U.S. Defense Contractors Try To Do More With Less at Airshow
With many U.S. companies continuing the trend of reducing staffs and square footage at the Farnborough International Airshow, companies are trying to lay the groundwork for international deals while spending less.
The move to reduce costs comes at a time when companies are increasingly looking at international growth to support bottom lines facing pressure at home. Companies are trying to balance possible benefits from the show — viewed by analysts as a prime opportunity to line up deals for the future with non-U.S. customers — with the price tag.
Lockheed Martin, one of the companies that has scaled back its spending and has sent fewer top executives to the past few shows, is focused on potential return on investment in the conference, said incoming chief operating officer Marillyn Hewson.
“You get an opportunity to meet with customers, to meet with your partners, and to get business done, and that’s valuable,” Hewson said. “But it’s important to constantly be assessing that year-over-year.
“And I think you’ve seen that we’ve reduced our footprint, we’ve reduced the number of people that we bring, and then we just focus on having the best quality meetings and interactions, which is why we’re here.”
Asked whether the company has seen negative consequences from its reduced spending in recent years, Hewson, who will take over the No. 2 job at the company Jan. 1, said things have gone well. “I’ve been pleased personally with my meetings over the last few days both here and at [Royal International Air Tattoo], and my colleagues as well,” she said.