Canadian Packaging

Aéro Montréal launches new supply chain plan


July 26, 2010
by Purchasingb2b Staff

Aéro Montréal, the think tank for Quebec’s aerospace industry, has launched a new initiative to improve the global competitiveness of its supply chain.

Called MACH, the effort is meant to address a rapidly changing supply landscape in the aerospace industry. With globalization and increased competition, major OEMs are using fewer suppliers who are choosing to work with companies that offer integrated solutions and will manage sub-contractors.

This has led to the development of partnerships among OEMs and suppliers. These arrangements involve everything from co-design processes to the joint management of technological, operational and financial risks. As a result, OEMs are increasingly reliant on the strength of such collaborations.

Aéro Montréal believes Quebec aerospace companies must improve business practices, increase efficiencies and innovation and align themselves with the needs of global OEMs and large integrators.

“Québec’s aerospace industry has been mobilizing to stay competitive and maintain its global position, and has decided to quickly address the supply chain challenges,” explained Gilles Labbé, chairman of the board of Aéro Montréal and president and CEO of Héroux-Devtek.

Enter MACH
The MACH initiative aims to strengthen the supply chain structure by creating special collaborative links between customers and suppliers. It will also promote the implementation of efforts to fill existing integration gaps within the Quebec aerospace supply chain.

It is centred on measuring the performance of suppliers so they can evaluate their situation, identify opportunities for improvement and take appropriate action. It also contains mechanisms to strengthen the weak links in the province’s aerospace supply chain—in areas such as aero structures, avionics, cabin interiors and hydraulic systems.

MACH will begin with a pilot project involving 20 Quebec suppliers guided by six world-class manufacturers, including Bombardier Aerospace.

Janice Davis, vice-president and chief procurement officer at Bombardier Aerospace, said the program will “specifically address the challenges of the supply chain and help strengthen the competitiveness of Québec’s aerospace industry.”

Participating companies will gradually gain access to services to evaluate and improve their performance and market position.

The services include:

•    An assessment of organizational performance;
•    Support to carry out a continuous improvement plan;
•    Tailored training programs;
•    Mechanisms for performance measurement and benchmarking at the national and international levels;
•    Tools for the dissemination of information; and
•    A visibility plan that will promote how the companies have improved their performance.

According to Suzanne Benoît, CEO of Aéro Montréal, the MACH initiative follows similar programs in the UK, France, Germany and the US.

Clément Gignac, Quebec’s minister of economic development, innovation and export trade, adds that the MACH project will have positive ripple effects on the province’s economy.

“Effective management of the supply chain is becoming a key competitive driver for our companies and the entire Québec aerospace sector,” he said.

“This is a challenge that we must all tackle together.”