Machine tool suppliers and users urged to develop purchasing ‘partnerships’

Competitiveness Minister Alan Johnson has welcomed a new initiative aimed at encouraging closer relationships between machine tool suppliers and aerospace customers

Competitiveness Minister Alan Johnson welcomed a new initiative aimed at encouraging closer relationships between machine tool suppliers and aerospace customers when he launched a publication aimed at rooting out the traditionally adversarial approach between suppliers and users of machine tools.

The publication, ‘Machine Tools and Production Plant Purchase in Aerospace’ (MAPPA), is the result of collaboration between two major UK trade associations: the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) and the Machine Tool Technologies Association (MTTA)- to develop a series of best practice guidelines for the purchase of machine tools and other capital plant.

Working together, representatives from both industry sectors have produced a comprehensive set of common-sense measures aimed at setting up an open and trusting environment in which duplication and waste are eliminated and which concentrate on providing the best technical and commercial solution for both customers and suppliers.

Said Alan Johnson, ‘an SBAC initiative to improve component supply chain relationships, through its DTI-supported ‘Supply Chain Relationships in Aerospace’ programme has proved that the ‘partnership’ philosophy works, with savings of at least £6.5 million so far.’

A series of regional presentations to aerospace customers and capital plant suppliers is planned during the next few months to ensure that the key messages in the guidelines are taken up across the country and start to produce real benefits.