Small to mid size manufacturers (SMEs) are to get access to new processes, software tools and technologies developed for the aerospace and defence sectors, following a partnership between ERP software developer K3 and initiatives developer Sigma Management Development. Sigma leads the SCRIA (supply chain relationships in action), RIW (rapid improvement workshops) and e-BAT (e0business assessment tools) initiatives, the latter aimed at helping companies to develop their own e-business strategy and projects. The deal follows K3’s existing involvement with e-BAT. Says Sigma’s managing director Paul Davis: “One of the major challenges that aerospace and defence companies face is the delivery of business improvement techniques and tool sets to SMEs.” He’s talking about everything from lean manufacturing to suplpy chain e-business. Davis says that if the sector is to weather the impending recession, it is vital that manufacturers harness these to drive down costs and improve their competitiveness. “K3 neatly solves this problem for us as … it has its own excellent lean manufacturing initiatives that dovetail neatly with our tools and techniques – and it is already a player in the aerospace and defence marketplace,” he says.