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Category Archive for: ‘Publications’
Satellite Electric Propulsion: Key Questions for Satellite Operators and their Suppliers

Use of electric propulsion for satellite station-keeping has already changed the global satellite industry, and now, with new designs that use EP for orbit-topping and orbit-raising, it is poised to transform it. Satellite operators may or may not best serve their stakeholders by being early-adopters of EP, but the inevitable growth in the technology’s use means they cannot ignore it in their strategic planning. With the market in transition, Avascent proposes three main steps for taking advantage of the opportunities presented by EP.

Strategic Offsets: Measuring Perceptions and Performance in the Global Offsets Market

With an eye on the upcoming IDEX expo, one of the Middle East’s premier defense trade shows, Avascent and its strategic communications partner Fleishman-Hillard published an assessment of the international defense offset industry.  Defense offsets, an industrial compensation practice that some governments require of foreign suppliers of defense products and services, are increasingly evident worldwide, particularly in emerging defense markets such as the Middle East. Following up on “The Half-Trillion Dollar Challenge” report, this study conducts a two-pronged assessment of the offset landscape, first surveying several hundred offset practitioners across the aerospace and defense industry, and then studies how governments communicate in key markets with both offset obligors and the broader public.

Avascent Defense Quarterly Financial Performance Report: 4Q & 2012 Results

US defense firms reported quarterly earnings last month and the results indicate the industry continues to face revenue and operating income pressure from a customer grappling with funding uncertainties. Avascent’s defense indices show, however, that on average, the industry was able to maintain operating margin and ROIC levels for the quarter and the year. The consensus on Wall Street is that profitability levels are likely be maintained over the next several quarters, due, in part, to industry cost-cutting initiatives and divestitures of low-margins business.

The strength of the industry’s balance sheet and free cash flow generation continues to support aggressive cash deployment in the form of cash dividends and share buybacks resulting in above average payout. The current dynamics in the defense market poses significant challenges to senior industry leadership in balancing short-term budget uncertainties and shareholders’ expectations against investments the industry must now make in order to optimize long-term value creation.

State Ownership in the European Defense Sector: Change or Continuity?

Europe’s modern-day industrial base has its origins in the European nation-states, which took early interest in, and eventual control of, its destiny. Yet, the passing of kings and sovereigns, the end of large continental wars, and the dismantling of cross-border trade barriers have done little to transform state attitudes toward what the French still refer to as “pouvoirs régaliens.” According to an Avascent analysis of Europe’s top defense companies, state participation remains remarkably high across most of the continent. A close examination of all European companies generating more than €400 million in defense sales in 2011 reveals a remarkable statistic: governments owned some 20% of a combined value of €84 billion.

Helping the DoD Solve Its Affordability Challenge

The Department of Defense (DoD) is facing a monumental challenge. After a decade of dramatic growth, the Department has entered a new era marked by declining budgets and continuing missions abroad. Congress has asked DoD to remain capable of addressing a range of threats, while at the same time significantly reducing its top-line expenditures. This challenge has contributed to DoD increasing its emphasis on program affordability; a concept outlined in former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD/AT&L) Ashton Carter’s 2010 memo on Better Buying Power (BBP)1, which is due to be formally updated in January 2013 in the form of current USD/AT&L Frank Kendall’s BBP 2.0.2

Transatlantic Defence Cooperation: Europe’s Weakness Denies America a Key Partner

In the latest edition of The European, Avascent’s Christina Balis considers the future of the transatlantic security relationship in the aftermath of the US elections. While many in Europe may have welcomed President Obama’s reelection, the President’s emphasis on Asia combined with Europe’s eroding military capabilities pose a long-term challenge to the continued relevance of the US-European security partnership. Without real reform and commitment, Europeans are likely to find themselves increasing irrelevant to America’s global security agenda.

Rebalancing Your Organization: Small Adjustments Can Make Big Differences

Leaders of all organizations – companies, government agencies and non-profits – must constantly decide when and how to adapt their organizations to shifting environments. External market changes, as well as internal developments, can render legacy organizational structures, processes, and norms progressively less effective. Too many times, the first responses to these challenges are ad hoc tweaks, or conversely, major reorganizations. Avascent’s Balanced Organization approach offers a structured, effective way for change-ready leaders to think about when and how to readily adapt their organizations to meet evolving challenges.

Avascent’s Aleksandar Jovovic writes in National Defense magazine observes that recent years have witnessed joint defense procurement initiatives, extending beyond NATO to include countries such as India. However, growth in collaborative defense projects has remained modest, hampered by the same decades-old challenges. Bearing in mind the defense spending outlook across the alliance, U.S. and European firms have little choice but to position for additional joint development and procurement efforts. While opportunities are unlikely to be huge and despite the added challenges of multiple stakeholders, shifting needs and competing technical requirements, some moderate- to large-scale efforts are unlikely to move forward without bilateral or multilateral funding in the coming years.

Despite a growing sense of crisis, water remains a precious commodity few talk about. But this silence is not indicative of a lack of business opportunity—quite the contrary. Technology, engineering, and utility firms worldwide are getting their feet wet literally, working in close coordination with governments and development organizations to provide clean and safe access …

Aerospace and defense companies face an unprecedented challenge as the foreign markets essential to topline growth impose new offset requirements that are stricter, larger, and more complex than ever before. Unfortunately, few firms have implemented a strategic approach to fulfilling their offset obligations. Download the complete article: The Half-Trillion Dollar Challenge.