Big challenges are ahead for supply chain executives in the aerospace industry. The good news is that commercial production is expected to increase significantly –up to 20% by 2025, according to the 2015 Deloitte Global Aerospace and Defense Industry Outlook. In defense, however, a tighter U.S. budget means companies will need to cut costs and improve processes. Also, Deloitte predicts the industry will face new global competitors in the coming years.
These challenges – more orders, budget cuts, process improvements and increased competition – will inevitably put enormous pressure on the industry’s supply chain. And yet, still another hurdle will impact how well aerospace companies can weather these storms. As both Deloitte and PwC point out, the sector has found it extremely difficult to find, recruit and retain top-quality talent. This is particularly true at the middle management level – the linchpin of the supply chain.
There are four ways talent on demand can provide the experience and skills necessary to keep supply chains running smoothly.
While it can take months to find the right employee, aerospace businesses do have the option of bringing on interim executives with specific expertise. Such talent on demand can facilitate needed transformations of the supply chain – avoiding the need to postpone work until permanent leadership is in place.
As priorities shift, there are three ways interim talent can provide the experience and skills necessary to managing transitions and training staff to keep things running smoothly.
The aerospace supply chain is ripe for the application of more advanced analytics based insights. With the high cost base and long lead times, analytics could have a significant impact on both cost and cycle times. Bringing in talent on demand with specific expertise, leveraging experience across the industry would jump start the initiative.
While getting the right product to the right place at the right time and cost is an essential and admirable goal, it’s not enough to remain competitive in the long-term. Talent on demand brings both a fresh eye and deep subject-matter expertise, which can help aerospace firms create a strategy to future-proof their supply chains.
Supply chain leaders often complain that their teams lack the skills to run their systems effectively. This can be resolved by bringing in interim talent with a track record of employing supply chain best practices and having them develop an effective training program. This is a cost-effective way for companies to nurture employees, while also eliminating the cost of replacing poorly performing workers.
Planning and Project Management
The job of keeping the supply chain moving often falls to middle managers focused on planning and project management. Although they’re critical to the smooth operation of the supply chain, these positions are the hardest to fill, according to Accenture. An independent consultant can reduce the pressure on recruiters, while at the same time giving company leadership the peace of mind that comes with knowing the system won’t break down. And talent on demand can be added “just in time” as new projects arise, providing leaders with the flexibility they need to say “yes” to new business.
Although middle managers are critical to the smooth operation of the supply chain, their positions are the hardest to fill.
More efficient processes and a smarter use of resources are critical to managing the squeeze in the aerospace supply chain. Companies that are able to create highly responsive and adaptable processes will find themselves in a better position to deliver products on time. Deploying talent on demand strategically in supply chain management will help aerospace companies pilot this transformation more effectively, and give them the ability to navigate the turbulence ahead.