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Delivering Value While Managing Risk in the A&D Supply Chain
Aerospace and defense companies face an uncertain world in 2009 with a new presidential administration and a looming financial crisis. Supply chain professionals have a unique opportunity to deliver value to the business by bringing scale through an innovative and reliable partner network. Leaders will put the talent in place that can move beyond the traditional reactionary supply chain organization to one that helps achieve the goals of the business.
The aerospace and defense supply chain is under pressure to perform more strategically than in the past. The supply chain has always been critical in A&D, but the heightened pressure to better execute programs while reducing risk across a partner network has taken on increased intensity. The General Accountability Office has highlighted a number of high-profile programs for cost over-runs, including the F35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Future Combat System among others. Meanwhile, a Pentagon review committee is recommending the cancellation of big-ticket programs in light of budget constraints expected from the incoming administration amid the recent global economic crisis. Commercial aviation is experiencing similar challenges to their defense brethren though without the unique scrutiny and requirements of the Department of Defense.
Five areas where A&D supply chain professionals must focus in the year ahead include:...
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U.S. Army Commits to Becoming an Agile Enterprise
Like any organization, the Army has to continue to look into the future and adapt, says Gen. George W. Casey Jr., chief of staff of the U.S. Army and member of the Joint Chiefs. "Because it takes so long to get an organization of 1.1 million people to adapt, it's necessary to move forward now. We didn't have the army we needed on September 11. It was a good army but it was designed for major tank battles on the plains of Europe or the Middle East. But that is not what we need in order to operate in the 21st century. My predecessors initiated changes, but ...
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Defense Department Wants Its Own Cloud Computing Environment
The Defense Information Systems Agency recently took a step toward making its own data center act more like a cloud computing environment. The agency is launching new software development and testing tools that eventually will make it easier for military developers to test and deploy software themselves without the red tape usually required to provision new computing power.
"There are incredibly expanding capabilities on the internet that because of security and stability requirements, we can't use," Rob Vietmeyer, Forge.mil's project director, says. "We want to take the things that Amazon and Google are showing us are possible and take our assets to the next level, to allow rapid...
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Cutting Energy Use Saves Dollars, and More
At Northrop Grumman, the effort is reduce waste and improve energy efficiency is ongoing and corporate-wide, says Bill Haslett, manager of enterprise sourcing and logistics. When making the business case for green initiatives, Northrop Grumman not only considers payback in dollars, but also such factors as reduced landfill contributions and future savings on carbon credits if a cap-and-trade system becomes law....
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Defense Department Names Four to Vie for RFID III Program Contracts
After more than two years of requests and reviews, the Department of Defense has chosen four prime contractors to compete for orders under its RFID III contract, which calls for active 433.92 MHz RFID tags and interrogators compliant with the ISO 18000-7 standard. RFID III is an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract established by the Army on behalf of all U.S. armed services. The contract entitles the four companies to...
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Aerospace & Defense Moves from Vertical Integration to Global Partnerships
As with automotive, this vertical has evolved from making manufacturing most of its components to outsourcing the work. But according to Nari Viswanathan, research director at Aberdeen Group, aerospace & defense requires a degree of collaboration that you don't see in most other areas of industrial manufacturing. For example, lead times are so long that A&D projects need a multi-tier collaboration that requires partners, not suppliers....
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