Economic conditions have prompted aerospace and defense companies to reduce spending levels, impacting product development and innovation. Successful companies follow a methodology for managing innovation that is built on market knowledge, technology management, product line planning, and process improvement.
Issue 6: Innovation and the path to success for Aerospace & Defense companies
These are challenging times for the aerospace and defense (A&D) industry. Despite a tepid economic recovery, commercial aviation demand has been resilient. The combination of strong demand and technological advancements in aircraft is powering the strongest and longest growth cycle in aviation history, causing an interesting challenge: finding the resources, both human and economic, to support innovation and product development.
The challenge for the defense industry is quite different. Western governments are reducing spending for defense and space, which has been the primary source of funding and a tremendous source of innovation for the global economy. The challenge for the defense and space industry is to become more commercial in its approach to innovation.
Although the defense and commercial sectors are working their way through different challenges, both are under pressure to improve the productivity of innovation so that it enhances their business performance. But successful innovation can be elusive, and it may not be enough to be first to market or to have a distinctive product. Success in today's economy requires developing a culture of innovation that is balanced with rigorous financial discipline, including return on investment analysis.
For more information on this topic and to better understand how A&D companies can achieve innovation excellence, please read this issue of Gaining Altitude with PwC.
About the series
PwC Aerospace & Defense has launched a new thought leadership series called "Gaining Altitude with PwC." In this series of whitepapers, we will share with you our insights that we gain from working with you and your peers, customers and suppliers in the ever changing dynamics of the global value chain for aerospace and defense. Our insights will cover all aspects of the program lifecycle: program strategy; bid and proposal; design, engineering and planning; field sustainment; program delivery; IT effectiveness and cross phase processes.
Read other issues in the Gaining Altitude series: