Tags: Dassault Systemes, eBusiness, eSourcing, Exostar, Export Control, International Business, Online Collaboration, Oracle
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With the globalization of the Aerospace and Defense (A&D) industry, the international portion of a company’s business will continue to grow and become more complex than ever. Managing export control of restricted non-tangible items, sourcing products and services qualifying for offset credits, or taking advantage multi-time zone workday are three examples of how internet applications can help.
Export Control Management
With renewed emphasis by the government of the United States and United Kingdom on the control of information and technology export to other nations, many A&D companies are increasing their level of diligence on this matter. Rules and regulations in this area require careful planning, control, and tracking of the distribution of information related to military technology declared “sensitive” by the government. Any breach of these regulations can result in severe monetary penalties or even federal charges resulting in imprisonment.
Using secure multi-enterprise collaboration tools (e.g. Exostar ForumPass), companies can take advantage of the identity management, access control, and full audit tracking functionalities of the solution to meet the requirements of Export Control. A company can insure that only users for which it has obtained export control license are invited to the project. Any data that needs to be shared with the targeted partners can be “tagged” for export. This triggers the workflow function of the tool which alerts the export control officer. The officer can then review the data and approve or reject access by the desired companies. The whole process is tracked and recorded electronically, should any of this information be required by government auditors.
Multi-time Zone Workday
With A&D partners located throughout the world, there is now an opportunity to take advantage of the geographic position of some companies to achieve tremendous growth in productivity. This is particularly important in the domain of engineering design.
Using multi-enterprise collaboration tools (e.g. Dassault Systemes ENOVIA) to combine the work of engineers located in different parts of the world to achieve a near continuous multi-time zone workday. For example, an engineer in the UK can check-in his design work into the system at the end of the day. This work is then picked up by a colleague in Seattle at the beginning of her work day. When she is done, the updated work gets checked back into the system where a third colleague in Japan picks it up upon arriving to work. At the end of his day, the completed work gets reviewed by the original engineer back in the UK just back to work in the morning. This means a UK project could achieve nearly 24 hours of engineering work in any calendar day, potentially reducing a design project from months to a mere weeks.
Sourcing for Offset Credits
Many A&D companies selling equipment to foreign countries enter “offset” agreements that require them to reciprocate the original deal with the procurement of products and services from local suppliers. If the company does not meet these obligations, they are liable for major financial penalties which, by the way, do not relieve them from the original obligations. In addition, the “offset” obligation is often greater than the value of the original contract.
The main difficulty with buying from “local” suppliers in a foreign country is that the procurement department of the buying company does not recognize these suppliers as “approved” suppliers. In the past, including additional suppliers, especially foreign, in a request for bid was very time consuming and just not efficient.
Some companies are now using eSourcing tools (e.g. Oracle Sourcing) to help them with this problem. With this solution, sending a request for information (RFI) or even a request for quote (RFQ) to three “known” or to fifteen “international” suppliers takes about the same time. This means procurement executives can scan international supplier directories for suppliers in countries where offset obligations exist and include them in the requests. Of course, this solution does not work for all purchases especially when supplier reputation and track record are a major requirement. But all in all, companies have found enough “low risk” purchases in a year to derive noticeable offsets benefits from the solution.