PKL Services, Inc., based in Poway, California, provides expert support in both aerospace services and training services. Mr. Samuel Flores, Jr. started PKL in 2003. Mr. Flores is a former Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps with substantial logistics and supply chain management expertise. After leaving the Marine Corps, Sam observed a need for this sort of logistical support, which inspired him to establish PKL.
The company began as a small operation with only a few personnel, but it soon expanded as demand for services soared. PKL moved into maintenance and repair operations shortly after its creation and began working overseas to serve the US Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan. The company has continued to experience growth and expansion consistently since it started 19 years ago.
Michael Naylor, PKL’s CEO, is an accomplished leader with a track record of managing worldwide programs and overseeing varied teams while delivering multi-dimensional change and transformation efforts from a strategic, operational, and tactical standpoint. This well-known high performer and trusted adviser thrives on teamwork, problem-solving, and putting human, financial, material, and technical solutions in place to increase organizational capabilities and operational excellence.
Innovative Aviation and Military Solutions
The aviation and military industries benefit from PKL’s services. It is a company that provides qualified workers to perform maintenance, training, logistics, operations, and administration services tailored to the customers’ needs.
PKL was formed on the principles of superior performance and customer service, and it continues to be renowned for these qualities. The organization is happy and proud that to approximately 90% of its employees are military veterans that possess the values and unique skill sets they developed through years of military service. Michael asserts, “As these personnel transition from the military into our civilian organization, they are able to bring their talents and expertise, honed in the military, and utilize it to serve the very specialized work for our customers.”
As the business has evolved and become more saturated over the years, PKL’s commitment to excellent service has resulted in receiving contract awards for several re-competes and sole-source contracts.
PKL also identified a need for more complex solutions as technology and aviation demands evolved so they developed its branded training program, OmniSpec®. This program focuses on new solutions tailored to the customers’ needs and delivered through a variety of methods, such as computer-based training (CBT), augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR). These solutions give customers the flexibility to train and educate their personnel anywhere while maintaining higher efficiency and effectiveness.
Implementing Innovative Technological Advancements
To promote operational excellence, technical proficiency, and teamwork, PKL has introduced various innovative technologies and training advancements. On one contract, for example, PKL developed a competition between shifts and students that improved their learning experience in the Buccaneer Shield multi-team competitive field event. The Buccaneer Shield consists of a series of aircraft maintenance events that the PKL team constructs, oversees, and assesses, as well as viable/realistic discrepancies and hard quizzes to improve the learning experience. The event instills confidence in the pupils and creates friendship among the personnel. Towing accuracy, hangar FOD walk with preplaced foreign objects, tool box inspection with discrepancies, sheet metal repair, and other maintenance contests are all part of the Buccaneer Shield competition.
The results of the maintenance performance of Buccaneer Shield included reducing aircraft downtime from 15 to 9 days, 13 initiatives to modify support equipment and transportation, designing and manufacturing 18 USAF armament launcher storage racks that reduced build time by five days, performing the first trial use of drill guns to de-panel aircraft for phase inspections, reducing time spent on the task by approximately 40%, and submitting improved technical data that resulted in reducing maintenance time from 8 hours to 30 minutes to replace the F-15 throttle finger lift up/stop button while still installed in the aircraft.
Veteran Friendly Organization
Being known as a veteran-friendly corporation is one of PKL’s main differentiators. PKL can supply highly qualified workers with the skill sets and important knowledge to the industry, keeping its clients satisfied and allowing PKL to expand to new contract awards, thanks to approximately 90% of its personnel being veterans.
On each contract, the bulk of the leadership teams are also military veterans. This contributes to PKL’s constant culture, which respects the sacrifices made by its staff and maintains positive working relationships with its clients. Michael shares, “We all speak the same language and work well together towards the same end goal.”
At PKL, the team makes its mission statement and values transparent to all of its employees and customers. Michael opines, “We are committed to providing skilled, professional personnel and focus on attracting and hiring the best candidates for our positions. We know that having the right people on our team is the key to overall success for PKL and our customers.“
The Pandemic Alterations
The pandemic had a different impact on the aviation and military industries than it did on many other conventional businesses. All of PKL’s contract employees across the world are deemed essential personnel, and they were required to work during the pandemic at all phases. Governments and aviation service providers had to adjust to new distance rules and health safety measures while maintaining equipment safety standards.
The work still needed to be performed, and the personnel still needed to provide training and support. This is why PKL has advocated for the use of more resources, such as its OmniSpec® training system, which enables more updated training. Michael asserts, “We can train personnel at any location worldwide and maintain safe distances for individual training development.”
Place for Improvements
As a CEO, Michael wants to guarantee that the consumer receives the highest quality service at a fair price. In the highly complex sector of aircraft operations and maintenance, government contracts should be based on the best value, not the lowest technically permissible price.
He goes on to say that because PKL is a lean company with a small corporate office footprint, it is difficult to give upward mobility to the corporate personnel. As PKL grows, he aims to provide additional opportunities for staff.
He asserts, “We’d like to diversify the core business of PKL to smooth the ebbs and flows of working government contracts that tend to be 1–5 years in duration.”
Agile, Effective Performance with Unyielding Commitment
PKL’s core mission, according to Michael, is to be a company that balances agile, effective performance with an unwavering commitment to its core values, which include being an elite provider of skilled personnel, delivering aerospace maintenance, training, and logistics services, and being committed to continuous improvement, exceeding customer expectations, and implementing quality standards in dynamic environments.
To achieve this, the company is meticulous about quality and compliance. Michael says, “Our Quality Management System is both ISO:9001–2015 and recently AS9110:C certified. These procedures and dedication to compliance ensure that PKL has the team, resources, expertise, and personnel required to meet the needs of our customers and maintain performance regardless of external circumstances.“
Over the previous two years, PKL has demonstrated that this method works by meeting all client demands, contract commitments, and team development during the epidemic. As a result of the shifting environment and worldwide constraints, PKL had no downtime or detrimental consequences.
Pursuing Efficient and Innovative Means of Operating
PKL’s immediate strategy for the future is to extend its contract base by increasing existing contracts and actively pursuing new ones. The company is aggressively pursuing new contracts in several countries and developing its network of associated companies to create new growth prospects. It continues to provide OmniSpec® to new sectors and clients in order to expand PKL’s prior performance and income streams.
Michael states, “We continue to pursue efficient and innovative means of operating as PKL. We have moved to a nearly paperless environment and implemented efficient remote functionality at our corporate headquarters.“ This has allowed PKL to expand its corporate personnel to other regions of the US in order to attain the best candidates for positions.
“We’re very excited about the future of PKL and how we can continue to serve our customers well,” says Michael.
Written by Steve Sanchez.