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Managing both automotive and aerospace, as well as complex manufacturing, has kept me busy attending back-to-back conferences in 2023. It's only fitting to title my latest blog post with a nod to an old advertising colleague and friend, Steve O'Connor, who used to host an annual "Ski Like You Drive" event in Wisconsin (the Vail of the Midwest, sort of). It's fascinating to observe the strong connection between these industries, which share many suppliers. Automotive manufacturing, with its faster production and shorter lead times, is often at the forefront of transportation technology. Now, as Jetson's-style flying cars become a reality, they are becoming even more intertwined.As we approach the mid-year mark, it's clear that 2023 has flown by, driven not only by the series of conferences in the aerospace and automotive sectors but also by the surge of inquiries about our supply chain solutions. Now more than ever, organizations are seriously engaged in digital transformation efforts, with tight deadlines to meet. One customer aptly described the current situation as a "two-year backlog." After the uncertainty caused by the global pandemic, we face the same old challenges, along with new ones and ongoing unknown risks.A hectic yet exciting year so far: conference insightsThe Stellantis Town Hall Meeting kicked off my conference circuit. Hosted by MEMA (Original Equipment Suppliers) in the Detroit area, this conference provided an overview of Stellantis' future vision and strategies. It was a half-day session followed by an opportunity to meet the team and network with industry professionals.Next up was the PNAA’s Annual Aerospace Conference, called Advance 2023. This well-attended conference brought together hundreds of aerospace professionals from over 350 companies at the Lynwood Convention Center in Seattle. It was a great occasion to reconnect with old friends and explore the current and future state of aerospace, including technology advancements and supply chain challenges such as shortages, more visibility, transparency, and our ecosystem. Technology and tools were top of the list of subjects, and the message was clear for need for partners in the supply chain. I managed to contain myself and not stand up in the audience, wave my arms, and yell, "Hello, come talk to me about SupplyOn". Global discussions were in play, with a close eye on our overseas counterparts.Circling back to the East, I visited the South Carolina Automotive Conference in Greenville, South Carolina. The hot topic here was sustainability, an increasingly crucial aspect of the automotive industry. It was an excellent opportunity to learn from industry pioneers and explore the latest advances in sustainable practices. The conference also featured a display of Clemson University's autonomous vehicle, which showcased cutting-edge 3D printing technology.In between the conferences, meetings, workshops, and proposals we held our Annual SupplyOn North American Summit in South Carolina, near our North American headquarters. The summit was led by our Global CEO, Markus Quicken, and our North American CEO, Derek Baggerly. We concluded our summit with a tour of the BMW factory, complete with robots, exoskeletons, and hydrogen-fueled golf carts. This summit also kicked off customer and shareholder visits to North America. What’s unique and special about these visits is the engagement with our customers and the inclusion of their feedback into our technology roadmap. This is one of the key reasons I call SupplyOn the “Goldilocks” company: just right the right size to support customers like BMW and Airbus but also the right size to be agile, flexible, and accessible in order to partner genuinely.Next up was the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) SMC Conference, hosted by Boeing in Phoenix, Arizona. This conference always provides an intimate setting for OEMs and suppliers to get together. Honestly, these events feel like part family reunion/part work happy hour but with very informative and inspiring sessions—topics surrounding supply chain challenges with parts, policies, governance, ESG, and future predictions.Aeromart followed shortly after AIA in Montreal, Canada. This conference toggles back and forth between Montreal and Seattle each year, further building our alliance. Discussions centered around supply chain challenges, future needs, labor shortages, visibility, transparency, and leveraging technology and tools. SupplyOn had a prominent presence at the conference, hosting a booth and delivering a workshop by our CEO, Derek Baggerly, to bring the buzzwords to business case. Sustainability, transparency, visibility, and ecosystems, to name a few.Throughout 2023, the demand for our supply chain software has been overwhelming, leading me to prioritize partnerships and skip a couple of conferences. However, this high demand signifies the growing importance of digital transformation in supply chains. As we move forward, transparency, visibility, collaboration, and sustainability remain key drivers in meeting the needs of 2023 and beyond.Looking forward to the Paris Air ShowWrapping up the mid-year recap, I'm excited to attend my first Paris Airs Show. This is an important event, particularly with the increased interest from North America. I'm honored to be a part of the show and look forward to engaging with industry professionals, learning more about aerospace organizations, and enjoying the airshow. Stay tuned for the show's highlights, the rest of 2023, and more!
With the D328eco™ aircraft, the innovative German aircraft manufacturer Deutsche Aircraft shapes the future of aviation as groundbreaking, forward-looking platform. Therefore, sustainability is a key topic for the company – not just in the D328eco, but also across the supply chain.A resilient and sustainable digital supply chain is essential for the complex production ramp-up. In this context, Deutsche Aircraft is pursuing the ambitious goal of 100% paperless, fully digital control of the entire supplier network, with partners who share the values of Deutsche Aircraft.In order to successfully implement this strategic goal for its global network of almost 90 suppliers in the shortest possible time, Deutsche Aircraft has opted for the SupplyOn collaboration platform which is well established in the manufacturing industry.SupplyOn as a strategic partnerSupplyOn supports Deutsche Aircraft in digitally managing collaboration processes with suppliers and establishing structured communication. SupplyOn not only offers sophisticated, industry-specific solutions and processes, but also access to a global network of over 140,000 companies, a large proportion of which are dedicated suppliers to the aerospace industry.SupplyOn also recognizes the responsibility to reduce its impact on the world and is highly committed to the principle that business can and must be a force for good. These are the best prerequisites for Deutsche Aircraft to map its supply chain in a sustainable way and electronically from end to end.Step by step to a digitized, sustainable supply chainIn the first step on the way to a sustainable supply chain, the focus was on digitizing the tendering phase in order to select competitive and innovative bidders. The comprehensive digitization started with the involvement of the approximately 30 strategically most important suppliers involved in the development and construction of the prototype. These will supply the top 20 components.In the second step, the final assembly line in Leipzig/Halle will be included in the digitization of the processes. The aim is to expand the group of suppliers until 2026 to almost 90 companies by the time serial production starts.Fully digitized final assembly — 100% paperlessFollowing the digitization of the tendering process, Deutsche Aircraft also plans to optimize other processes in the supply chain – first and foremost joint product development. For this purpose, SupplyOn offers Project Management, a structured, template-based development process in which all phases of development can be handled in a structured manner via one central tool.This way of work is based on the process known in the automotive industry as Advanced Product Quality Planning – in short APQP – which has been tried and tested for many years.The concession process, which can be used to obtain approval for parts that deviate from the specification, can also be handled efficiently and transparently via SupplyOn.This is an essential step towards Deutsche Aircraft‘s vision of working with the highest quality suppliers in the long term in order to achieve excellence and sustainability not only in product development but also in the company‘s overall processes. Our strategic goal is to fully digitize our supply chain. We chose to work with SupplyOn because we know that with this partnership, we can effectively achieve this ambitious goal.Maximilian FahrDirector of Supply Chain, Deutsche Aircraft GmbH About Deutsche AircraftFounded on the proud legacy of Dornier and Germany’s high reputation for engineering, quality and innovation, Deutsche Aircraft is the new specialized German aircraft original equipment manufacturer (OEM).Deutsche Aircraft builds on the legacy and expertise of 328 Support Services GmbH, the type certificate holder for the Dornier 328 aircraft (D328®). Deutsche Aircraft will enable the further development of the D328® platform, leverage future technologies and competencies to produce a more capable, economical and environmentally friendly aircraft and will thus lead the way for the future of aviation in the transition to zero-emission flight.In collaboration with the German government, Deutsche Aircraft is leading the way to a new era of clean aviation and addressing the need to protect our planet to inspire future generations to fly in a way that is greener, safer and more efficient.
"A new era of aviation: Sustainable. Resilient. Together!" Under this motto, Prof. Dr. Walther from IPM welcomed around 1,900 participants and 130 exhibiting organizations to this year's Aviation Forum, now in its 12th year. Munich was the venue for the second time.The event's title set the central themes: climate-neutral aviation, a resilient supply chain amidst a renewed rise in production rates, and partnership-based collaboration between all stakeholders. All three are key success factors for mastering the challenges of the future.Goals and strategies for more sustainability, resilience and competitivenessIn his opening speech, Airbus CPO and Aviation Forum host Jürgen Westermeier highlighted his company's ambitious goals: The production of 75 A320 family aircraft per month and zero-emission flying by 2050.In her highly acclaimed presentation, Marjolaine Grange, Head of Purchasing at Safran Group, spoke about the systemic axes along which performance and competitiveness in the aerospace supply chain can be enhanced. She emphasized the importance of SupplyOn AirSupply as a collaboration standard for aerospace SCM processes. It is used by 10,000 suppliers, including currently 550 at Safran alone and 700 more planned in the future.The industry standard AirSupply is growingSupplyOn works very closely with the industry consortium BoostAeroSpace for AirSupply, making it a successful industry standard and community solution.The AirSupply community continues to grow: this year, SupplyOn joyfully welcomed new AirSupply customer MT Aerospace to its booth:Future-proof and efficientKlaus Richter, former host of the Aviation Forum and now CEO of the Diehl Foundation, spoke about what it means to bounce back after the crisis as a major Tier 1 and to prepare properly for the future.Highlights of the two-day Aviation Forum from my point of view were, besides the expert presentations, the many personal conversations at the booths, the exchange at the Gala Dinner, which has become a tradition by now, as well as the Executive Workshops with brainstorming on the supply chain of the future.Factory Tours: Aviation hands-onThe Aviation Forum concluded with the Factory Tours. Destinations for these tours included SupplyOn customers Airbus Defence & Space and Deutsche Aircraft, as well as key industry players such as MTU Aero Engines and GKN Aerospace.The author was impressed by the transition at Deutsche Aircraft from a MRO provider for the Do328 to an OEM/integrator for the new D328eco. The aircraft is set to be developed and manufactured in Germany.Following the still heavily Corona-influenced 11th Aviation Forum last year, it was widely evident how important personal contacts are in an industry which is based on collaboration.The date and location for the Aviation Forum 2023 have already been set: December 5 and 6, 2023, then again in Hamburg.
Co-organized by the Berlin Institute Supply Chain Management, the German OEM Deutsche Aircraft hosted the first Aircraft Supplier Summit on November 15 and 16, 2022 at Leipzig Airport.Leipzig is the chosen final-assembly-line (FAL) location for the D328eco, the groundbreaking, forward-looking platform building upon the legendary Dornier Do328 aircraft, for which Deutsche Aircraft is the type certificate holder. The D328eco will rely on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) as transition to zero-emission flying. Planned by 2030, also hydrogen propulsion will be explored. The FAL construction is planned to start in 2023 already.Key topics of this summit wereHow Deutsche Aircraft and its partners shape the future of sustainable flyingCreating supply chain resilience in a VUCA* worldTechnology-enabled supplier collaborationESG* as a new mindset, towards improved sustainabilityPartnership between Deutsche Aircraft and its suppliersImproving supplier collaboration & supply chain resilienceIt is impossible to mention all the highly interesting keynotes with the all the valuable insights. Therefore, just some highlights from SupplyOn perspective:BoostAeroSpace CEO Rodolphe Péricat explained how the organization contributes to technology-enabled supplier collaboration. Building on a strong industry community, it addresses increased security needs and governs dedicated supplier collaboration platforms, including SupplyOn AirSupply.Deutsche Aircraft has chosen SupplyOn as strategic partner in order to digitally manage collaboration with suppliers and enable structured communication.ThyssenKrupp Aerospace CEO Patrick Marous shared how they foster supply chain resilience with their Supply Chain Control Tower. By considering resistance, forecast, avoidance, inventory and capacity buffers it secures the company’s ability to deliver in a VUCA world.One highlight of the summit for sure was the awarding & contract signature ceremony live on stage for two new suppliers of Deutsche Aircraft: Bucher Leichtbau from Fällanden, Switzerland, and Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), Dresden. The latter is also a SupplyOn customer for AirSupply.Great forum, to be continuedThe Aircraft Supplier Summit was a unique opportunity to exchange with decision makers of Deutsche Aircraft. It was also a good forum for face-to-face discussions with strategic partners and suppliers.To wrap up, attendees were asked to provide their feedback on the event. Among the key take-ways mentioned were insights on supply chain resilience, sustainability, and technology as an enabler. But also partnership and inspiration were important attributes of the conference.The next Aircraft Supplier Summit is already scheduled: Nov 7 and 8, 2023, again in Leipzig. See you then! --*VUCA: volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity** ESG: environment, social, governance