the market. So we checked in with the folks in Brea, California. While this may be a down market for some, what we found was a flurry of activity as the company is dealing with RAVE™ orders for some 55 aircraft, with installations targeted to start the later part of this year. But if this isn’t challenging enough, the number of orders—including all of the options—could more than double the backlog! And the company is now entering a phase that founder and CEO Joe Renton calls “managing growth.”

“The responsible management of growth is the welcome, yet challenging, byproduct of the market response to RAVE,” says Renton. “Developing a new system from scratch was hard and selling a new system is difficult. If you are fortunate, you then get to deal with the management of orders and subsequently the support of product. It is the collective daily management of all these elements that makes growth uniquely challenging.”

The preparations include staffing, certifications, materials and facilities. The company moved into its Brea facilities just three years ago with an eye toward future growth. And a good thing too, because the company has increased its staff by some 75 percent and nearly doubled its office space in the past 12 months. The team in Brea has also recently completed its AS9100 certification in support of its perpetual performance improvement commitment.  

IMS’ vice president sales and marketing, Harry Gray—who announced RAVE™ orders for Lufthansa German Airlines, airberlin, SriLankan, and Brussels Airlines—is still believed to have another three airline orders in his pocket. So what if everyone exercises all of their options and the number of aircraft jumps to 100—or even more? “We will be ready,” says Renton. So we guess that Harry will keep on selling, however, we doubt that he will miss his annual Pig Roast, coming soon. What you weren’t invited?

If you cannot live another day without a RAVE data sheet, here it is. If you want to order your RAVE system, contact Harry at 714.854.8663 – hgray@imsco-us.com.

Sniffing out a story is what the Hot Topic is all about and this looks to be a good one. It appears that not only will The IMS Company reveal a new I7 (that’s “i” 7) – Personal Media Player in Long Beach at the WAEA/APEX Annual Conference, but that the player will be IMS’ first purpose-built portable. IFEXpress has learned that WIN, the WAEA Newsletter, will carry an article tomorrow, September 1, that says that COTS-leader IMS has opted to include a purpose-built PMP alongside its COTS devices in response to certain market requirements. We understand that the new player will offer as an option “the longest life battery in IFE” as well as enormous storage capacity. IMS has moved into Secure Digital (SD) technology in its RAVE™ seat-centric embedded system, its 4th generation Terminal Data Loader (TDL), and now for the hat trick – in its new player. A reliable source tells IFEXpress that COTS (consumer-off-the-shelf) technology for portable media players does not make it easy to address the special requirements of some airlines for extended-life batteries and huge storage requirements at a price point that reflects where the market is today. While COTS may be very suitable for many airlines’ requirements, a growing list of requirements must be purposefully addressed, and IMS has done so. So check out WIN tomorrow, and the I7 at Booth 1638. And by the way, ask them about some unannounced customers for their new products!

And now our second story (er, mmm, comment ) is about delay #7 for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It is an interesting view of recent outside consultant roles in realigning Boeing’s engineering excellence to that of McDonnell Douglas. At issue, and more recently, that of the outside consultants role in helping the employees to foster more openness, etc., etc.,? After reading this piece, we had to ask ourselves and our readers if Douglas management took over, why did Boeing have to buy them out? Here is that article.

Here are comments from our readers, some of which were long-time employees, about the last B787 delay and the above article:

“Let me get this one straight — the plane is 2+ years late and now the engine is holding the plane up?  All of the suppliers played the game of chicken correctly on this plane. Now they want to “help” the employees do a better job of openness. Is this step #5 of that old blame process: 1. Enthusiasm, 2.Panic, 3. Disillusionment, 4. Search for the guilty, 5. Punishing the innocent, and 6. Rewarding the non-participants?”

” Wanna take bets there isn’t yet one more 3 month slip to be announced before end of year?!!!  Anyone for mid-2011?”

” Long distance management was a dumb idea! because they (upper management – Editor) live in Chicago.  The whole management structure is just out of touch with reality and then they bring the idiot squad in from the Defense side to run things because they don’t think BCA has anybody who can manage programs – if that’s the case I guess it’s a ‘horse on us’ for not getting good people ready to run the programs.”

“Just remember, many of the vendors (esp. IFE vendors and seat vendors) apparently signed-up for contracts with Boeing such that they don’t get paid until the transfer of title takes place — it was one of those ‘conditions’ for doing business on the B787.  I am quite sure that the big IFE players signed up to this condition. Ouch!”