Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Selling to the Aerospace Industry: Does your Team Have The Right Stuff?

Many industrial companies have aerospace industry sales in their business plans for the next decade. The next ten years will see record levels of deliveries in the large air transport market. Boeing predicts that the world fleet will double between now and 2026. At the other end of the spectrum, the market for light jets for personal and business use is also expanding rapidly. Companies like PPG Industries, Honeywell Specialty Materials, Sequa/Chromalloy, Cytec and American Pacific target aerospace as a growth opportunity. Successful sales, marketing and technical professionals who sell to this industry practice global account management and are sensitive to the unique technical and security requirements of aircraft OEMs.

  1. “Super Team” Approach: When the major air transport manufacturers, Boeing, EADS and the emerging Russian Unified Aircraft Corporation, bid on major contracts, the negotiations and gamesmanship are as much political as commercial. To anticipate the winners in these high-stakes contracts, suppliers require a “Super Team” account management approach on a global basis. Tier Ones look for insight into international alliances and politics as well as global product and pricing. They also develop a sense of where opportunities are coming from in the future – particularly in Asia where demand for aircraft is expected to intensify as those economies develop.
  2. Technology: Selling into this market requires sensitivity into the technology imperatives of aerospace companies. Fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness frequently drive new requirements for chemicals, coatings and other materials. General aviation manufacturers like Gulf Stream and Dassault are looking for technology and new ideas that will help differentiate their luxury aircraft to the high-end corporate purchaser.
  3. Security: Tier One suppliers need to be experts on import and export compliance and technology transfer issues for chemicals and coatings – especially for military sales.


With more than 16 research and development personnel per 1000 employed people, Finland beats out the United States and Japan in the proportion of its residents involved in research, according to the OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard. Finland, Denmark, Japan, Sweden and the United States are the only countries in the world with more than six corporate R & D jobs per 1000 employed people.

I wish you a happy and prosperous 2008!

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