Office of Australian Industry Capability
In 2007, Boeing opened the Office of Australian Industry Capability (OAIC) in Seattle, Washington to help increase business opportunities for Australian companies.
Boeing recognises many small to medium sized enterprise (SME) can find the idea of working with a company of its size daunting and are unsure of what it takes to become a supplier to a large company like Boeing, or one of its major subcontractors. The OAIC helps them with both marketing assistance and also training and mentoring.
A key focus of the OAIC is to match Australian-developed technology with global partners, leading to sales and collaboration opportunities. In order to identify where these opportunities lay, the OAIC along with Boeing Research and Technology, has conducted technology assessments in Australia visiting a wide range of companies, universities and government facilities. Several collaborative projects have been discovered and set up as a result.
Over the past three years, the OAIC has already helped numerous Australian companies by facilitating visits to introduce Australian companies to Boeing companies and its major sub-contractors across the United States from Seattle to St Louis, Washington DC and Philadelphia; as well as visits to many major subcontractors in Canada, Japan and across Europe, Spirit, Goodrich, Vought, Parker Aerospace, Avcorp, L-3, LMI, MHI, FHI, KHI, RUAG, Finmecannica and Fokker.
Capability conferences are also a valuable way the OAIC enables Australian SMEs to showcase their skills in areas like machining, sheet metal, composites, simulation and modelling, and cyber security, by bringing them together with potential customers. In addition to attending conferences, Australian businesses have also been helped with the set up of hundreds of side meetings with Boeing and its top tier sub-contractors.
At a practical level, the OAIC has also initiated and completed export licences for every major defence program at Boeing, which helps pave the way for eligible AS9100 approved Australian suppliers to bid on upcoming defence related opportunities.
In addition to taking Australian businesses overseas, the OAIC has also brought international procurement managers and executives from Boeing and its major sub-contractors here to visit machining, sheet metal, composites, processing, machine builders and tooling companies in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane. These visits have proven extremely successful.
Finally, training and mentoring activities are an essential part of the OAIC’s work in Australia in order to make the businesses more competitive and to succeed on a global scale. This includes introductory training of “Doing business with Boeing”; essential skills like Quality Assurance to LEAN training and mentoring; as well as specialised manufacturing and machining skills and in-residence management training at the Boeing Leadership Centre in St. Louis.