You can read the special coverage published in the December 2019 Issue of MSI Turkish Defence Review here:
The Teknokent Defence Industry Cluster (TSSK) continues to organise B2B events aiming to bring together prime contractors with members of the cluster. The latest event, where FNSS explained its projects and cooperation opportunities to TSSK member companies, was held on 18 November at the METU Technopolis Informatics Innovation Centre.
A total of 104 representatives from 49 companies in the cluster participated in the event , alongside 20 representatives of FNSS. All 49 companies had the opportunity to sit down with representatives of FNSS for B2B meetings at six tables set up at the venue.
The event launched with an opening speech by Zeynep Öktem, Chairman of the Board of TSSK, and continued with the sharing of information by FNSS officials about the company and its supply chain. In her opening speech, Öktem said that such events aimed at bringing together the major players in the sector and the TSSK member companies will continue, and added: “I believe that these events are useful, in that they allow prime contractors to inform us about the future needs defined in their roadmaps, and while giving our member companies the opportunity to introduce themselves to the prime contractors.”
She said that they had successfully concluded the 6th Project Market held in February 2019, and noted that for the 7th Project Market and Collaboration Summit, to be held on 5 February, 2020 , they had started preparations well in advance of the event, and were proceeding at full speed. She said that the outcomes of the 6th Project Market had far exceeded their expectations, leading them to increase their targets for the next event. Öktem said that she expected the participation of high-level protocol representatives from the Ministry of National Defence at the 7th Project Market and Collaboration Summit, and announced that talks with other relevant ministries and institutions were underway.
We Want to Work with You
The event continued with a presentation by Haldun Olgun, Business Development Manager at FNSS. He said that when FNSS first received a request from TSSK to take part in the event, the management immediately accepted the proposal, and continued: “Because METU Technopolis and the companies here are very important for us, for our future and for our existence.”
Olgun went on to say: “Since its establishment in 1989, FNSS has worked with perhaps over 1,000 subcontractors and suppliers. At present, we have almost 500 suppliers with which we are actively engaged. Until recently, particularly with regard to indigenisation efforts, we were talking about a pyramid that was considered to have the main system manufacturers at the top, and the component manufacturers – especially those producing mechanical parts – at the bottom. However, the companies producing the subsystems required for our vehicles, which could be found at the centre of the pyramid, were very few in number, which compelled us to try to do everything internally. In time, technoparks have slowly started to fill this gap, and we think that the point achieved to date is quite satisfactory. Today, there are a number of important factors that support our collaboration with these companies. At present, we, as Turkey, are experiencing some difficulties in importing subsystems for the platforms and systems we produce. Although there is no announced embargo on systems whose users are the Turkish Armed Forces or other security forces in our country, we do experience problems. The number of countries adopting a similar approach towards Turkey is increasing, which compels us to develop and produce these subsystems at home. Furthermore, the recent indigenisation policies of the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) have also started to take effect. Until recently, we had always talked about the local participation rate. However, thanks to the efforts of the SSB and the determination of Turkish companies, today, we are talking about subsystems that will be produced indigenously from now on. Accordingly, we want to work with you in every field, and we will do that.”
Olgun continued his presentation providing details on the establishment, growth and development of FNSS, and introduced the completed and ongoing projects of the company in Turkey and abroad. He added: “We are working with subsidiary industries in many areas. FNSS is more of a design and integration company. Therefore, aside from some special productions, we strive to transfer business to our suppliers and business partners, and are ready to work with you. ”
FNSS Launches Integrated Management System
Burcu Kayın Topçuoğlu, Senior Lead Quality Assurance Engineer at FNSS, provided information about the company’s supplier selection and evaluation procedures. Stating that FNSS had started implementing the Integrated Management System as of May 2019, she said: “With the implementation of the Integrated Management System in our company, changes have been made in our evaluations of the process of selecting suppliers. While in the past we were mainly seeking suppliers that could fulfil our quality management requirements, beginning from this date, we have started to look into their environmental and occupational health standards as well. Accordingly, we request such information from our suppliers in the audits we conduct at their facilities and in the pre-audit forms .”
Topçuoğlu stated that the Candidate Supplier Evaluation Form that needs to be filled in to become a supplier of FNSS is readily available, upon request, and announced that they would soon add the form to the FNSS website. She also pointed out that applicant companies should be holders of ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 and ISO 27001 certificates.
We will Continue to Opt for Local Solution Partners
Hikmet Balcı, Programme Director, Local Programmes, FNSS, pointed out that the company had increased its focus on domestic projects in recent years, and that the scope of such will grow in time. He said: “The main goal of the strategies developed by the SSB in recent years has been to support domestic industries through platform-developing companies. On our part, we are also working to increase the pool of local suppliers with which we can do business, and to improve their capabilities. The SSB acts very responsibly in terms of local participation rates. All cost items to be incurred by platform manufacturers and developers are examined and analysed, and local participation rates are determined, and we expect to see a similar approach in the companies we work with. We further expect to see serious process management practices in the field of cost management. Our strategy is based on setting serious goals at the very outset and developing the product accordingly, rather than first designing and producing something and then determining its cost and price. We are working to share information and to generate ideas with the companies with which we work in the framework of mutual goodwill, and to increase the local participation rate in line with the strategy of the SSB. Our company has always preferred to work with local solution partners, and we will continue to operate in line with this target. We expect our local solution partners to be open-minded, to share risks and constraints with us, and to resolve the problems they encounter together with us. ”
Serkan Balbay, Vetronics and Weapon Systems Director at FNSS, said that Turkey has a competent infrastructure for vehicle production, in terms of both weapon systems and vetronics, and added: “METU Technopolis holds a special place in this area … If you have any opinions, ideas or solutions on such topics as image processing, navigation, basic improvements in vehicle electronics, communication of vehicles with other platforms and with each other, and driver assistance systems, please share them with us. In such areas, one idea leads to another idea, and the needs keep increasing.”
Following the speeches, the FNSS officials and representatives of the TSSK member companies discussed new areas of cooperation during the B2B meetings held at the tables set up for the purpose.