Saturday, January 5, 2013

2013 Will Prove Out A Boeing Strategic Decision Making Plan

Dark Horse Rising For 2013, The Boeing 787

The Year 2013, has just started.  It is my goal to review 2012 and glean what tidbits of information out from that year, and determine its strategic value for 2013.  This may be a difficult task.  I am not looking at trends, slopes, and markets. I am looking at the underlying Strategic sense from Boeing, for determining what the Company hopes to accomplish during 2013.

First up to bat: is how Boeing intends to play Frogger with Airbus? A game where the frog jumps onto lily pads over other frogs to get to the other side of the pond.  Landing on the next Lilly pad is tantamount of coming out with a new aircraft that supersedes the other Aircraft framer (Airbus) as a show stopper.  This game started many years ago with the Airbus A-320/B-737 match and is still raging onward today with engine war strategy.  The Airbus company went with super sizing everything like MacDonald's did, with its hamburger. Airbus is asking its customers, "Do you want  (flying) with that", on all orders?  This is where the tongue meets the cheek, and the rubber meets the flight line. As Ginormous the A-380 is, its for people needing people, when size matters.

Here are Boeing's Strategic Talking Points For 2013:
  • Keep Airbus Busy At The Copy Shop
  • Advance Product In A Timely Manner Soon After Airbus Commits To Its Designs
  • Lead From The Front, But Shoot From The Back
Below is a near-do-well authored, best selling 3 chapter Book, about Boeing Strategic goals: Critics are raving about its simplistic strategic genius. Please read all chapters if you have a minute.

Chapter I: (The Year 2013 Will Prove Boeing's Strategic Decision Making)

Keep Airbus At The Copy Shop
Strategic goal number one:

An Airbus panel section is hoisted into its Boeing-like copy shop. First Airbus said (paraphrased), " the 787 is not going to work, The A-380 is the answer". Two years later in a staff meeting, a High-up staffer for Airbus, was laser pointing his way through a meeting showing how Airbus has to catch-up with plastic airplanes. "Panels are the answer, if we do it in barrels, we would be just copying Boeing." So panels it is! Or in this case above, kinda a half barrel :<)   Now what we have, since 2005, is a Airbus Copy shop making a wider (6"s), and Bigger Airplane over the 787, just like Boeing's stuff (not really because Boeing has barrels and so much more than Airbus). Everybody complained (the copy paste press), about the 7-late-7, but is Airbus able to copy the Boeing? No in many areas, and yes in one fundamental area, a plastic hull. Airbus has spent an immense amount of time cherry picking Boeing subcontractors and industries, grabbing anything non proprietary it can from Boeing's play book. That all goes to the copy shop for a large F€€.

However, Airbus has shortened the distance when following Boeing's path, by not adding all all electric architecture, and skipping to a standard bleed-air, by-pass system. Used to power its hydraulic and other non Boeing compliant systems, but its still a plastic panel wagon! Airbus probably has unpublished issues at this time, since it has not had a test flight, they remain silent on the A-350-late and -9 (closing time is at 5:00 pm and its late, about 3:50 pm). When test flying does occur, I hope the press gives Airbus the same due diligence for every squawk. Just like they did for Boeing during its experiences, and journey to first delivery.  The Boeing all electric has reduced weight factors built into the system, since it lacks bulky hydraulic fluid, and lines as found on the Airbus.    

Strategic Goal For 2013 is to Keep Airbus Copying. It ties up resources for Airbus, and keeps it chasing Oz-like rainbows and Pooka's with its own second tier all new plastic airplane. Most flying customers wouldn't notice the all electric vs the hydraulic models, but bean counters, maintenance crews and airline bottom-lines will notice. 

Chapter II:  for: (The Year 2013 Will Prove Boeing's Strategic Decision Making)

Advance Product In A Timely Manner Soon...
After Airbus Commits To Its Designs

Strategic Goal Number Two:  777X and 787-10X

I am a big 787 fan (biggest understatement ever)! That being said, it is paramount that Boeing launches the 777X at the right time.  If 2013 finds a spot to make the most out  its customers, and its technological configuration, then 2013 is the time to leap frog the A-350 in the game of  Airplane "Frogger".  Airbus will be locked and loaded during 2013 for its A-350 line.  A 777X could set Airbus back a bunch, if Boeing can trump the A-1000 and A-900 in a three card game of 777X(-8,-9) and 787X-10. 

Airplane Frogger is Now In Play

Take time to compare the numbers as seen on the internet. You will surmise, dimensions, quantities and weights are not far apart for a 17 year old airplane compared to an Airplane that has yet to fly.  Boeing will not just go match up numbers straight across, it will find 787 commonalities, enhance structural integrity and space for the 777X.  Add new engines and weight saving technologies and this aircraft without using Airbus-like Carbon panels. It will meet and exceed the A-350's all-carbon-bird, with the 777X using light weight aluminum,  Carbon wing box and wings or flight surfaces, and it should match match or exceed, the A-350.  This is what the market wants to see before it goes on some Ginormous time payment plan when buying A-350's or 777X planes.

Giraffes are surmising when the Sun is rising

(If its blurry on your screen, I apologize. Double click image and use viewing magnifier to assist reading numbers in the comparison.  otherwise view on your screen in at 200 %.)

              The Old 777 (delta X ) is Taking on the:                  The New A-350           

The Old 777 (delta X ) is Taking on the:                                                                      New A-350           

Chapter III:   (The Year 2013 Will Prove Boeing's Strategic Decision Making) 

Lead From The Front But Shoot From The Back

Strategic Goal number 3: 777X, 787-10X and 787-9

But the 777X could be that "shot taken from behind", in Boeing's 2013 strategic plan.  The 787-10X is  the "lead from the front", item during 2013!

First the 787-9 will relax the naysayers into a pleasant ride on the 787-9

The 787-9 is just an execution of an already solid plan. Having aged 9 years with a refined configuration by sitting on the electronic chalk board. 2013 is the nine's year.  This is already in motion and has legs. Any 787 Concept Risks are retired and momentum is now in play. The 787 has already left the station while the Airbus A-350 has not yet flown. All the A-350 risks are in the flight bag waiting for take off.

Hence, the 777X is very important in 2013, as part of its shoot from behind strategic plan. Though the 787-9 and -10 will lead the way during the year with photographers, journalist and executives, who are more than ready to move onto the 787-9; with that attention garnered by the press and Airbus, Boeing holds the real target in view,supremacy, and out from the the rear, the 777-X takes its shot on the competition.   2013 promises to be an exciting year, similar to the test flight years for the 787 2009-2010 and the first deliveries in 2011. 2013 has a few surprises in it, which will keep the presses rolling. Boeing's strategery is unfolding at the wing tips.

Glossary score card:

Ginormous (Merriam- Webster says a real word from WWII British Military description of Big weapons, later used by Will Farrrel on (SNL))

Glean: After dinner you sweep up the crumbs to see what people ate from the field.

Paramount (not a picture studio, but more like a VIP who is more than important)

Pooka (No fairy is more feared in Ireland than the pooka. This may be because it is always out and about after nightfall, creating harm and mischief, and because it can assume a variety of terrifying forms.)

Tantamount (a well stacked supposition in an ill fitting sentence structure)

Surmise  (A half hour before sunrise)

Stategery (not a word, but needs to go in somewhere)