For us aviation and manufacturing buffs, today was a landmark day as Boeing delivered its first substantially composite passenger jet (787 Dreamliner) to All Nippon Airways in Tokyo. As a newly minted private pilot in the early 2000’s, I was fascinated with its unique design concepts. As a third-tier supplier to the aviation and defense markets, I was impressed to see how an entire supply base could get excited about a single product release. It has been a roller-coaster ride for Boeing that lasted over a decade. After some years of design, the first order was received in 2004 and the first aircraft delivery was not expected until 2008. Here we are in 2011 to see it. Through a great deal of economic adversity, technical challenges, miles of bureaucratic red tape, cancelled orders, labor strife, and strong industry skepticism, Boeing persevered and marched on with intelligence and courage.
So it goes for many of the rest of us as we look forward to what may be another economic recession on the heels of the last. Are we prepared to enter it with intelligence and courage? For tax savings, have we considered segregation studies of our facilities and assets? Tightening lines of credit will not ease; are we prepared with adequate cash-flow strategies and cash-flow projection tools? Have we screened and cleaned our supplier base - retaining only those who offer the best value and have the sustainability to be there for us down the road? While we have already leaned out our factory floors, have we offered the same support to our administrative and technical support departments?
As today’s landmark delivery for Boeing is really just a new beginning, we might look to our future economic challenges as an opportunity to make some very smart business decisions that pay off well.Tim Musholt is an accountant in Katz, Sapper & Miller's Audit and Assurance Services Department, which is comprised of individuals skilled at evaluating business and control risks for clients.