Earlier this month a delegation of 36 ADS Members met with Boeing Defence, Space & Security (BDS), Global Research and Technology and other departments in St Louis, USA, for a UK Supplier Showcase. This formed part of the initiative for the long-term Growth & Prosperity Partnership between Boeing and the UK Government announced two years ago.
The event was supported by the Department for International Trade (DIT), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the UK Ministry of Defence, the Aerospace Technology Institute and ADS, reflecting the importance that UK Government attached to this event and partnership.
In this, the first of two blogs, I outline how our Members benefited by attending. In a second blog of this series, I will offer insight on Boeing’s future plans.
Boeing looks to the UK for strategic alliances to leverage global reach
Demonstrating Boeing’s commitment to the event, UK companies were greeted with the same fanfare usually associated with the handover of a new aircraft sale, including the red-carpet treatment and a nod to British engineering excellence with an Aston Martin, Bentley and Lotus parked outside the main entrance!
187 representatives from across 24 programmes/business units, had registered to participate, with a further contingency dropping in during the event.
The morning session was led by a series of presentations from senior Boeing and UK Government representatives including Boeing’s Maria Lane, VP International Strategic Partnerships, who emphasised that they were looking to meet partners not only for today, but for the future. She continued that this event was important for Boeing in finding strategic alliances that met their needs and allowed them to leverage their global reach into 150 countries, but not lose their local focus.
Val Bring, Boeing’s Global Supply Chain Director, shared some interesting statistics including Boeing’s sourcing of $12bn value across 125k+ contracts placed globally in 2017, highlighting the importance and value of the supply chain to Boeing Defence and Space.
Demonstrating UK supply chain capabilities in B2B meetings
The afternoon encompassed B2B sessions where the UK contingent had dedicated one-to-one time to demonstrate their capabilities.
With 167 B2B meetings arranged it was clear there was a real appetite from Boeing to meet and engage with UK companies.
In between meetings, a table top exhibition allowed for further networking and product demonstrations for Boeing representatives to drop in to see the latest offerings from the UK.
The day rounded off with a wonderful drinks reception and dinner for over 100 attendees provided by ADS, where the networking continued and the US hospitality lived up to its name.
For those not catching early flights home the next day, an F/A18 factory tour was on offer. A rare opportunity for many of us to see the final assembly line in action, but sadly due to security restrictions not the finished article, so we will just have to wait to watch Top Gun 2.
Feedback from both the UK and US attendees has been incredibly positive and the opportunity for future events is looking bright.
Find out more about Boeing’s Supplier Showcase, including the programmes and business units represented, by contacting me.
Watch out for the next in our series of Meet the Buyer events for ADS Members in our events centre.
Simon Levy – Head of UK Defence Business Development, ADS