4 Trends in Federal, Aerospace & Defense to Keep an Eye On
Written By: Dave Robbins

The federal, aerospace and defense (FA&D) organizations are some of the most high-tech and high-stakes institutions in the world, possessing very specific needs and responsibilities.

But manufacturers and OEMs from the oil & gas, automotive and other complex industries can learn from FA&D initiatives. At the same time, the FA&D industry can take lessons from manufacturers and OEMs and apply them to legacy processes. Here are the top four FA&D trends you should be tracking:

1. Department of Defense Third Offset strategy

Although the DoD initiative focuses on shoring up American defenses in the face of modern technology and to “pacing” competing nations to maintain military superiority, this strategy can also apply to other industries.

Look at your competitors’ service strategies and assess not only what you need to do to keep up but also what’s necessary to establish a competitive advantage. An action item may include predicting spare parts demand by analyzing fleet activity or establishing global visibility of all maintenance depots.

2. Readiness rates and asset availability

Industries that have been historically focused on fill rates or on-shelf availability have succeeded in those metrics while neglecting the real goal of having parts on hand: ensuring business continuity with minimal asset downtime.

In FA&D, mission readiness and aircraft availability hold priority. After all, it doesn’t matter if you have a 97% fill rate if the absence of the other 3% directly impacts fleet availability. Consider measuring equipment availability instead of fill rates, which directly affect your revenue as well as your customers’ businesses.

3. Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things (IoT)

The FA&D industry is eager to adopt new capabilities powered by the IoT, but cybersecurity concerns have stood in the way of widespread adoption. The concerns around data security are not unfounded—there are legitimate threats and breaches that happen.

Having said that, it can be argued that the FA&D ecosystem as a whole isn’t all that secure right now. Also, remember that your data security is only as strong as your weakest employee, and that having connected, visible data allows you to detect breaches and similar issues much faster. Not only that, federal guidelines for secure data storage, like FedRAMP, allow you to see which IoT solution vendors have put in the necessary effort to meet federal guidelines when it comes to security.

4. Unleashing the power of the IoT and next-generation technology

FA&D industry leaders have been quick to see the value of augmented reality and virtual reality when it comes to repair, maintenance, and overhaul capabilities. Digital twin, digital thread, machine learning, and smart depots are all initiatives that are within your reach, even at a smaller scale.

Find a partner with out-of-the-box solutions that can bring these capabilities to your business and customers. You don’t have to be big to think big. Start small, and then scale rapidly after showing value.

When industry behemoths like FA&D leaders eye a move toward readiness, advanced technologies, and embracing the IoT, other industries take note. Learn more about modernizing your service business and beginning, or continuing your service transformation with our white paper here:

PTC IDC Service Transformation White Papers

Tags: CAD Aerospace and Defense Digital Transformation Service Lifecycle Management (SLM)
About the Author Dave Robbins

A proud former United States Marine, Dave Robbins has 28 years of experience in the Aerospace & Defense and Commercial Aviation industry. He has held strategy, sales, and operations leadership positions at IBM, Servigistics, and PTC, providing consultation on implementing COTS software such as ERP, IoT, supply chain planning, MRO, CRM, and service supply chains solutions. At PTC, he has led development of the company’s service supply chain, High Velocity Maintenance COTS solution, which consists of SPM, IoT, MRO, PLM, AR/VR, and S&PI. He also spearheaded a global deployment of the United States Air Force’s cloud-based enterprise service parts management solution.