Supplier Excellence Alliance (SEA) Holds Largest Member Meeting

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The Supplier Excellence Alliance (SEA) held a member meeting on February 9, 2006 in El Segundo, CA. It was the largest meeting since the Alliance was formed in 2003.

On February 9, 2006, the Supplier Excellence Alliance (SEA) conducted its largest member meeting to date in El Segundo, California. It was hosted by SEA member Northrop Grumman Corporation at their ID facility.

SEA is the Joint Program Office for the conversion of the aerospace, defense and space industry. As a non-profit alliance of leading industry prime contractors, tier-one suppliers and key industry suppliers, SEA’s purpose is to accelerate supply chain performance. SEA deploys a collaborative business system adopted by member companies to help supplier organizations expand their capabilities and gain immediate and sustainable improvements.

The meeting was attended by industry leaders, including SEA member companies, Associate member companies, supplier companies, and SEA Authorized Service Providers.

The meeting agenda featured a supplier panel, moderated by SEA Board Chairman Michael Beason. The panel discussed critical changes taking place in the aerospace, defense and space industry. Panelists also responded to questions from attendees on their respective implementations of SEA’s Lean Enterprise System (LES). Panelists included Christi Cristich, President of Christek Interconnects, Brad Hart, President for Robert’s Tool Company, Chet Claudon, formerly President of the Cartwright Division of Meggitt Defense Systems, Inc, and Tony Lawson, Vice President – Production Operations with Hitco Carbon Composites.

The SEA meeting also included a site visit at Robert’s Tool Company, conducted by President, Brad Hart. Attendees were able to see the tangible results of Robert’s implementation of the SEA Lean Enterprise System firsthand.

Also featured at the meeting was a supplier presentation by Endwave Corporation of Sunnyvale, California. Endwave reported on their impressive results from the implementation of the SEA Lean Enterprise System and provided an update on how the LES contributed to expanding their capabilities. Endwave Vice President Jim Crossen shared outputs and metrics from all three tracks of the LES (Strategic Planning, Workforce Development and Operational Excellence).

Brad Davidson of Aero-Craft Hydraulics, Inc. summed up attendee reactions. “Most of the time, there’s about 5% “meat” and 95% fluff in these type of meetings, but I can honestly say my introduction to SEA was a day well spent.”

Troy Salaises, of Monogram Aerospace noted, “The trip to Roberts Tools was very inspirational. It’s good to see employees enthusiastic about the SEA program.”

Dan Wallace of Dresser-Rand added, “The conference was terrific. The supplier presentation, the site visit, and the panel discussion worked very well. As an OEM, this is a very powerful message to take to my supply base.”

SEA member companies represented included The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Company, United Technologies (Pratt & Whitney, Hamilton Sundstrand, Sikorsky), Parker Aerospace, Rockwell Collins, Textron, (Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft), Space Systems Loral, BAE Systems, Hitco Carbon Composites, Bombardier, Honeywell, and TW Metals.

To learn more about SEA, visit the SEA website at

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Paul Roelofs