Supplier Requirements to the Aerospace and Defense Industry

We just attended the Aerospace and Defense Requirements Conference at the Phoenix Convention Center this week.  In our home state of Arizona, we have many suppliers providing products and services to the Aerospace and Defense industry. This conference was sponsored by many prime manufacturers such as Honeywell, Boeing, and Raytheon; including being presented by the Arizona Technology Council, where Sustaining Edge Solutions is a member company.

The primary goal of this conference was to allow those who attended the opportunity to hear firsthand what type of supplier requirements it takes to become a preferred supplier.  A common theme from BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, Boeing and other presenters was the need, NO the Requirement that all suppliers must have an effective Quality Management System and Certification to ISO 9001/AS9100.

The following are notes we quickly wrote as the speakers presented:

  • Must have ISO/AS certification, a strong Quality Management System.
  • Just-in-time supply systems, including a 100% on-time delivery.
  • Zero parts per million – supplier expectation.
  • Cost, quality and schedule imperative for all suppliers
  • 42% of Boeing Defense, Space and Security revenue is subcontracted.
  • Deliver value and solutions – must be customer focused.
  • Have an up-to-date website.  “Let people know who you are.”
  • Register for online RFP applications
  • Know your customer and potential customers quality requirements.
  • Improve affordability and efficiency through Lean Operations.

What’s the take away here?  Supplier opportunities do exist according to all the presenters we heard.  At a minimum, if your company is not certified to the ISO 9001/AS9100 standard, you won’t be considered.  Also, having an effective lean manufacturing program focus on quality, cost, and schedule is highly desirable.

Question: Has certification to ISO 9001 or AS9100 helped your organizational growth?  Have you found it to be a prerequisite to become a supplier to major Aviation, Space and Defense customers?

Let us know!!




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