The growing role of the SME
With the ever-advancing march of technology, the incredible rate of change and the need to remain at the cutting-edge of capability while maintaining a strategic advantage, SME’s (small and medium-sized Enterprises) are playing an increasing role in the provision of bolt-on product knowledge and capabilities for defence system integrators.
By necessity, SMEs have honed their craft to become highly agile, lean and responsive. This has been accelerated by the government’s pledge to inject 25 per cent of its defence budget into the UK SME community.
How SMEs are becoming more aligned with enterprise requirements
The success of an SME providing niche products or solutions for demanding applications is hidden in their understanding of the details.
The demand to get products right first time at the most competitive price has pushed engineering teams to develop a broader understanding of customer, business and end user needs.
This is in conjunction with securing the ability to leverage compounds designed for multiple market sectors to deliver the best possible solution, on time and in budget. Both breadth and depth of knowledge are required for the SME teams to consistently deliver success.
Siloed approaches where individuals have no engagement or responsibility for the delivery as a whole are not conducive for agile, quick deliveries. Communication must be fast, concise, open and honest.
The successful SME must work as an extension of its customers, collaborating closely, enabling the ability to switch resources on and off as the programme dictates.
The most effective SMEs will have grown to point that although they have distinct teams and responsibilities, they remain in virtual or physical proximity to the rest of the business and operate as a single entity toward the delivery of projects. Every member of the team should be fully invested in delivering success – not only for the business – but for customers and end users alike.
3 reasons SME’s are the go-to source for defence solutions
Partnering with the right SME will increase the capability and reduce programme risk. It will allow the enterprise business to concentrate on their own critical detail and delivery.
There are 3 core areas for SME success:
A defence SME should enhance the capabilities by providing an understanding of the latest technologies, implementation limitations, manufacturing, compliance and certification, engineering and prototyping, commercial alignment, project management, risk mitigation, documentation and much more.
Having all of these capabilities under one roof, is a big part of achieving successful defence projects.
The ideal SME partner will also be growing and evolving themselves, with a keen eye for problem solving and a commitment for delivering reliability and quality
A good defence SME should be willing to accept a visit at minimal notice and be happy to provision for your teams to either locate within their premise for critical times, or interact with the teams personally whenever required.
SME’s must have the flexibility to adapt to enterprise processes and evolve with their business to enable the best potential for success.
Success in the evolving defence market depends on multidiscipline teams of internal resource and partners working together and openly to meet a common goal.
The ideal defence SME will have a number of functionalities which can be switched on when required to complement the enterprise’s own teams, allowing for effective collaboration, and fast and cost-effective adaptation of technology.
SMEs are playing a critical part in the future of defence projects and the successful delivery of technology in the support of strategic advances.
The best small to medium enterprises will be the ones who boost project performance and super charge it with real speed and agility, and the ones that ensure progressive and repeated project completions, on time and on budget, ultimately, providing true added value.
Learn more about Captec
Captec are an SME that have been supporting large scale defence organisations for more than 35 years. To learn more, visit our defence computing solutions web page.