Manufacturers throughout a variety of sectors are being faced with similar challenges centered on the efficiency of their procurement services. Subcontractor relationships are under constant strain as new pressures mount - production timelines are becoming crunched as a result of a bolstered economy and heightened consumer demand.
According to a recent article from Aerospace Manufacturing and Design, military and commercial aircraft companies are struggling to find suppliers that deliver materials in a reliable and predictable fashion. This understandably makes for more difficult and fragmented operations.
"When choosing a supplier, we always want to be sure they are going to provide a quality part, and deliver on time, because we design complex, one-of-a-kind parts that must be delivered in time to meet our customer's schedule," said Russell Gibbon, director, landing gear and hydraulic systems engineering at Triumph Aerospace Systems, according to the news source.
High-flying industry, higher stakes for suppliers
Given elements such as landing gear, cargo holds, hydraulic systems and structural elements, the aerospace field is almost unparalleled in the complexity of its manufacturing procedures. This means that supplier relationship management is paramount if companies are to deliver quality products on time and within their budgetary forecasts.
The source pointed out that a specialized procurement process accompanies the aerospace industry's primary assemblies. While some manufacturers have attempted to adopt a cost-driven approach to procurement as seen in the automotive sector, efficiency suffered as a result.
"If there is a quality problem, we're in trouble. If they're late, we're in trouble," Gibbon continued, as quoted by AM&D. "So, we're always looking for suppliers with a good track record for quality, for consistently meeting schedule commitments, and for having the capabilities for producing the required part using the most efficient technologies."
Wider implications take root in the U.K.
Aerospace isn't the only field experiencing turbulence with respect to its vendor resource management - the U.K. government is in the process of streamlining its supply matrix to optimize industrial processes throughout its domain, according to Builder's Merchant News.
"Our association is also involved across the wider supply chain with important work such as the digitalization of construction using Building Information Modeling, the actual-versus-designed performance argument, and ensuring a low-carbon, resource-efficient built environment," explained John Sinfield, chairman of the Construction Products Association, the source reported.
As the economy of the U.K. regains its footing, there will be an increased emphasis on industrial efficiency over the course of the recovery.