08 Frontiers October 2014 defense, there’s engineering talent across the enterprise that has become available to do other work, and there are some skills and capabilities we don’t want to lose to other companies or industries. It’s a use-it-or-lose-it scenario that we have to factor into our decision-making on strategic work placement. The other part of the mix is pressure to keep our bid rates competitive for winning new work. With less defense work to go around, our competitors are bidding very aggressively for every new contract, particularly in services and aftermarket support. For us to bid competitively on a flat-to-shrinking business base, we have no choice but to consolidate certain work and underutilized sites to provide greater value for our customers. We realize that creates disruption for our organizations and people, but if we’re not competitive, we don’t win and the work goes away altogether. That holds true for Commercial Airplanes and EO&T, too. Is the establishment of new geographic centers for Information Technology, engineering design and Research & Technology a response to the defense environment? Those efforts are more geared toward our strategy to strengthen the company for the long term, to build our capability and capacity as we scale up to meet increasing global demand for our products and services, and to increase our agility and competitiveness. Having a broader engineering, test and IT footprint provides greater access to current and future talent, gives us strategic redundancy of systems and processes, mitigates business continuity risk from natural or man-made events, and sets up logistics efficiencies by putting us closer to customer bases and supply networks. It also increases our base for political advocacy.
Frontiers October 2014 Issue
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