On 16 October 2018 AIDN-VIC hosted a “Doing Better Business with Defence – SME to SME Insights” event to address the complexities involved in navigating the Commonwealth’s defence industry strategy and procurement processes.
Over the course of the day, participants were treated to a number of sessions providing insights on the different challenges affecting the defence industry today. Brydon Johnson of Systematiq provided an overview of the current Commonwealth acquisition posture and an outline of the inner workings of the ADF and CASG, to include above and below the line contracting and the Integrated Investment Program.
From there the sessions expanded to encompass a number of areas of concern for SMEs operating in defence industry. Susan Reece Jones from FAL Lawyers emphasised the importance of understanding and actioning IP law; Daniel Vicino of Spire Business Services outlined the necessity and methods of managing cash flow and assets to accommodate long lead times in defence acquisition; Bill Cole of BDO addressed the complexities of International Trade; while Jane Hayman of International Consultants spoke of the value in training staff to leverage cultural differences and avoiding cultural conflict. These sessions were valuable in affording attendees a multi-dimensional understanding of Australia’s contemporary defence industry, and what it takes to thrive as a supply chain participant.
As the first step in a wider campaign to address Commonwealth and SME relationship gaps, Doing Better Business with Defence was a success. In the dynamic environment which constitutes Australian defence industry, events like these are crucial in their ability to create dialogues between members of experience and inexperience with the goal of improving the viability of SME’s to meet foreign and domestic commercial opportunities.
AIDN-Vic and all of the participants would also like to offer a special note of thanks to BDO for sponsoring the days’ events.