Wings Magazine

Gulfstream implements SMS for its sales/marketing team

July 9, 2014, Savannah, Ga. - Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. reinforced its position as an industry leader with the expansion of a safety management system (SMS) to its Sales and Marketing department, making the company one of the first business-jet original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to implement an SMS for a non-manufacturing or service organization.

July 9, 2014  By Carey Fredericks

“Safety has always been our top priority at Gulfstream, and I commend all of our employees, especially those in Sales and Marketing, for embracing it,” said Scott Neal, senior vice president, Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Gulfstream. “In an effort to continuously ensure the safety of our employees and sustain a safety culture environment, Sales and Marketing initiated the SMS. It is vital that we, individually and collectively, take steps to identify and report safety hazards.”

An SMS is an organized approach to managing safety and airworthiness. It includes proactive hazard and incident reporting, hazard assessments, a robust investigation process, a consistent and just disciplinary process, open communications and inclusive participation by everyone in the organization. The move to bring Sales and Marketing under the Gulfstream SMS umbrella is in line with the company’s goal to have the entire corporation operate under an SMS.

“Having a standard and consistent approach to managing risks helps us enhance what we’re already doing: delivering and servicing the safest possible aircraft for our customers,” said Neal. “Sales and Marketing employees aren’t on the manufacturing floor installing rivets, but they do go on aircraft ramps with customers, walk through the manufacturing plant and travel around the world. If they see a potential hazard, this system gives them a voice and the tools to report it, which benefits the entire company, no matter what organization they work in.”

Gulfstream Appleton was the company’s first business unit to test and implement the corporate SMS program, in June 2009. Today, all Gulfstream service centers; Flight Operations; Engineering; Flight Test; Initial and Final Phase Manufacturing for large-cabin aircraft; Final Phase Manufacturing for mid-cabin aircraft, and Sales and Marketing have implemented an SMS. Later this year, Gulfstream Mexicali and Material Management are scheduled to implement an SMS program.


“We are committed to sustaining a safety culture that supports our SMS,” said Fred Etheridge, senior manager, Corporate SMS, Gulfstream. “We are setting the standard in terms of safety and we will be one of the first in our industry to have nearly our entire corporation participating in SMS. This shows that our employees, whether in Manufacturing, Product Support, Sales and Marketing or another area, understand the value of safety and the importance of making the system function.”

Along with the implementation of the Sales and Marketing SMS, Gulfstream has developed teams that focus on SMS activities, including the Site Safety Council, Event Review Team and Incident Investigation Team. These teams and councils provide the oversight and drive for SMS-related actions and program sustainability. They ensure the SMS is being used properly and enhance follow-up efforts by investigating and identifying the root cause of each documented or potential hazard.

Gulfstream also provides employees an easy and, if preferred, anonymous way to report a hazard or near miss. Q-Pulse is an electronic documentation system where employees can submit a report online. It augments the SMS program by eliminating waste and rework, making the problems visible and electronically managing the process.

Gulfstream’s SMS framework exceeds the SMS requirements outlined by the International Civil Aviation Organization and is compliant in 42 countries. Additionally, Gulfstream’s Flight Operations holds an external SMS International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations certification.

At this time, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not require SMS adherence; however, the FAA Aviation Rules Committee is drafting regulation and guidance material pertaining to SMS requirements. In 2011, Gulfstream’s Engineering organization participated in and successfully completed necessary stages of the FAA SMS pilot program. The program allowed for OEMs to provide the FAA with best practices, policies, procedures and pitfalls when implementing an SMS.


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