A speaker at the upcoming marcus evans Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing Summit 2012, in Florida, February, Carter talks about empowering people, transferring knowledge and innovating in the aerospace and defense manufacturing industry.
How is the aerospace and defense manufacturing industry dealing with budget cuts?
Timothy Carter: The current economic situation has required us to re-focus ourselves. Budget cuts across the industry have meant a reduction in manpower, problems in retaining the knowledge of our workforce, and erosion of the industrial base.
Besides knowledge retention systems, to retain the experience our people have, we mentor, challenge, and team the younger workforce in order to have an overlap with the older generation. We found this to be the best approach in sharing and synergizing ideas between the old and new. People nowadays realize that this industry is facing an ageing workforce and that they must capture, retain and exclusively pass on their knowledge to others.
There is not much time to adjust when face-to-face with a problem such as a reduction in force, so it is important to be proactive and forward-thinking. We recognize that manufacturing issues may come up in the future, therefore we have tried to position our manpower and facilities in a way that makes us ready to adapt to any change.
How can this industry be more innovative and competitive?
Timothy Carter: Crises and changes in affordability cause companies to re-think how they do business and to think of new ideas.
Companies can bring in new people for fresh ideas, but they should not necessarily pursue this as their only means of innovation and growth. By sharing information and teaming with other companies and forums, they may be able to solve more complex strategic industry problems.
We need to empower, entrust and listen to our people, but we must also look outside ourselves for solutions. Some synergistic combination of ideas could lead to a shape-changing event or a product for the market. If we do not listen or explore a full range of options, we may miss out on key opportunities. We will get more success out of our employees if we allow them to share ideas both inside and out.
It is hard when executives realize that the business they are in today might not be the business they will be in tomorrow. This will require a change in the organizational culture and industrial base, which is never easy.
Is there a need to revise the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to open up new markets for this industry?
Timothy Carter: Yes. To be more competitive and to bring in knowledge, companies can form relationships with organizations outside the US. The reduction in industrial base does nothing but force us to think outside of our traditional borders for potential solutions. This means revisiting changing ITAR relationships and how knowledge and technologies are shared.
There are countries that want to expand their military power and space capabilities, so some people are afraid of what they may do with knowledge from US companies. Thus, it is important for executives to demonstrate that they will be responsible with the information they hold. Changing the ITAR policies can take time, but the first step is to demonstrate responsibility and that there will be a proper oversight over how the technology will be utilized or shared with foreign organizations.
Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-
Tel: + 357 22 849 313
About the Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing Summit 2012
Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on ITAR regulations, effective automation and exploring emerging technologies.
For more information please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the event website at www.aerospacedefensesummit.com/
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Please note that the summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.
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