Boeing has an image problem with GoldCare. If you asked most people in the industry what GoldCare is, they would say it is a comprehensive “nose to tail by the hour” MRO solution for the 787 Dreamliner. They would also likely opine that the program has not been particularly successful, and among the ISTAT community, cite a presentation several years ago by a former Boeing executive that was publicly challenged as falling short of airline requirements. Combining those events with GoldCare’s introduction at the time the 787 program had major difficulties, one can see how a brand can become highly misunderstood by the marketplace.
Today, GoldCare is much more comprehensive and successful than the common perception. The program has expanded beyond the 787 to 737NG, 747-400, 777 and 747-8. It will be offerable for the forthcoming 777X and 737 MAX as well. GoldCare also encompasses much more than simply materials management solutions.
The misperception of service offerings and the mistaken perception that GoldCare has been less than successful seems to have stuck in the marketplace. But neither is true, and these perceptions don’t match reality. Boeing has significantly expanded its flexible suite of maintenance services under the GoldCare umbrella, and those offerings have been well received in the marketplace. Today more than 60 airlines, covering more than 2,200 aircraft, have performance-based contracts with varying scopes with Boeing’s GoldCare program.
While Gold Care does indeed offer comprehensive performance based solutions for the 787, the aftermarket offerings under the Gold Care umbrella are much more diverse and sophisticated, and are typically tailored specifically to the needs of an individual airline. One size does not fit all, and Boeing has recognized this with flexible programs that encompass a series of integrated services to help airlines better manage the materials, engineering and line/heavy maintenance of their fleets. For example, if an airline has an existing internal capability, or contract for certain components that they are happy with, those existing relationships can be tailored into a customized solution for that airline that fill in gaps in an airline’s maintenance program.
What Really is GoldCare?
GoldCare is Boeing’s lifecycle solution for airlines who want to focus on their core business, and outsource some or all of the engineering, maintenance, materials, information and associated maintenance planning functions.
Boeing’s GoldCare services are scalable, enabling airlines to choose an optimum level of supply chain, engineering, and maintenance solutions based on their operational needs. Start-up and low cost carriers may have different needs than established operators, and solutions are tailored for each specific airline’s requirements. The most comprehensive program, GoldCare Fleet Integrated Services, can provide a complete turn-key solution for parts, engineering and maintenance, including complete parts management, and the integration of materials management, engineering and maintenance through the execution of required activities.
Fleet Integrated Solutions include maintenance execution offerings including base, hangar, and line maintenance, depending on the capabilities and requirements of the airline. Fleet Engineering Solutions offers maintenance engineering programs such as fleet optimized maintenance programs, as well as configuration and records management services, among others. Fleet Materials Solutions include component services and expendable programs that guarantee parts availability and coverage for rotable and expendable parts.
Advanced information technology underlies the suite of GoldCare solutions. Boeing can either utilize its own systems, or work with the customer’s own systems to tailor a program specifically to each airline’s needs. GoldCare can also interface with information systems available from Boeing that many customers utilize, including Airplane Health Management, the Maintenance Performance Toolbox, Boeing Electronic Flight Bag, and My Boeing Fleet, all of which are available outside of GoldCare to any Boeing customer. As an OEM, Boeing can also leverage design, manufacturing and fleet data that are unique to Boeing for each customer.
Benefits of GoldCare
GoldCare seeks to maximize operational availability for customers’ aircraft while minimizing in-service risks. Benefits when new aircraft are acquired include eliminating inventory costs and reducing financial risk, easing EIS costs and reducing infrastructure expenses. Benefits while aircraft are operational include improved schedule reliability, predictable costs, guaranteed parts availability, and transfer of risks to Boeing, allowing the airline to focus on its core business. Benefits when transitioning out of an aircraft include enhanced residual values, records accuracy, and reduced transition time and lower maintenance requirements by operating on a factory-supported maintenance program.
The Bottom Line
Boeing has dramatically expanded the activities under its GoldCare brand, which has grown well beyond the 787, across both product lines and service offerings. Quietly, with more than 2,200 aircraft under performance-based contracts, Boeing has become an industry leader in managed services under the GoldCare umbrella. GoldCare is both more comprehensive and more successful than its image.