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Individual Strategy Paper for Boeing Defense
Verginia Manoukian
Pepperdine University
One of the three main business divisions of the Boeing Company is the Boeing Defense,
Space and Security (BDS) unit based in Arlington, Virginia. BDS mainly designs and
manufactures defense and aerospace products and services (“About Boeing Defense, Space &
Security,” 2019). The business division was established in 2002 after the Boeing Company
decided to merge its “Space and Communication” and “Military Aircraft and Missile Systems”
business divisions. Currently, due to the operations and success of BDS, Boeing is considered
the second-largest defense contractor globally (“About Boeing Defense, Space & Security,”
2019). BDS has a strategic focus on helping its clients meet their mission requirements at sea, on
land, and in the air. Six of its key markets include Autonomous Systems and Services, Satellites,
Human Space Exploration, Military Rotorcraft, and Commercial Derivative Aircraft. Evidently,
BDS leverages innovation and technology to improve the quality of its products and services
(“About Boeing Defense, Space & Security,” 2019). Specifically, the company invests
significantly in R&D to come up with high-quality and advanced-technology weaponry for its
clients. Gaps, however, still exist in the company’s ability to meet the diverse defense and
military needs of consumers. The recommendations that follow seek to explain how the firm can
fill the existing gaps to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in its operations in the military and
defense segments. This report utilizes GAP analysis to dissect the possibility of working with
department of defense approved vendors for development of products, development of a military
version of the 737-Max, and identifying and developing non-combat military needs.
GAP Analysis
Gap analysis is a technique of examining the variance between an organization’s actual
performance and the expected performance. Specifically, this method of assessment seeks to
determine the needs of the company by identifying areas of improvement and potential risks to
be averted as a means of achieving the predetermined goals (Bhat, 2019). At the strategic level,
Gap analysis is to compare the organization’s level with that of the respective industry standards.
In other words, besides just improving the competitiveness of products and services, gap analysis
seeks to increase the success of the organization at all levels.
Working with DOD-Approved Vendors for Co-Development of products
Boeing works with several suppliers in the design, manufacture, delivery and
maintenance of the defense and military equipment. The company’s management is responsible
for looking for suppliers of various product parts. This requires that Boeing studies different
suppliers and analyzes their products inputs to determine whether they fit into the company’s
design and manufacturing process. This step takes a significant portion of the company’s
resources and adds up to the overall production cost for the defense and military equipment.
Since the company works mostly with the US government in the design and manufacture of the
military and defense equipment, the move for working with DOD-approved vendors is vital for
cost and risk reduction.
Working with DOD-approved vendors would take away the pressure of having to contact
and evaluate various suppliers for their capability to supply multiple equipment parts.
Additionally, the process reduces any cases of product rejections by the consumers based on the
inappropriateness of some of the pieces if they are purchased from untrusted suppliers. The
DOD-approved vendors also come with the expertise of dealing with military equipment. The
vendors would easily support the defense and military faction of the company in the
customization of the army product parts to meet the design and development needs for the
equipment. The move would also ensure the efficiency of the inbound logistics section of the
company. It supports Boeing’s ability to acquire the right materials for the design and production
of the final products. It will also ensure efficiency in the company’s operations due to the
availability of the right materials at the right time to meet the design and production need of the
Consequently, this would lead to the reduction of the overall costs of operations.
Additionally, working with DOD-approved vendors would significantly reduce the risks of
product rejections by the users. This is because the suppliers of the parts have strong
relationships and trust with the users of defense and military equipment (Tang, Zimmerman, &
Nelson, 2009, January).
Identification of Non-Combat Military needs and the Development of Planes to meet such
Boeing is well-known for its reputation in the design and development of defense and
military equipment. Gaps, however, still exist in non-combat military services such as
reconnaissance and refueling. It is therefore vital that the company’s management considers the
recommendation for the design and development of non-combat military and defense services.
To achieve effectiveness in defense, there is a need for the development of equipment that can
help improve the watchfulness and identification of threats in the military field. The move is
achievable, given the resources and capabilities at the disposal of Boeing for the design and
development of such product and services (Khurshid, & Bing-Rong, 2004). Boeing invests a
significant amount of its funds on research and development. The funds are vital in enhancing
the innovative capability of the company and its ability to develop non-combat military needs.
The company is endowed with experts in the design and manufacture of product and services to
meet the identified needs.
It is also vital that Boeing develops the capacity of its military and defense equipment to
ensure the maximum safety possible for the users. The refueling of military and defense aircraft
is vital yet is still a complex process that is still considered dangerous. There is a need for the
company to innovate in ways of ensuring that the equipment could be refueled mid-air without
risking the lives of the users. Application of the latest technologies and inputs for the design and
manufacture of such support services for the combat equipment is vital in the achievement of
these objectives.
Staff training and development is a critical factor in enhancing the overall creativity and
innovativeness of the company’s staff. The company must conduct numerous training and
development sessions for staff for them to gain the necessary skill, knowledge and morale. These
are essential for the design and development of support equipment and services for the military
and defense faction of the company. The company would consequently train and support the
users of the equipment to enhance the overall security and safety of its material.
Development of a Military Version of the 737-MAX
Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) segments of the business have been profitable,
contributing an estimated 66.83% of the company’s revenue. The parts have been known for the
development of commercial jetliners to meet the cargo and passenger requirements of airliners
globally. The segments are endowed with resources vital for the design and construction of
airplanes that meet the needs of users. The 737 MAX version of the aircraft are fuel-efficient and
reduces the overall costs of operations for its users (Dursun & Soutis, 2014). The development
of a military version of the plane would be vital for boosting the efficiency of activities in the
defense and military sections. It also contributes to the reduction in the overall costs, given the
fuel-efficiency capability of the product. The move would be vital for the offering of cost-
effective options to the users of the military and defense products and services at Boeing. The
speed of the equipment would also be critical of ensuring the efficiency of the defense and
military operations. As the 737 Max airplanes are currently grounded, it would be a great time to
implement this idea and use some of the grounded planes to transform them for use in the
defense sector.
Training of military pilots would accompany the development of the latest technology
equipment in the defense and military segment of the company. Consequently, there would be a
need for the training of pilots to adequately understand the functions and capabilities of the new
equipment. This will also boost the security and safety of users and enhance the overall outcome
of defense and military operations.
“About Boeing Defense, Space & Security.” (2019). Boeing Defense, Space & Security.
Retrieved 20 July 2019 from
Bhat, A. (2019). What is gap analysis? Definition, method, and template with example.
QuestionPro. Retrieved 20 July 2019 from
Dursun, T., & Soutis, C. (2014). Recent developments in advanced aircraft aluminium
alloys. Materials & Design (1980-2015), 56, 862-871.
Khurshid, J., & Bing-Rong, H. (2004, December). Military robots-a glimpse from today and
tomorrow. In ICARCV 2004 8th Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision Conference,
2004. (Vol. 1, pp. 771-777). IEEE.
Tang, C. S., Zimmerman, J. D., & Nelson, J. I. (2009, January). Managing new product
development and supply chain risks: The Boeing 787 case. In Supply Chain Forum: An
International Journal (Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 74-86). Taylor & Francis.
Platzer, M. D. (2009, December). US aerospace manufacturing: Industry overview and
prospects. Library of Congress Washington DC Congressional Research Service.

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