Aerospace Prime Contractors, Suppliers Improve Dealings

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Under the aegis of the Washington, D.C.-based Aerospace Industries Assn. of America (AIA), representatives of U.S. aerospace prime contractors and their suppliers have agreed to three resolutions aimed at streamlining working relations among them, and helping to ease the industry's transition from a defense to a commercial-driven marketplace. The resolutions will:

  • Reduce the number of management-quality surveys required of suppliers by prime contractors, and cut the length of time needed to complete them. Currently many suppliers are audited on a weekly basis.
  • Improve the fairness and accuracy of the supplier-measurement system, with provisions to reduce the administrative burden on suppliers.
  • Implement the Pentagon's "single-process initiative," under which a prime contractor can request to substitute its own single manufacturing and management process for numerous processes required by the Dept. of Defense. This will simplify relationships with subcontractors. Under study since 1997, the resolutions grow out of problems suppliers have been experiencing in trying to satisfy conflicting requirements from customers. Implementation of the resolutions is expected to take from six months to two years, indicates AIA President & CEO John W. Douglass.
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