Reimagining Aerospace and Defense: Leading with Deltek's Project-based Manufacturing Solutions

July 06, 2023
Padma Raghunathan
Padma Raghunathan
Product Marketing Manager
Deltek's Project-based Manufacturing Solutions

In the fast-paced and complex world of aerospace and defense (A&D) manufacturing, small, medium, and enterprise-sized firms that comprise the defense industrial base (DIB) face numerous challenges. These challenges range from government compliance requirements and audit failures, to outdated legacy systems and the need to minimize disruptions while ensuring high-quality products and on-time delivery. However, one of the critical challenges that government contractors often face is hesitancy in technology adoption. A&D manufacturers who typically lead in innovation and developing cutting-edge technology tend to be cautious and slow to adopt new technologies due to the complexity and high stakes involved. Reluctance to embrace technological advancements can limit operational improvements and hinder competitiveness. With Deltek's manufacturing solutions, these firms can embark on a digital transformation journey by leaving behind outdated and redundant practices and achieve manufacturing excellence.

Driving Forces Propelling Manufacturers to Embrace Digital Transformation

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are vital to the defense industry's foundation, providing essential support and driving its growth. They bring valuable innovation, flexibility, and diverse skill sets that complement larger defense contractors. By offering specialized expertise and niche capabilities, SMBs encourage healthy competition, enhance efficiency, and fuel technological progress within the sector. However, small and medium-sized businesses in the defense industry also face unique challenges. They must navigate complex government regulations, stringent security requirements, and demanding customer expectations. Procurement processes, compliance standards, and contract management can be particularly challenging for smaller firms with limited resources and operational capacity. Due to these constraints, SMBs:

  1. Use systems with limited enterprise resource planning (ERP) functionalities or rely on a hybrid model, combining the limited functionalities with paper-based quality systems.
  2. Work with outdated legacy systems that hinder innovation and make keeping pace with modern manufacturing practices challenging.
  3. Struggle to keep up with new and expanding government compliance requirements due to more complex contract types, higher data classifications, and additional requirements for material planning, supply chain, inventory, and government property and asset management.
  4. Experience audit and compliance failures, which can have severe consequences, leading to reputational damage and financial losses. These failures prompt quality assurance teams to explore new solutions that ensure compliance and prevent future setbacks.
  5. Strive to balance meeting compliance requirements while remaining competitive in the market.
  6. Lack the tools and technologies necessary to maintain high levels of quality and ensure a low cost of quality.

Large and enterprise defense contractors play a significant role as leaders in technology and innovation within the defense industry. These companies possess substantial resources, expertise, and research and development capabilities, allowing them to drive advancements in defense technologies. Even though they are technologically savvy and deploy intelligent and robust systems to support their complex operations, they continue to invest heavily in cutting-edge project management, engineering, manufacturing, and quality tools to develop state-of-the-art solutions for defense and security challenges. The reasons why industry leaders explore new solutions are:

  1. The need to embrace digital transformation and leverage evolving technologies is paramount for enterprise and large manufacturing firms. They must keep up with the latest advancements to address modern manufacturing and quality challenges.
  2. Enterprises across the aerospace and defense sector must adhere to various regulations such as DCAA/DCMA, FAR/DFAR, CMMC, and ITAR. Continued compliance with these regulations is critical to secure and maintain government contracts.
  3. End-to-end visibility becomes a considerable challenge when large firms have a significant workforce and business units are in several locations. Comprehensive visibility into finance, manufacturing, resources, supply chain, and quality is vital for streamlined and smooth operations, while siloed data and fragmented systems hinder efficiency and productivity.
  4. Large manufacturing companies often manage several government contracts, requiring a robust supply chain management system to manage many suppliers and their performance and have a predictive infrastructure that mitigates risks.
  5. Fabricators who manufacture complex assemblies, sub-assemblies, and weapon systems build high-quality products that are mission and time-sensitive, which means they have to ensure their complex manufacturing processes have to run smoothly with minimal disruptions. This requires proactive quality management, efficient change control, and effective risk mitigation strategies.

Deltek's Manufacturing Solutions: Empowering Project-Based Businesses

Deltek's manufacturing ecosystem aligns with the typical framework of a manufacturing organization and provides advanced software solutions to support critical business functions. Digitizing A&D manufacturing with Deltek involves leveraging technology and software solutions to transform traditional manufacturing processes into digital, automated, and data-driven operations.

What is the combined Deltek Manufacturing Solution?

Project Accounting: Deltek Costpoint Project Accounting provides deep visibility and traceability into project costs, and an infrastructure that simplifies implementing FAR/CAS-compliant business processes.

Deltek Costpoint Manufacturing: Built for customers who produce manufactured products for government contracts, Costpoint Manufacturing provides fundamental project-based manufacturing needs, including the creation and management of manufacturing orders, allocation of labor and parts costs, and the fulfillment of sales contracts.

Deltek Costpoint Advanced Manufacturing: Advanced Manufacturing compliments the Costpoint Manufacturing package with management capabilities over complex manufacturing processes. Advanced Manufacturing makes it easy to propose, design, plan, purchase, track, and manufacture products for engineer-to-order or make-to-order projects – supplying everything from systems compliance to cost reporting to tracing serial or lot numbers.

Deltek + TIP Technologies: TIPQA has eighteen integrated modules that cover various quality functions, and manufacturers can buy modules that best suit their needs. TIPSFE*, a separately licensed shop floor execution solution, integrates with TIPQA. TIPSFE benefits from having a built-in quality function that can track inspections, nonconformance, corrective actions, document management, etc., which are critical to shop floor operations.

Deltek Manufacturing Product Map

Achieving the top priorities in the era of Industry 4.0

With Deltek’s integrated solutions, manufacturers (SMBs and enterprise/large companies) can drive operational efficiencies, improve decision-making, enhance supply chain management, ensure product quality and compliance, and protect their digital assets from cyber threats.

  1. Smart Factories: Through Deltek’s Costpoint Manufacturing and TIP Technologies, manufacturers can enable the implementation of innovative factory concepts in A&D manufacturing. This involves integrating automation, machine connectivity, and data-driven insights to optimize production processes. Deltek’s Shop Floor Execution eliminates the need for paper-based processes by offering a comprehensive digital solution. It includes detailed routings, work instructions, and inspection requirements, enabling an utterly paperless traveler system. The system encompasses an electronic manufacturing plan with precise instructions, customizable data segments, and efficient workflow management. By digitizing manual data recording or paper-based workflows, manufacturers can improve efficiency, reduce errors, and enhance overall productivity.
  2. Advanced Analytics: Deltek provides advanced analytics capabilities that enable manufacturers to make informed decisions and optimize resources. Information silos are eliminated by having a centralized repository that collects data from numerous departments such as accounting, engineering, planning, production floor, supply chain, and quality. Manufacturers can gain valuable insights into their operations by analyzing data collected from various functions. These insights can be used for resource allocation, project planning, identifying bottlenecks, and improving overall performance.
  3. Supply Chain Integration: Deltek helps A&D manufacturers optimize their supply chain by enhancing logistics and integrating suppliers effectively. Manufacturers can improve visibility, track inventory levels in real-time, and streamline the procurement process by digitizing the supply chain. Deltek can facilitate supply chain mapping, enabling manufacturers to gain complete visibility into their sub-tier suppliers, capturing detailed information at each level. This includes supplier certifications, factory locations, audit data, and certified parts. This helps prevent counterfeit parts from entering the production line, ensuring the integrity of the supply chain. There is a focus on risk mitigation by utilizing a balanced scorecard approach. This combines data on delivery performance, quality, and supplier response/actions to create a blended performance rating for suppliers. This rating helps quickly identify areas of failure and enables immediate action to address issues.
  4. Quality Control: Quality transformation with digitization using Deltek’s software involves leveraging digital tools to enhance the quality management process. This empowers organizations to improve their operations' accuracy, efficiency, and visibility, ensuring high-quality products and effective quality control measures. Having the quality function in-built into shop floor operations integrates manufacturing and quality data, providing a smooth workflow, eliminating bottlenecks, and helping avoid costly errors, rework, and product recalls.
  5. Compliance: With Deltek, customers can be confident that the convergence of compliance & digital manufacturing will help achieve government and regulatory compliance. Deltek’s specialized platform facilitates internal and external audits, ensuring compliance with various regulatory standards such as ISO, MIL Standard, FAA, DCMA, and more. It offers a centralized repository of documents that provides the necessary objective evidence in the event of an audit. This allows users to configure audits according to their specific requirements, creating a library of audit types with automated scheduling. Digitizing the audit process eliminates the need for paper-based audits, streamlining and improving efficiency.
  6. Cybersecurity: Deltek recognizes the importance of protecting digital assets in the A&D manufacturing industry. As digitization increases connectivity and data exchange, cybersecurity becomes a critical aspect. Deltek provides cybersecurity measures to safeguard manufacturing systems, data, and intellectual property from evolving threats and vulnerabilities. This may include encryption, access controls, and regular security assessments.

Access Deltek’s Resources and Learn More

If you are a government contractor who is a manufacturer supporting government missions and are exploring new tools and software that could assist your business, you can access additional Deltek resources to learn more.

Digital Transformation Webinar Series, available on-demand

Driving Manufacturing Success: The Power of Deltek Integrated Solutions, Tuesday, August 1, 2023