Page 38 - Australian Defence Magazine - July 2018
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“Garth says of the 165 SMEs and institutions with GSC contracts, there could be hundreds more receiving a benefit.”
The Global Supply Chain program may have started with the JSF but it has evolved in to much more.
“If you have a prime, in that case Thales, obviously being French, why wouldn’t you use those GSC connections to potentially open the doors for those businesses you are taking on a trade mission,” Garth said.
Legacy defence industry programs gen- erally operated as stand-alones without necessarily a conscious connection at the program level.
“What we are seeing is the ability to link all this together,” he said.
Garth said there was now a general push to develop and expand defence exports.
“It’s an active discussion with the CDIC advisory board in terms of how might the program evolve over time on the basis of the broader ambition to drive export out- comes,” he said.
“We are starting to see blurring of the lines between what is specifically GSC ver- sus what is a good outcome. That is a good thing. What we need to focus on making sure we can actually appropriately track and manage it so it continues to deliver on the policy outcomes in terms of defence capa- bility needs and industrial growth.”
For an Australian SME competing on the international stage, winning work through GSC is the goal but the program has dem- onstrated broader benefits for Australian
industry. One is inter- national benchmarking of Australian industry performance.
Garth said many Australian firms bid for work through GSC but
obviously they didn’t always win.
“Because we have those primes contract-
ed to us, they then provide us with reasons why those businesses have or haven’t suc- ceeded,” he said. “You get a unique insight into the success factors of Australian busi- ness. Where a business isn’t succeeding they can give us an indication of where.”
Garth says there were commercial sensi- tivities and in some cases they received only aggregate information, but still sufficient to sit down with a company CEO ‘and say you need to do X, Y and Z’ in order to compete more effectively next time.
GSC has also proved a leading indicator of emerging global industry trends, such as the ever-growing need for improved cyber security. Garth said they had done some work with Lockheed Martin as a result of some observation on the cyber prepared- ness of SMEs.
“It has ramped up significantly and we have been quietly using our advisory ser- vices to help SMEs prepare,” he said.
Then there’s industry accreditation. Garth said when he started in defence in- dustry, company accreditation for ISO9001 was ideal but optional. Now it’s mandatory.
ISO9001 is the international standard for quality management systems and is the basic minimum requirement for any firm which wants to do business overseas.
There are also emerging international standards for cyber security and environ- mental management.
Garth said there was an ongoing project within CDIC on emerging accreditation requirements. That came out of a heads-up from GSC primes.
“One they shared with us was an increased emphasis on NADCAP in the US which is quite a costly and overhead-intensive pro- gram which you only want to implement if you are going to get the outcomes from it,” he said. “We have had an inkling that it was be- coming increasingly mandatory to succeed, particularly in the US market. We are now doing further analysis to confirm either way.”
NADCAP is the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program which provides accreditation for a wide range of defence and aerospace indus- trial processes, for example for composites, coatings and heat treatment.
In April, the US Department of Com- merce National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released its new cyber security framework for private companies in the US.
“Again we weren’t caught out by that one as we were given the heads-up,” Garth said. “If it wasn’t for that insight we get from those primes, it would take us longer to be actually able to react to those sort of things.”
Garth said this was a benefit of funding the primes through the GSC framework, with the flow on affects being felt by the Australian SME community.
“They are on contract to actually provide this type of knowledge flow to us, which is hard to put a value on.”
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