Careers at Textron
Textron’s mission is to become the premier multi-industry company, recognized for its network of powerful brands, world-class enterprise processes, and talented people.
Textron is a provider of industrial products and services. The firm operates five reportable business segments:
- Textron Aviation Segment – Manufactures, sells, and services Beechcraft and Cessna aircraft, and services the Hawker brand of business jets. Has two key product lines: aircraft sales and aftermarket.
- Bell Segment – Supplies military and commercial helicopters, tiltrotor aircraft, and related spare parts and services.
- Textron Systems Segment – Provides unmanned aircraft systems, marine and land systems, weapons and sensors, simulation, training, and other defense and aviation mission support products and services.
- Industrial Segment – Designs and manufactures a variety of products within three principal product lines: fuel systems and functional components; specialized vehicles and equipment; and tools and test equipment.
- Finance Segment – Provides financing primarily to purchasers of new and pre-owned Textron Aviation aircraft and Bell helicopters. Most new finance receivables are cross-border transactions for aircraft sold outside of the U.S.
In 1919 Royal Little graduated from Harvard University. Seeking practical business experience, he found work as an unpaid apprentice at a textile mill. His time there made him understand the challenges of manufacturing a product vulnerable to unstable market cycles. Using his knowledge, he founded textile company Special Yarns Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts in 1923, at age 27.
Special Yarns produced synthetic yarns, at the time a niche product. Little’s business savvy helped the firm generate $75,000 in sales its first year. In 1928 Franklin Rayon Dyeing Company, a competitor based in Rhode Island, asked that Special Yarns take it over. Little agreed to acquire it, and he was soon overseeing operations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The company soon changed its name to Atlantic Rayon Corporation. It later became a prominent provider of supplies for World War II, but Little wanted to move aggressively into the civilian market. He began by changing the firm’s name again to Textron, a combination of“textiles“ and “tron“ -- a suffix used for many different types of synthetic fabrics (e.g., lustron).
Textron began making civilian products, and in 1947 went public on the NYSE. Little believed greater diversification was necessary so the company could survive poor performance in textiles. So in the 1950s he began a spree of acquisitions of industrial product firms; targets included Homelite, CWC, and Camcar. These purchases resulted in Textron being called the “world’s first conglomerate“.
In the 1960s Textron entered the aerospace industry with the purchase of Bell Aircraft. It began divesting all divisions unrelated to aerospace or technology, and in 1963 it sold off its last textile holding. No units were safe, as the firm quickly sold off any that were underperforming. The Bell line soon accounted for a quarter of its total sales. In 1999 Textron saw record profits.
Business model of Textron
Textron has a diversified market business model, with customer segments that have very different needs. The company targets its offerings at firms in the aerospace and defense, specialized vehicles, turf care, fuel systems, and tools and test equipment industries. In 2015, U.S. government clients accounted for approximately 24% of its revenues.
Textron offers two primary value propositions: innovation and brand/status.
The company has embraced innovation throughout its history. It has been the source of several cutting-edge technologies and industry-firsts, including major evolutions in aircraft, electrical vehicles, rotorcraft, armored vehicles, tools, and automotive systems.
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It most recently generated annual revenues of $13.4 billion and has 35,000 employees in over 25 countries. It maintains many prominent brands, including Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Bad Boy Off Road, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training.
Textron’s main channel is its direct sales team. It also sells products through a network of independent sales representatives. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, and participation in trade shows and conferences.
Textron’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its products and services while having limited interaction with employees. Its website provides answers to frequently asked questions. That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of phone and e-mail support.
Textron’s business model entails designing, developing, and manufacturing its products and delivering its services to customers.
Textron’s key partners are the suppliers that provide it with the materials and equipment it needs to manufacture its products. Its suppliers are categorized based on relevant business unit, as follows:
- Bell Helicopter Suppliers
- Beechcraft Suppliers
- Cessna Suppliers
- E-Z-GO Suppliers
- Greenlee Suppliers
- Jacobsen Contact Information
- Kautex Suppliers
- Textron Systems Suppliers
- Lycoming Suppliers
Textron’s main resources are its human resources, who include the engineers and scientists that design, develop, and/or manufacture its products and the sales personnel that promote them. It maintains important physical resources in the form of 59 manufacturing plants located throughout the United States and 52 plants based outside the U.S.
Textron has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation. Its biggest cost driver is cost of sales, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and administration, both fixed costs.
Textron has two revenue streams:
- Manufacturing Revenues – Revenues generated from the sales of products upon delivery.
- Finance Revenues – Revenues generated from interest on finance receivables, capital lease earnings, and portfolio gains/losses.
info: He earned a B.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He previously served as EVP and Chief Operating Officer of Textron and as President and CEO of General Electric (GE) Aviation.
info: He earned a Bachelor's degree at the University of Notre Dame and an MBA at the University of Chicago. He previously served as Managing Director and Head of Telecom Investment Banking at Goldman, Sachs & Co.
info: He earned a B.S. in Operations Management and an MBA at Northern Illinois University. She previously served as Director, Human Resources at Textron’s Bell Helicopter division and has held leadership roles at IBM, Rockford, and Hamilton Sundstrand.
info: He earned degrees at Brown University and Georgetown University Law Center. He previously served as SVP and General Counsel of Siemens Corporation and as General Counsel of Siemens AG for the Americas.
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