3 Ways an Independent Aerospace Consultant Can Transform Your Business


More than ever, companies are seeking new markets that not so long ago would have been closed to them by barriers in technology, customer expectations or a mismatch between an industry’s dynamics and an organization’s operations.

Today, many organizations are seeking expertise that was developed in businesses that once had no relevance at all. Think of Kodak: Written off as the leader in a fading industry – traditional photography and film manufacturing – the company is today a pioneer in digital imaging. For instance, it just launched a 4K 360-degree camera that can record in multiple directions using a dome-shaped lens.

Kodak’s story shows how a business can move into new areas by finding talent that clearly aligns with its vision for the future. Today, we see automotive companies getting into software development and advertising agencies becoming as much about data analytics as they are about creative production.

Much of the expertise aerospace consultants offer can be applied to many businesses, no matter what their current focus.

With this in mind, I’ve noticed that much of the expertise aerospace consultants offer can be applied to many businesses, no matter what their current focus. Their knowledge of everything from engineering and logistics to contracts and government agencies can result in business strategies that address pertinent issues in-house managers might not have considered.

Which brings us to the question: How can an independent aerospace expert help transform your business? Let’s look at three examples.

1. You Want to Expand Into Defense or Government Work

The Department of Defense and the federal government as a whole play a huge role in the aerospace industry’s work. That means aerospace consultants are well-versed in the requirements of government RFPs, contractor-employment policies, disclosure rules and a host of other issues you may have never faced with private-sector customers.

They’re also familiar with the government’s culture. While agencies have the reputation of being slow-moving bureaucracies, they’re often staffed by professionals who are true thought leaders in the fields of engineering, artificial intelligence, software and logistics, to name just some. Aerospace professionals have worked with these people, can anticipate their concerns, and help position your company as a qualified partner.

2. You Want to Explore Emerging Markets

In 2008, McKinsey & Company published a paper on “the growing role of emerging markets in aerospace.” In it, the consultant predicted that China, India and Russia would become important players in the business, that new companies would rise to challenge the traditional American and European giants, and that specialization would become an increasingly important characteristic of the industry.

Many aerospace professionals have expertise in the demands emerging markets present, as well as knowledge of the new companies who may compete with yours.

McKinsey’s vision has largely proven true. On the ground, that means many aerospace professionals have core expertise in the demands emerging markets present as well as in-depth knowledge of the new companies who may compete with yours. At the same time, they understand the challenges these markets face and can offer insight into opportunities you may not have been aware of. In short, an independent aerospace consultant can be your guide to a promising but unfamiliar landscape.

3. You Need to Enhance Your Approach to Logistics and Manufacturing

During the development of Boeing’s 787 and Airbus’s A380, we heard a lot about aircraft assembly. Rather than have individual parts or small sub-assemblies shipped to a central factory, the manufacturers relied on subcontractors or remote facilities to build large components of the aircraft and ship them to the assembly plant. In other words, they didn’t order aluminum panels – they ordered wings.

The implications of this approach are staggering. It requires an unparalleled level of cooperation and coordination between different operations down to the shop-floor level. Engineers at one company need to be sure their components will fit into the frame of another’s. Production managers need to know that sub-assemblies will be on-site when they’re needed, and project managers coordinate how one firm’s product will be transported safely to the main assembly line.

All this means that aerospace manufacturers are among the most advanced in the world. An aerospace consultant can offer ways to streamline processes so that you can keep your pipeline moving as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

Because of their industry’s reach and complexity, independent aerospace consultants can offer critical insights to businesses whose products may not fly, but can benefit from an advanced approach to exploring new markets, harnessing new technology and developing the most effective ways to grow with your customer’s needs.