The U.S. has long been a stronghold for aerospace and national defense manufacturing. A strong infrastructure has helped businesses in this sector develop lasting connections with private enterprises, as well as those in the public sector.
New England Appeals to Canadian Partners
Government bodies depend on the defense manufacturing industry, and individual states are often part of the discussion in supporting these companies. For instance, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan worked with several mayors from major cities in the state to appeal to aerospace and defense manufacturers in Quebec, Canada, wrote Product Design & Development magazine. The goal is to bring those interested in developing composite materials to the New England area. According to the publication, there are roughly 300 companies involved in this particular manufacturing sector in New Hampshire, and that figure is growing.
"The Seacoast Aerospace Initiative is an important partnership between the state, municipalities, the education community, the Pease Development Authority and our neighbors to the North that will help strengthen the Seacoast's position as a leader in aerospace and defense," Gov. Hassan explained.
Defense Manufacturers Depend on Real-time Data Visibility
At the same time, defense manufacturers face the very same issues that hamper businesses in other fields in managing their supply chains. Warehouse management in particular is central to developing efficient operational practices. In too many cases, aerospace and defense manufacturers depend on outdated paper-based processes and protocols that are counterproductive to handling production and distribution of much of their highly innovative and technologically advanced output. This is one of the biggest reasons that a defense contractor involved in supplying the U.S. Navy with technology and systems decided to partner with RFgen to integrate mobile data collection software into its warehouse and manufacturing facility management strategies.
Prior to working with RFgen, the contractor depended on manual processes to track inventory using paper documentation, after which workers would be required to type the information into the company's existing SAP software. This method resulted in an increasing number of typographical mistakes and time lags between the moment data is entered and the point at which managers can access it. As a result, inventory information was never aligned.
To solve this issue, the contractor worked with RFgen to integrate RFgen's SAP mobile applications with an updated version of SAP. Armed with this mobile enterprise application platform, the defense manufacturer was able to use barcode scanners and mobile data collection systems to automate inventory management, production order processing and time entry at its two manufacturing plants and multiple warehouses. This enabled the company to create a streamlined quality assurance process and made it possible for management to get real-time insight into operations.