Building trust, shaping the future

An aeronautics industry network in the Midi-Pyrénées region was facing the challenges of a considerable increase in production and the necessity of being fully supported by its network of subcontractors, which represented more than 60% of the added value of its products.
Despite an extremely positive outlook (very full order book, strong regional positioning in the industry), there were two negatives spoiling the situation :

  • operational difficulties and a flagging performance of the supply chain as a whole (for example in on-time delivery)
  • many of the SMEs were in extreme difficulty, unable to keep up, and were even in danger of being eliminated from the ‘game’.

The industry’s contract givers, level 1 suppliers and SMEs, with the support of the Competitive Cluster and local institutions, had reached consensus on the necessity of stepping up their collective performance in order to meet the challenge of the increasing demands of the programmes.

The approach :

The significant change involved working on the human factor, creating collections of businesses facing the same strategic issue. These collections were named ‘clusters‘.

Reactions triggered by the approach :

  • The realization of the importance of all senior managers adopting this human-factor-centred approach
  • An understanding that collective performance was a resource
  • The creation of a community of committed partners

The results obtained :

  • Improved fluidity through functioning as an ‘extended enterprise’: launch of projects in mixed teams of contract givers and key suppliers (immediate impact: on-time delivery by suppliers improved from 60% to 90% in one of the clusters, equating to savings of several million euros per year, a fall of 75% in late-delivery penalties, fall in nonconformities by 30%, etc.)
  • Better understanding of the constraints of the industry by each member of the network, leading to a reduction in nonconformities
  • Sharing of skills and resources between suppliers (e.g.: surface treatment business)
  • Development of new business between cluster members
  • Increased engagement brought about by a better vision and understanding of the cluster strategy
  • Reduction of friction costs brought about by a better understanding by the businesses of their peers

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