Shaffiq Rahim, President of Hi-Tech Engineering, joined Imperial Capital’s 2020 Advanced Manufacturing and Supply Chain Conference as a panelist on the Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing panel. The panelists discussed a range of topics including market trends across the aerospace defense space, the war for talent in these sectors, and investments in automation.
During the market trends discussion, Shaffiq noted “… quality manufacturers are going to continue seeing heavy demand, even if the economy declines, since there aren’t enough existing businesses … this will make specialization and focus even more important … those businesses who invest in, and anchor on, specific capabilities will retain their positions even as new shops enter to close the demand gap…”
Key takeaways from the discussion included:
- The aerospace sector will see more growth in the coming years (versus the prior 12 months) as investments in defense programs, and more active fleet & capability replacement become a larger priority, even if the economy overall declines
- The commercial aerospace segment will continue to capitalize on a strong commercial airline market (note: conference was before COVID-19 Q1 & Q2 business retractions)
- The biggest hurdle for small businesses is finding talent with engineering, quality, and production skills, esp. as existing shops put extra effort into retention via cross-training and professional development initiatives
- While automation creates high potential for the industry, the costs of investment will be a significant hurdle for most companies in the sector
Additional conference details can be found here: