Rapid Product Development
AUDS represents a shining example of where small, agile and innovative companies like Chess Dynamics Ltd, Blighter Surveillance Systems and Enterprise Control Systems Ltd can deliver a technologically mature solution to an emerging threat. Where there are complementary technologies that come together to reach a mutually beneficial solution, then yes there should be vast opportunities for like-minded SMEs to work together.
In terms of product offerings, SMEs’ agility, flexibility and their capacity for rapid prototyping makes them able to work at a higher tempo than Primes and Tier 1 suppliers / system of system integrators. The ability to bring a product to market is therefore much quicker, but the issue is not so much whether we can offer a better solution, more often than not we can, but whether or not the customer, particularly major armed forces and government departments have the appetite to deal direct with SMEs. The UK, unlike the US, does not have a statute that makes a commitment to supporting SMES, only initiatives and policies. A degree of faith is required from both sides, for the SMEs to compromise to find a suitable working environment and for the customer to show faith and so avoid delays and benefit from the lower overheads characteristic of dealing with SMEs.