Key Elements of Successful Collaboration in the Aerospace & Defense Sector

By: Karen Bieniek on November 11th, 2013


aero-collab-lo-resInformation sharing and collaboration across the entire supply chain, from Primes to Tier 4 contractors, are vital elements to the growth of the Aerospace and Defense industry. Aerospace sector companies can leverage their collaborative working strengths to take advantage of the numerous opportunities available both domestically and in developing countries.
The importance of collaboration in strengthening and bringing continued success to the Aerospace industry is demonstrated with such initiatives as the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP) and the extension of SC21’s (21™ Century Supply Chain Program) relationship model with the Collaborative Working Excellence Framework (CWEF).
New products and innovations come about as a result of this collaborative working approach. Further, collaboration facilitates getting products to market faster, a key factor in maintaining a competitive edge.
The benefits of collaboration are clear, but what are the key elements of successful collaboration?
Successful collaboration entails highly efficient information sharing and ensured security and compliance. It requires precise information logistics with accurate and traceable communication across the supply chain. A strong collaboration solution should have these key components:

  • Real-time Data Visibility: Ready access to real-time data is key to better decision making at an early stage where cost implications are minimized. It improves efficiency of day-to-day operations, and provides the ability to quickly respond to customer demands. Satisfied customers are likely to provide referrals and that means incremental revenue.
  • A Secure Project “Place” to Collaborate with “Authorized” Users: Secure project rooms for collaboration affords you the benefit of team expertise. A secure space to place documents, product design ideas, and innovations benefits everyone and maximizes the pooling of team skills in the most timely and resource efficient manner.
  • Flexibility & Scalability: Collaboration beyond an enterprise with numerous partners and suppliers of varied size, location, and infrastructure is a challenge. Any effective collaboration solution must be scalable; able to accommodate not only the highs and lows of the industry, but also the complexities and infrastructure of partners and suppliers.
  • Supplier Management Capabilities: Sourcing more product content to suppliers is now the norm. Keeping current with supplier status is a must. The ability to quickly find supplier documents or certificates, and receive automatic reminders when documents expire is critical. Likewise, as the marketplace and partners change, the quick and easy on-boarding of new suppliers will keep things moving across the supply chain.
  • Security to Mitigate Risk & Vulnerabilities: Collaborating with hundreds of partners and suppliers increases the risk of a security breach and loss of intellectual property. Cross-firewall communications with these suppliers & partners, each with disparate IT infrastructures, must be secure. Protecting an enterprise’s intellectual property requires the ability to control and monitor user authentication. And, aerospace primes and suppliers can benefit from Cryptography — Private Key Encryption that makes data unreadable for an unauthorized user. Implementing a ready-to-go framework that enables highly secure collaboration and accommodates all required project team ensures project deliverables will be met with peace of mind.
  • Assurance of Compliance with Regulatory Standards: A compliant framework is critical. Manufacturers and exporters are responsible to ensure they are in compliance. This means that all information and material related to ITAR Controlled Technology must be safeguarded from access by non-U.S. persons unless a special license or exemption is obtained from the Dept. of State.  A platform that contains a “Private Cloud” environment for secure, ITAR-compliant content management and multi-company collaboration will go a long way in providing reassurance on the compliance forefront.  User Administration and Access Permissions Management are also critical compliance factors.
  • Process Automation: Highly efficient data flow management combined with process automation for faster workflow helps reduce cycle times and costs. This drives improved Quality, Cost, and Delivery (QCD) performance and reduced operational costs.

Bottom line, successful collaboration requires precise information logistics, efficient & automated processes, assurance of compliance with industry standards, and a scalable IT environment in which global communities can operate quickly, securely and cost-effectively.
Successful collaboration equates to Trubiquity technology.

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