Doing business in the Aerospace and Defense (A&D) sector poses additional challenges to a manufacturer beyond what companies face in other markets. They have stringent reporting requirements, often they are held to a higher standard of quality and reliability, and there is continual focus on efficiency and cost cutting. Engineering and product lifecycle management demands tend to be extraordinary and there is usually a strong need for full traceability through the life of the product.
This series discusses some important considerations for A&D manufacturers in the context of enterprise information systems and how they can help in addressing five important areas of concern—compliance, control, communications, competitiveness and cutting cost, waste and complexity. Enterprise systems are essential tools for running a manufacturing business effectively, but the demands of the A&D market can place demands on system that are not easily addressed by one-size-fits-all products that are not specifically tailored to this environment.
Cre8tive Technology (www.ctnd.com) will be posting a weekly six part series on The Five Cs of Aerospace & Defense Success:
Part 1 The A & D Challenge
Part 2 Compliance
Part 3 Control
Part 4 Communicate
Part 5 Competitiveness
Part 6 Cutting
Since most, if not all, A&D contracts are competitive, an A&D manufacturer must continually strive to make operation more efficient and reduce waste as much as possible, to keep costs down and remain viable. Continuous improvement is often assumed and multiyear or multiunit contracts might even mandate savings and improvements for later phases or deliveries.
Leading manufacturers (in every market) use Lean methodologies to identify and eliminate waste and improve manufacturing performance, quality, and costs. ERP can play a significant role in Lean efforts as outlined in the Epicor white paper “Five Ways ERP Can Help You Implement Lean,” available for download at www.epicor.com. The paper discusses ERP’s contributions in the areas of waste reduction, continuous improvement, sales and customer service, orderless manufacturing and Kanban, and collaboration. Your A&D enterprise system should be able to handle cell-based manufacturing strategies and demand pull operations in support of your lean initiatives.
Lean efforts should not be confined just to the plant. Time and cost savings are available in engineering, administration, service, maintenance, and throughout the supply chain. Through collaboration, you can encourage your trading partners to ‘get lean’ and reduce their lead time and costs to you. Through collaboration, you can work together to meet contract objectives and deliver high quality parts and products to the customers. Supply chain management capabilities include coordinated planning, transportation and logistics management, electronic communications and data transfer, and increased mutual visibility.
Follow this series and other previous postings on www.ctnd.com/blog/.