Shifts in the global R&D landscape and the Department of Defense’s (DoD) adoption of a strategy appropriate for today’s innovative technological landscape is creating a new era of competition outside of the traditional contractor base. The speed in development, adaptation and acquisition of cutting-edge commercial technologies for defense applications is increasing within traditional defense OEMs and non-traditional technology startups alike.
There are numerous roadblocks and challenges that these innovators face on the path to introducing new defense products. Complexities in sourcing or challenges in ramping to volume are especially true for disruptive startups and newer defense contractors without the resources of large, well-established defense OEMs. But these challenges can be overcome with the right approaches, processes and relationships that provide the experience and know-how to deliver and scale disruptive military technology successfully.
Through decades of working with innovators in defense and military product design, we’ve identified a four step process to quickly bring emerging defense technologies to market:
1. Disruptive military technology needs an integrated and agile project team.
Getting your defense products to market successfully relies on having a team that’s agile, integrated and prepared for anything. You need a project team that works hand-in-hand with you from initial Design and Development through test, rapid prototyping, supply chain development and manufacturing. Finding innovative solutions at every phase ensures issues are identified and mitigated early on, which can greatly reduce rework that can lead to missed deadlines and budgets. In the fast-moving world of emerging defense technologies, this can make the difference between launching on time and at the target cost versus missing a market opportunity entirely.
2. Supply chain innovation = defense product innovation.
Not much can derail your ability to get defense products to market like problems in your supply chain. Delivering a product to market is a journey full of complexities and risks. At every turn, there are problems that can slow down development and send you searching for alternatives. In extreme cases these issues can stop the program altogether.
The same technological advances that fuel defense product innovation are also making it possible to be more proactive in supply chain management. Big data and predictive analytics allow us to see risks in the supply chain and mitigate them before they happen. That's the basis of our own approach to supply chain risk mitigation, DRIVE — Differentiated Risk Insight and Valued Execution.
DRIVE improves confidence for any company looking to keep or grow market share, innovate and iterate, where spending time putting out supply chain fires takes focus away from building your business. Your defense product needs are unique, and your supply chain solutions have to be too. This level of supply chain intelligence is a must-have to get innovative, scalable defense products to market.
3. Scale new defense products with adaptive, global manufacturing.
Successfully transitioning emerging defense technologies into volume manufacturing can be challenging and costly. Finding an established contract manufacturing partner that is flexible and focused on quality, innovation and continuous improvement will put you in the best position to scale production.
We've dedicated time and resources to create smarter, data-powered operations that can be put to work on your behalf. Here are three examples:
Global organizational agility and manufacturing capabilities
Our process and infrastructure are strategically designed to tailor our innovative and dependable solutions to your regional and technical requirements. We can help you scale quickly from design, prototyping, New Product Introduction (NPI) to manufacturing - and if appropriate, transition seamlessly from domestic to low cost regions. And we're active members in GIDEP (Government Industry Data Exchange Program) to ensure a healthy, global defense supply chain.
Defense contractors are advanced in using digital transformation for research and development; however, ongoing digital transformation efforts like design-for-automation, process-based automation, self-calibrating equipment and a digital supply chain will help bring your emerging military technology to market faster, more affordably and at a higher quality.
Explore how digital transformation can help improve product design, production and supply chain management.
As the warfighter’s needs require faster, smaller and more efficient products, we’ve continued investing to make sure we’re the best source for complete microelectronics design, engineering and manufacturing. Our world-class Microelectronics Center of Excellence houses a highly experienced team, led by talented industry veterans, who have created countless solutions for the most demanding microelectronic challenges. We have invested in our ability to be a full service provider to support high reliability products in harsh environments and are authorized for Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA).
4. Deep understanding of regulatory compliance and standards for emerging military technology.
Defense is a specialized industry with unique and demanding regulatory hurdles. That’s where having the right partner can be worth its weight in gold. At Plexus, our approach provides the support and expertise in regulatory compliance that will allow you to successfully bring your most complex and sensitive defense products to market.
In a proactive response to evolving Federal Government and commercial requirements, our organization has been closely following the DoD’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program. We are committed to utilizing robust cybersecurity practices and processes to adequately protect controlled unclassified information — and compete in this marketplace.
- AS9100 (design and manufacturing)
- DoD Trusted Source Accreditation
- ITAR and EAR Compliance
- CAS Compliance
- FAA FAR 145
- ISO 9001
- ISO 14001
- ANSI/ESD S20.20
- IPC 610 Class II and III
- IPC J-STD-001
- IPC J-STD-001 Space Addendum
- Government Acquisition Compliance Experience
Join forces to bring your emerging military technology to market.
This era of disruptive military technology is just the beginning. It’s bringing innovative solutions into mission-changing platforms — and moving rapidly. Don’t allow complexities of sourcing, technical engineering or challenges in volume manufacturing slow you down, or worse — stop you from making a revolutionary impact to this industry.
These challenges can be overcome with the right approach, process and the relationships that provide the experience and know-how to deliver and scale disruptive military technology successfully.
Above all, we believe in your mission. And with years of experience in aerospace and defense programs, we have the passion, experience and agility to support the unique challenges you face. Your success drives ours ours, and we are committed to helping you bring your emerging defense products to market. Get in touch with our team today so we can understand your needs and provide guidance on how we can partner to bring your vision to life.