Thursday, August 13, 2009

Engineering Outsourcing Trends Rise in Aerospace and Defense

Welcome to Wired!

What role does professional outsourced Engineering, Design & Certification services play in today’s industry which grapples daily to rise from the great recession of 2008/2009? Surprisingly, the outsource of systems design and engineering is on the rise. In this month’s edition of Wired, we’ll look at the contributing factors of this trend and establish the value of such services.

In reality there are two basic aspects to consider when considering virtual engineering services:

  1. Experience & Proficiency of Talent
  2. Capacity Management

First, the industry is grappling with budget cuts & job loses; however, there remains a capacity issue when it comes to retaining middle and junior lever engineers to do the bulk of the “trench” work. Senior design engineers are available and continue to be needed because of their domain knowledge and experience, but they are headed either to retirement or down a path that will require them to learn new technology and demands that come with it (design tools & applications, PLM platforms etc) with no guarantee of return on their continuing professional education investments. Those experienced designers that do update their skills are finding that their efforts are not enough as they, in the capacity of team leaders, do not have enough staff to pass on their acquired experience to. It is here that outsourcing plays a crucial role. Outsourcing helps to create a knowledge repository, as torch bearers if you will, as a part of transition process to offload bulk work. This realignment of capacity also helps create a capacity pool that will propel the new program initiatives when industry sees better days.

Just as compelling is the aspect that most aerospace & defense companies have started to move away from the long design and development cycles to shorter, more frequent new design introductions - not unlike the consumer electronics industry has done over the last two decades. Today’s technology enables these talented professional to carry much of the overall concept burden including: theory proof, system/component design, qualification of prototypes and final verification/validation/certification. That said, there is a lot of documentation and compliance that can be taken care of only with capacity (especially as relates to FAA/DoD certifications). Outsourcing these talents and requirements helps to bridge the gap by making available options to support these different functions.

ASIG’s Virtual Engineering Services Subscription Agreements (VESSA) yield a leveraged and scalable solution to the industry by allowing our clients to buy down the cost of their estimated capacity requirements. Whether your short and intermediate goals are geared toward platform sustainment, reliability improvement or rapid development of non-critical systems in support of operational requirements. Alternately, the VESSA frees up our clients homogenous resources to support daily logistics while our team of seasoned design and certification engineers create longer range solutions to regulatory compliance, operational convenience and new capabilities. ASIG’s VESSA subscribers experience a continuity of operation with experienced, customer-centered dedication to our client’s success. This commitment is levied with by-name talent and resources to support your scheduled, unscheduled and AOG operations 24/7/365 while achieving the greatest return on your engineering dollar investment. Best of all, VESSA agreements can be achieved with full multi-discipline and FAA DER/DAR capabilities with considerable savings for as little as your would normally pay for a single disciplined full-time professional employee annually.

Until next time stay 5x5, Mission Ready & Wired!

To learn more about ASIG’s approach to aircraft modernization programs, virtual engineering services subscriptions or other products and services available from the Avionics & Systems Integration Group, please visit us online at, via email at, or contact us toll-free at 866.890.ASIG [2744].