The effect of 'uncertain times' on the UK Defence sector
My lack of writing over the last few months has not meant there’s been little going on in the defence industry.
We’re certainly ‘enjoying’ one of the most uncertain periods in recent history and now, faced with a general election, we’ve another factor to consider in the short-term.
All of this creates uncertainty and needs resilience and flexibility within plans and processes. I touched upon this in my last blog article and very little has changed.
The work I have been focussed on recently is trying to map out much of the industries relationships and networks.
These are really important to understand how a business can navigate a sector that has grown organically and has many interconnected organisations that transcend normal business and geo-political boundaries. This is something I’ll be doing more on for the rest of the year and will become a theme of my thinking. I’ve the opportunity to share and publicise this at a later date.
But it goes without saying that understanding supply and demand networks is critical market intelligence.
Wasting time, effort and resources chasing leads that may take an organisation out of its target area demoralise all involved.
If you consider an industry’s relationships as just part of a wider supply and demand network then it helps comprehend the whole industry and one large value chain delivering goods and services to a customer: Ideally, we only want organisations in that industry that add value. It doesn’t matter if it’s an organisation or a process; the same thinking can apply.
This is one of the challenges I’ve had to try and develop new teaching material for the courses I am part of at Cranfield University. Students, who are mainly defence-focussed, consider commercial and academic theory that isn’t explicitly relevant to them which gives them understanding of commercial trends and the experience of others.
There’s a lot of value in doing this to develop new ideas and thinking in their own area but also to reinforce the good practice that they already do.
In simple quality terms, it is part of not only ‘Plan’ and ‘Do’ but ‘Check’ as well, with ‘Act’ coming naturally afterwards.