Project: Research council

Project Details


The Aerospace industry in the UK is rising to the challenge of supply chain excellence by launching an initiative to create 21st century high performing supply chains. The SC21 initiative is backed by over 167 aerospace companies including top executives from all major UK primes and First-tier suppliers - Agusta Westland, Airbus UK, BAE Systems, Bombardier Aerospace, Goodrich, Rolls-Royce, Thales and G E Aviation Systems (formerly Smiths Aerospace), national and regional trade organisations. The call for a more integrated approach to supply chain management and performance improvement is evident in both the operations and supply chain literature and industry practice. However, as recent studies have shown, the rhetoric is often in advance of practices and the challenges to improving the supply chain are considerable. To address the recognised difficulties in leading supply chain improvement, a set of common intervention tools have been defined to address supplier assessment, systematic performance improvement and measurement, and improvement in relationships. As a national 'industry-level' standardised intervention toolset, the SC21 initiative provides a unique opportunity to go beyond traditional studies of 'single company' interventions which ignore the overlapping nature of supply chains and conflicting demands, and examine the broader context for supply chain improvement. The initiative is in the critical early stages of implementation. The proposed preliminary study aims to capture this unique research opportunity by establishing sound foundations for a longitudinal critical examination of the context, pathways taken and progress made by companies in adopting the industry agreed vision and practices. The preliminary study will examine the initial drivers for this industry level approach and determine the objectives and strategy definition; use a case study approach to determine how the strategy is being implemented; and support the development of frameworks to benchmark the impact of SC21 in delivering customer value. The research findings from the preliminary study will provide a focus for the generation of a Strategic Partnership with a number of Aerospace customers and suppliers for the development of a further proposal for a longitudinal study of national SC21 implementation. The early research findings will be widely disseminated through publication in academic journals and conferences and across industry through national SC21 Communication Events and more locally through the West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF).
Effective start/end date1/03/0830/04/09


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


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