February 11, 2014
The aerospace and defense industry has an enormous problem.
Major airplane programs have been consistently late to market – up to three years and longer. These delays have cost companies billions and, in some cases, tens of billions of dollars in direct costs and lost sales. Delays have also deteriorated market values and hindered credibility. The delays are widespread rather than isolated to a particular company or market segment.
A primary reason these problems persist is the extraordinary complexity of today’s major airplane programs. Typically, hundreds of suppliers are involved in these initiatives and their decisions are interwoven with those of a multitude of other suppliers.
Compounding this complexity, there is a wide geographic dispersion of suppliers across virtually all regions of the world: Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America.
Additional byproducts of the increased program delays and higher complexity include:
- fragmented, disaggregated and misaligned airplane product development processes;
- supply chain miscalculations such as parts shortages; and,
- manufacturing and engineering inefficiencies.
What now and what’s new?