The Boeing Company forecasts it will spend more than $14 billion over the next five years with European firms - a clear message that business for Boeing means jobs and opportunity for the suppliers and industrial partners it counts as part of its "extended enterprise."
Boeing, the world's largest aerospace company, works with nearly 500 firms in 21 European countries. Work placed within this extensive network supports about 90,000 jobs annually within the region - more than British Aerospace and Rolls Royce combined - which further contributes to the health and vitality of the European Community, national and local economies.
As global competition intensifies, the aerospace industry will be more reliant on each other as companies, countries and people, making the quality, stability and longevity of these relationships extremely important to a company's success, said Dick James, president - Boeing Europe, during a briefing today at the Farnborough Air Show.
"Our work - whether building commercial airplanes or advanced defense and space systems - is complex and tough," James said. "No company has all the resources, talent and answers to do the job itself - including Boeing. We strengthen our operations by working with other companies and people who are the best at what they do."
James said Boeing has redefined over the years the role suppliers play in its operations and has offered them opportunities to share in the company's work through strategic partnerships, risk-sharing, service-provider agreements and industrial-participation programs.
For example, major supplier-partners on the Boeing 717-200, the newest member of the company's commercial airplane family, have a vested interest in the success of the program. Fourteen companies in 10 countries - more than half European - shared design and development tasks, and now are engaged in production. About half of the airplane bears the "Made in Europe" stamp. Parts and components provided by suppliers in the region account for about 40 percent of the total cost of the program, over the life of the program.
On the defense side, the F/A-18 fighter program in Finland and Switzerland is an example of the more than 40 industrial-participation programs the company has created in more than 25 European countries. Firms in both countries are assembling F/A-18 aircraft in-country from kits provided by Boeing. In addition to this industrial-participation program, Boeing has established more than 400 offset projects in 11 of Finland's 12 regions, and 300 projects in 24 of Switzerland's 26 cantons.
James emphasized that firms working with Boeing benefit beyond the direct revenue that doing business with the company represents.
"What Boeing gains is clear: access to the best people and resources in the marketplace," he said. "In return, companies expand their interests through technology transfer; increased market access for their goods, services and intellectual property; and strategic partnerships that help position Boeing and its business allies to take advantage of emerging opportunities."
Currently, Boeing has about 1,000 suppliers outside the United States:
- Europe 495
- Americas 236
- Asia/Pacific 147
- Middle East 39
- Africa 3
The company places work with these companies that is valued at more than $5 billion annually, supporting more than 150,000 jobs each year.