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Supply Chain Influence: Are we there yet?

Supply chain managers trying to get a seat at the C table ask: What do we need to know to increase supply chain influence?

By ·

Bitter rivals, Airbus and Boeing have engaged in a 25-year dogfight for air supremacy. Boeing held a commanding early edge in orders and deliveries. However, fueled by fly-by-wire technology, Airbus persistently closed the gap. By 1999, Airbus took the orders lead. By 2003, Airbus passed Boeing in deliveries. Boeing’s new reality was clear: As a fierce and capable rival, Airbus wasn’t going away.

Redefining the rules As they looked to the 21st century, Airbus and Boeing both sought to redefine the competitive rules. Airbus’ goal: Eliminate Boeing’s big advantage—its 747 jumbo-jet monopoly. For four decades, the 747 had given Boeing a double advantage: prestige and cash flow. Boeing had sold almost 1,400 copies of the iconic 747, spinning off profits to fund hugely successful new planes like the 737 and 777. For Boeing, the goal was simple: Find a way to sell and deliver more planes than Airbus.

The two rivals chose distinct routes. Airbus announced the A380 in early 2000. The double-decker plane would carry 550 passengers in a traditional three-cabin layout, reducing per-passenger costs by 15%. Airbus forecast orders would come streaming in—totaling 1,200 units by 2020. Not wanting to cede bragging rights, Boeing almost doubled down on its own new super jumbo. But, after running the numbers, Boeing decided the market wasn’t big enough for two super jumbos. Boeing forecast a total market as small as 325 planes.

This complete article is available to subscribers only. Log in now for full access or start your PLUS+ subscription for instant access.

By ·

Bitter rivals, Airbus and Boeing have engaged in a 25-year dogfight for air supremacy. Boeing held a commanding early edge in orders and deliveries. However, fueled by fly-by-wire technology, Airbus persistently closed the gap. By 1999, Airbus took the orders lead. By 2003, Airbus passed Boeing in deliveries. Boeing’s new reality was clear: As a fierce and capable rival, Airbus wasn’t going away.

Redefining the rules As they looked to the 21st century, Airbus and Boeing both sought to redefine the competitive rules. Airbus’ goal: Eliminate Boeing’s big advantage—its 747 jumbo-jet monopoly. For four decades, the 747 had given Boeing a double advantage: prestige and cash flow. Boeing had sold almost 1,400 copies of the iconic 747, spinning off profits to fund hugely successful new planes like the 737 and 777. For Boeing, the goal was simple: Find a way to sell and deliver more planes than Airbus.

The two rivals chose distinct routes. Airbus announced the A380 in early 2000. The double-decker plane would carry 550 passengers in a traditional three-cabin layout, reducing per-passenger costs by 15%. Airbus forecast orders would come streaming in—totaling 1,200 units by 2020. Not wanting to cede bragging rights, Boeing almost doubled down on its own new super jumbo. But, after running the numbers, Boeing decided the market wasn’t big enough for two super jumbos. Boeing forecast a total market as small as 325 planes.

 

 


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