Guiding Principles

Intellectual Property

A major factor in Bell's success is its long history of technical innovation. Bell regards its intellectual property as some of its most important business assets and protects them accordingly. Bell's intellectual property includes without limitation its patents, copyrights, trademarks, business processes, systems, manufacturing processes, technical and marketing information, and strategic planning. In the ordinary course of business, suppliers may need to have access to Bell's intellectual property. Bell Helicopter expects its suppliers to protect Bell's intellectual property in the same manner as Bell would, in accordance with all Proprietary Information Exchange Agreements.

Continuous Improvement

As a part of our culture, Bell utilizes Continuous Improvement (CI), a comprehensive and proven set of tools and techniques applied in a consistent, systemic fashion to better solve problems and optimize processes in all functional areas. The main focal points of Continuous Improvement are:

  • Waste Elimination primarily through Lean principles and tools,
  • Variation Reduction through traditional DMAIC tools (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control), and
  • Growth and Innovation using the tools and principles of DFSS (Design for Six Sigma).

Opportunities to jointly work on projects with suppliers at their site(s) will occur from time to time. Suppliers are encouraged to participate in CI projects executed within their space, as these projects can provide a wealth of experience in use of CI tools and techniques.

Supplier Warranty Cost Reduction Program

Bell selects suppliers in a large part on the quality and reliability of their products and services. Consequently, Bell expects suppliers to stand behind their products. Bell customers are demanding greater warranty protection and it is appropriate that suppliers accept their share of this increasing warranty requirement.

Suppliers shall warrant their products and services for the longer of the period provided by applicable law or the warranty period provided to Bell Helicopter.

Accounting Practices / Payment Terms

The terms listed below are guidelines only. For actual payment terms, refer to the Bell Helicopter Purchase Order or the actual contract.

  • Some Bell facilities utilize an automated receipt system, which allows Bell to pay its production suppliers without requiring a supplier invoice for production items. This is accomplished through the use of systems, which electronically creates the proper records for payment based on Bell Purchase Order terms and actual receipt date. Other Bell Operations require invoices. Contact the individual plants for instructions on invoicing.
  • Bell payment terms are as specified on the Bell Helicopter Purchase Order or actual contract.
  • All material, parts and/or tooling must be received through our Bell Helicopter Receiving Department and must have a proper packing slip firmly attached to the outside of one of the containers. The packing slip must reference the appropriate Bell Helicopter Purchase Order number and part/tool number and have the appropriate signature(s) from our Bell Helicopter Receiving Department to serve as proof of delivery to ensure payment.
  • The assigned Bell part number / item number and purchase order number must be shown on your invoice exactly as it appears on the purchase order. (Including all alphas and numeric).
  • Tool Invoices: only one (1) tooling purchase order number per invoice.
  • Bell Helicopter Payment Terms for new tooling net are specified on the Bell Helicopter Purchase Order or actual contract.
  • Tooling invoices and non-production invoices must remain separate.
  • All tooling and non-production invoices referencing a price other than that stated on the Bell Helicopter Purchase Order will be returned to the appropriate supplier further delaying payment.
  • Bell payment terms for new capital equipment are specified on the Bell Helicopter Purchase Order or actual contract.

Payment Disputes

Bell Helicopter has a ninety (90) day dispute policy regarding issues of problems/past due invoices or short payments. Notification is required within 90 days of the issue in question. All notifications shall be in writing and followed-up by a telephone call within seven calendar (7) days of submission to Bell Helicopter accounts payable department.

Any and all payment issues brought to our attention after the ninety (90) day dispute period may not be honored.