We aim to encourage innovation and flexibility, provide opportunities to access new business, and share best practices. We are committed to paying our suppliers promptly and we are working to ensure we consistently adhere to the highest standards of payment practices.
We are a signatory to the UK Prompt Payment Code and we are committed to paying our suppliers promptly and in accordance with agreed terms.
We foster skills and invest in innovation throughout our supply chain and ensure supplier intellectual property is protected. We work constructively with our suppliers and we aim to remove barriers to trade, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). We invite our suppliers to join our Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) Aerospace & Defence academy training programme (Procurement Developing You).

Working with SMEs 

SMEs are a key part of keeping our supply chain healthy, agile and vibrant. They are essential to the delivery of our programmes and so we offer a range of support to enable them to work well with us. 
Although SMEs must meet the same minimum standards as our larger suppliers, and must compete on a similar basis, we endeavour to remove barriers to contracting, resulting from SMEs’ limited resources and smaller scale operations.
Our Standard Conditions of Purchase and timely payment terms help to streamline routine purchases and are the baseline for more complex commercial arrangements.
We promote collaboration with SMEs through ‘Meet the Buyer’ events, technology conferences, supplier forums and supplier portals. We encourage knowledge sharing and invest in high-quality research. In turn, we’ve noticed that such initiatives help fund and support innovative SMEs, allowing them to grow their business.

Skills development

Key to our business and our supply chain is skill development and education of the future workforce, and we encourage our suppliers to be involved with apprenticeship schemes and other career development programmes. 
We invest a significant amount of money into this, as well as being a key provider of development and careers in this area. 
Three areas of focus where we work in partnership with our suppliers in the UK are:
  • Supporting our supply chain in engaging with and inspiring the next generation within the education system by utilising a STEM How to Guide that was created by BAE Systems and the Women’s Business Council. The guide targets Small and Medium Enterprises to provide links and resources for them to become STEM ambassadors and deliver activities working with schools and youth groups; and
  • Reaching out to individuals (16-24) who are not in education, employment or training by utilising the Movement to Work programme. This programme provides high-quality work training opportunities, including vocational training and mentoring and on-the-job experience, linking placements where possible to jobs or apprenticeships to create sustainable employment.
  • Through our relationship with Be the Business, the charitable organisation working to improve UK Productivity through businesses working together to improve the performance of all, we are actively supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This support comes primarily through two programmes, Productivity through People and Mentoring for Growth. Productivity through People provides SMEs with a mixture of academic teaching, visits to exemplar organisations such as BAE Systems, and peer to peer networking and learning over a 12 month period. Mentoring for Growth matches mentors from large organisations such as BAE Systems with owners / leaders of SMEs to help them work through their own growth related challenges. 

Encouraging diversity

We understand and value the vital role that diverse small businesses can play in driving innovation and creating jobs in our industry and across the broader economy.
BAE Systems Inc. is committed to meeting the small business subcontracting requirements as set forth in the Federal Acquisition Regulations and administered by the Small Business Administration.  We have a track record of honouring our contractual commitments, and our small business programme has received high ratings by the Defense Contract Management Agency.
Our supply chain processes and inclusive procurement practices are fully aligned with these tenets, and partnering with qualified small businesses is a key facet of how we achieve our overarching business objectives.
We track our performance in this area with two KPIs:
  • To increase supply chain diversity and inclusion
  • To improve productivity of SMEs suppliers in the UK
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