What is the UK Aerospace Supply Chain Competitiveness Charter?

Announced as part of the Aerospace Growth Partnership’s (AGP) industrial strategy for 2016, The Manufacturer explores what the UK Aerospace Supply Chain Competitiveness Charter hopes to achieve.

In a nutshell, the UK Aerospace Supply Chain Competitiveness Charter aims to see Prime and Tier 1 companies commit to promoting structured continuous improvement programmes and share growth opportunities with suppliers.

The Charter is an attempt to break down the barriers to productivity and growth by disseminating new technology and fostering a more robust culture of innovation – particularly within the SME supplier community.

What is the Aerospace Growth Partnership?

The AGP is a partnership between government and industry, with a goal to secure the UK’s current share of the global aerospace market and exploit opportunities for growth.

To date, the AGP has helped generate R&D funding, driven innovation and best practice, and elevated relationships within the sector.

Eleven companies have signed the agreement, including Airbus; Boeing; Bombardier; GE; GKN; Leonardo Helicopters; Rolls-Royce; Safran; Spirit; Thales, and UTC Aerospace Systems.

According to the AGP, poor supply chain management is a barrier to productivity and growth; “Improved mutual understanding and co-operation between suppliers and higher tier customers will break down that barrier.”

However, this means more than Prime and Tier 1’s simply telling UK suppliers what they want; “It also entails suppliers benefiting from the information, skills and technologies usually available to their customers alone.

“Improved inter-company relationships and communication will build commitment to continuous improvement and drive positive change throughout the chain.”

What does a Charter signee commit to?

  • Promote wider participation in structured continuous improvement programmes, providing informed and ongoing guidance to assist in setting performance targets
  • Provide visibility of future growth opportunities and share with appropriate candidate suppliers
  • Support the focused development and dissemination of technology to radically improve product performance and manufacturing productivity
  • Facilitate access to sources of support, e.g. financial institutions; HVM Catapult; research institutions, government departments
  • Invest in the development of skills and apprentices in order to have the resources, capabilities and experience needed to improve productivity and meet future demand
  • Build long-term relationships with globally-competitive suppliers

What do signees expect from suppliers?

  • Engage actively in structured continuous improvement programmes to become sustainably globally competitive
  • Invest in technology to radically improve product performance and manufacturing productivity
  • Invest in the development of skills and apprentices in order to have the resources, capabilities and experience needed to improve productivity and meet future demand
  • Invest for growth
  • Build long-term relationships

Download a copy of Means of Ascent – The Aerospace Growth Partnership’s Industrial Strategy for UK Aerospace 2016, here.

UK Aerospace at a glance

  • The UK is Europe’s leading aerospace manufacturing nation, and second globally only to the US
  • Productivity has grown by 39% since 2010 with exports worth £27bn a year
  • The industry directly supports more than 128,000 jobs