Jul 6, 2021
Small and medium-sized companies attempting to enter and operate in the UK's defence market face several barriers that can limit productivity of defence supply chains. These obstacles include difficulties accessing and engaging with top tier suppliers and the MOD, navigating defence contracting terms and processes, and attracting the right skills in right numbers. Addressing these challenges is key to improving productivity and competitiveness.
Like companies in other sectors, some parts of UK defence supply chains suffer from productivity shortfalls that may constrain their performance and competitiveness. This is an issue of widespread concern throughout the defence industry. RAND Europe was commissioned by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to explore a set of policy options for supporting defence supply chains in the UK, and to build the evidence base for a supply chain development pilot programme. As part of the resulting year-long study, the research team identified the main challenges and barriers faced by companies across the tiers of UK defence supply chains, mainly through discussions with a wide range of industry and government stakeholders. Specifically, we found that:
These underlying challenges contribute to the productivity shortfalls within defence supply chains that our research has uncovered, and the RAND team developed two pilot concepts that can help address them. The pilots would support other government initiatives and derive synergy through mutual reinforcement.