The Consolidation of Quebec’s Aerospace Supply Chain: Suppliers and the Path Towards Integration

By Global Business Reports

Issue 67 - April 2016

Globally, aerospace supply chains are undergoing a period of considerable transition. In the past, prime contractors relied upon an extensive network of integrators and sub-tier suppliers to feed their final assembly lines. This relationship is changing, though, as OEMs are taking concerted efforts to consolidate their base of suppliers, displaying a heightened tendency to grant long-term contracts, almost exclusively, to large-scale suppliers with robust capabilities. As the direct channel between prime contractors and sub-tier suppliers weakens, integrators have emerged as the primary conduit linking these groups together.

Quebec’s aerospace cluster benefits from a suite of roughly 15 diversely specialized integrators. This class of supplier has expertise in complete systems installations in fields as varied as aerostructures, avionics, cabin interiors, engines, and landing gears. An array of sub-tier suppliers supports these activities by engaging in distinct niches of manufacturing and sub-assembly. Given the industry’s transition towards consolidation, it is becoming increasingly important for suppliers to demonstrate an integrated supply chain with comprehensive capabilities. Accordingly, suppliers within Quebec’s aerospace cluster are investing in process improvements and considering avenues of organic growth, acquisition, and partnership in an effort to bolster their capabilities as competitive suppliers within the local and global aerospace markets.