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What is SC21?

SC21 is a change programme designed to accelerate the competitiveness of the aerospace & defence industry by raising the performance of its supply chains. International competition, together with the challenges posed by the defence industrial strategy, necessitates rapid improvement in the effectiveness of our supply chains. At the same time, industry must ensure that it delivers competitive solutions for customers whilst maintaining profitable business growth.

What are the benefits of committing?


Since 2006, SC21 has seen companies benefitting from a large range of benefits and savings, such as:

  • Reduced overheads from implementing business excellence and lean principles through the Bus Ex and Man Ex tools,
  • Operational improvement with minimal costs to the business
  • Increased competitiveness
  • Leaner production,
  • Cost reduction
  • Lower set-up times

....just to mention a few.


BUT.....The real evidence can be seen in the benefits brochure which was developed as a result of a direct survey, sent to all signatories in 2010 for their feedback.


Through participating in SC21 your business will also understand better how the industry will be changing in the future and you will be kept aware of developments in the sector and the activities regarding your colleagues on the SC21 programme.


What does it cost to participate?

It costs nothing to subscribe to SC21. However, to fully engage in the change programme it will require the commitment of some resources, but the benefits will easily outweigh the cost.


What are the risks if I simply ignore SC21?

The total number of companies committed to SC21 doubled within two months of its launch in 2006. Now in 2013 we are seeing over a 100 new companies signing up to the programme every year. The more companies that join this initiative, the greater the benefit to the UK supply chain. The risk however, to those businesses that have not embraced SC21, or more importantly continuous improvement, and therefore are not progressing (on the industry designed and owned) programme, may lose out to those who are proactively engaging.

SC21 commitments


Signatories to SC21 are committed to developing supply chains to ensure they remain competitive and able to deliver increased value to customers. To be a signatory to the SC21 action plan you do not have to be a large prime company, we are actively encouraging companies from all levels in the supply chain.

SC21 signatory companies are committed to:

  • A new SC21 business culture: no matter what our role or position in a supply chain, we are determined to effect fundamental business transformation. We will work openly and transparently, through sharing information and working collaboratively, to deliver benefits across the industry. We will avoid duplication and waste.
  • Delivering innovation: we will build on success to enable our industry to be a leader in the development of competitive value chains. We will pursue the most competitive solutions for our customers, by accessing innovation and specialist expertise. We will encourage innovation and investment of all types throughout the supply chain, achieved through providing a more trusting and open environment.
  • Through-life solutions: total through-life cost is of paramount importance to our customers. We will involve all functions of the supply chain, for example: procurement, engineering and finance, throughout the project, product or service lifecycle. Transparency will be encouraged, with more planning and forecast data made available using bid conferences, project conferences and other means of communication.
  • Delivering the SC21 plan: as a signatory to this action plan, we accept that our adherence to the commitments will be tested annually and that our performance will be measured and published. We will help in the development of this plan by sharing experiences.
  • Leadership: we will encourage colleagues in the industry, including our customers and suppliers, to join SC21 as both signatories and active participants.
  • Ethical practices: we will ensure that all business is conducted in a principled manner, with the highest degree of personal and business integrity.
  • Increased pace of change: our rate of change and improvement will be at an accelerated pace. Signatories will work together to harmonise how supply chains are developed, how accreditation occurs, how performance is measured and how relationships are improved.