SC21: Frequently Asked Questions

The following are responses to frequently asked questions from prospective SC21 participants in the UK aerospace and defence industry:

WHAT IS SC21?

SC21 is a programme which aims to transform aerospace and defence supply chains. It has an industry commitment to focus on delivering a globally competitive UK supply chain within the Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space sector.

Fundamentally, SC21 is a collaborative programme designed by industry, for industry. It seeks to provide a framework which transforms and accelerates the competitiveness of the UK Aerospace and Defence industry, which will help it to sustain and grow.   SC21 companies are committed to working together through two key streams to improve efficiency and productively, remove duplication, and lower overheads and costs.

These are:

  • Performance, Development and Quality

SC21 companies are committed to achieving high performance in both Business Excellence and Manufacturing Excellence. Combined with common performance metrics for Quality and Delivery, the results will be a leaner and more effective organisation delivering win/win results within the UK supply chain.

SC21 signatory companies are encouraged to undertake accreditation (e.g. AS9100, ISO9000 etc) and recognise and accept AS/EN9100 accreditation on the national status report for all industry stakeholders to see.

  • Collaborative Working

SC21 companies recognise that sustained success in our industry requires positive relationships in all directions.   Using the SC21 relationship code of practice companies can identify the level of relationship needed and objectively focus upon the areas that need improvement.

NB these two workstreams were previously 3 workstreams (see below):

  • Performance and Delivery
  • Quality
  • Relationships

WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER COMMITTING TO SC21 PRINCIPLES?

An increasing number of your customers, suppliers or competitors are committing to SC21. It is therefore important that you understand this programme and consider whether your business should participate in order to maintain its competitive position and to understand how others in your industry will be changing in the future.

WHAT ARE MY BENEFITS IF I COMMIT?

As a direct result of the SC21 programme, and of course the input from your business i.e. in addressing areas for improvement, your business will keep abreast of the latest developments in your sector, and you could also see some specific benefits from the following areas:

  • Leadership
  • Strategy
  • Resources
  • Processes
  • People
  • Performance – Quality and Delivery

WHAT DOES IT COST TO PARTICIPATE?

It costs nothing to subscribe to SC21. However, if the Senior Management of your business genuinely commits to driving the principles of SC21 forward, there will be some costs incurred by your resources along the improvement journey. These should easily be outweighed by the improvements achieved, both in cost, efficiency and relationships that will be generated within your company and its supply chain.

IF MY COMPANY CHOOSES TO SIGN-UP, WHAT WILL THE SC21 SIGNATORY COMPANIES EXPECT OF ME AND HOW WILL I NEED TO DEMONSTRATE MY COMPANY HAS SATISFIED THESE EXPECTATIONS?

As a signatory to SC21 you will become a member of the SC21 Task Force. The Task Force meets regularly to review progress in the implementation of SC21. It ensures resources are focused upon developing and implementing realistic ways of improving how our industry supply chains do business.

WILL TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES BE MADE AVAILABLE TO SUB-TIER COMPANIES PARTICIPATING IN THIS PROGRAMME?

The larger companies have committed in the national action plan to providing help in training sub-tier companies.

HOW WILL SC21 FIT IN WITH MY CURRENT AND COMMITTED IMPROVEMENT ACTIVITIES (E.G. INDUSTRY FORUM, BUSINESS EXCELLENCE, EFQM ETC)?

The objective of common supplier development programmes is to achieve efficiencies and remove duplication. Business excellence models such as EFQM is an integral element of any development programme.

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES IF I SIMPLY IGNORE SC21?

The total number of companies committed to SC21 is constantly rising. The more companies that join, the greater the benefit. There is some risk that over time, those businesses that have not embraced SC21 and developed their businesses along these lines will become less attractive as key suppliers.

WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF I WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SC21 ON AN INFORMAL BASIS?

You can contact the SC21 project managers via the web and request further information and a briefing.

WHO SHOULD I CONTACT AT ADS IF I WISH TO SIGN-UP TO SC21?

You can contact the SC21 project managers. To sign-up click here.

WHAT AUTHORITY/FORMALITY DO I NEED TO FULFIL TO SUBSCRIBE?

It is important that companies signing up to are fully committed to implementing the SC21 principles and processes. Signatory companies have signed up at CEO/MD level.

CAN I PUBLICISE MY COMMITMENT TO SC21 ONCE I HAVE SUBSCRIBED?

Yes! Publicity is key to SC21 achieving the critical mass through its implementation to succeed. Signatory companies are welcome, and encouraged to publicise their involvement and commitment to SC21.

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