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January 08 93 Hardinge with the company on new product developments and customer-driven improvements. “They’ve got a strong engineering team that is very responsive,” he adds. A key part of the more effi cient supply chain is the Hardinge Asian Sourcing Center, which serves as a focal point for sourcing parts from Asia, whether for plants based there or those outside the region. “If I have a requirement for a part in North America, I can call one person and have them search Taiwan and China for prices and lead time while I also have my team doing the same thing in North America. I may end up with three or four quotes from around the world that don’t take me any longer to get or research.” The approach also lowers hurdles such as cultural and language barriers by building a dedicated, on-the-ground resource. Bassett believes that over time, the sourcing operations will become a high-level corporate function, a refl ection of the importance the company places on the supply chain. Technology helps make the process work, with the company using the Internet-based integrated communications tool Skype to communicate from the US to Europe and Asia. “I can hold up a print to point out a part I’m talking about and the folks in Asia can go back to the vendor and know exactly what they’re talking about; it cuts right through any language barriers,” Bassett says. While the savings and other improvements have been coming already, Hardinge appreciates that its supply chain efforts are a long-term proposition. “There’s defi nitely a lot of opportunities,” Bassett says. “We feel we’re going down the right track. We’ve been fi ghting the battle of lean the last seven years and making improvements and we know there’s no end in sight.”

94 January 08 Kate Sawyer learns how a variety of improvement initiatives are helping Aéroport de Québec to find its place on the world map It’s an interesting challenge for Aéroport de Québec: six consecutive years of growth, with a record number of 780,000 passengers, and its responsibility to the community at large meticulously defined. Now, the management team has to see it through these growing pains, while continuing to provide impeccable service and safety to all of the current flights. To put this airport on the map, management wants to retain existing business and leisure clients, attract new ones to the region, improve existing infrastructure of facilities, attract new carriers, and add new routes. For some, this laundry list of essentials is daunting, but for Aéroport de Québec it is business as usual. “Attitude is everything,” said Gaëtan Gagné, chairman of the board, in the 2006 Annual Report. “We have a confident, resolved, dedicated, visionary, and winning attitude. We believe in the role we should play as an economic driving force (for the region), we believe in the region’s potential, and above all, we believe in our vision to put the passenger first. This is how we have gotten this far.” Aéroport de Québec broke ground during 2006 on a major renovation project that could mean exponential levels of growth, recognition, and success. The Canadian and Provincial governments both support the project’s vision to position Quebec City as a modern, dynamic, and accessible city for visitors from around the world; each government contributed $15 million toward the project. The renovation will cost $65 million and is part of an ongoing initiative to improve passenger satisfaction. An initial building survey of the terminal showed that some sections are more than 50 years old and need major upgrades to meet both industry standards and traveler needs, as well as to offer airline carriers efficient equipment and facilities. As Quebec City’s 400th anniversary celebrations draw near, the deadline for completion is set for June 2008 and is a major focal point for the coming year. Other major events on the calendar that will help to boost passenger traffic and profits are the Eucharistic Convention, the Francophone Summit, the Ice Hockey Championships, the Snowboarding World Cup, and Quebec City’s International Air Show. The renovation includes substantial upgrades in technology and equipment. For instance, 140 new flight information display systems will be installed throughout the terminal. A new baggage handling system using leading-edge technology will be installed and will provide pinpoint accuracy of luggage departing the airport. Two new loading bridges will be added, which are designed to accommodate both wide-body aircrafts, such as L- 1011s and 747s, and smaller commuter jets. Despite the first stage of construction taking place in 2006, Aéroport de Québec still witnessed a rise in passenger traffic, which resulted in an increase in revenues. It also posted an 18 per Passengersfirst