Erie PA - Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

Are Department of Defense Budget Uncertainties Affecting Your Revenue?

Jul 12, 2017 | Posted in News

Brett Wiler, Director of Research, Grants, and Business Outreach

Pennsylvania has a rich tradition of meeting the needs of our national defense. With a large and robust manufacturing base in our corner of the state – Northwest PA is a major reason the Commonwealth ranks 7th in the nation in defense contract activity, and 4th among states in the delivery of supplies and equipment. However, due to Department of Defense (DoD) cutbacks and federal sequestration, regional manufacturers have found themselves in an uncertain position – and looking for new revenue opportunities and markets to exploit. According to a report released by the DoD in 2015 (the most recent data available) Pennsylvania experienced $2.4 billion in defense contract losses from FY2008 FY2015.

To help assist regional defense contractors, for the next 12 months the ERCGP will prioritize outreach to firms who have experienced losses due to the severe cuts in defense contract awards. The ERCGP was recently awarded grant funds through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the US Department of Defense to identify, prioritize, call upon, and survey targeted companies in the DoD supply chain. Further, this outreach is intended to lead to referrals, direct technical assistance, and the development and implementation of market diversification plans. With these grant funds, the ERCGP will increase capacity by adding an additional outreach specialist to the team. In addition, funds will be used to contract with a local University student who will support the Economic Development division with data collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation. With this increased capacity in the Economic Development division, will be scheduling visits with companies to conduct ‘health checks,’ assess pain points, provide recommendations, and make referrals to our partners for follow-up assistance. Through that follow-up assistance, our goal is to help defense suppliers implement market diversification plans to better identify new industry segments and customers, ultimately leading to increased leads, conversions, and sales revenue. We will work with our various Lead Team partners and colleagues, identified here, in an article written earlier in the year.

Through increased outreach, the ERCGP hopes to accomplish several goals:
• Strengthen and diversify the regional industrial sector
• Increase global competiveness of defense businesses in Northwest Pennsylvania
• Build intellectual capacity within the defense supply chain
• Spur innovation
• Promote resiliency of the defense supply chain
• Create awareness about the Economic Development services available in the region

In collaboration with our Lead Team partners, the ERCGP wants to meet with your chief decision makers to discuss the different ways we can help you pivot away from over-reliance on DoD contracting, and begin to diversify your customer base. We can assist with:
• Market Research
• Commercialization of Technology
• Competitor Analysis
• Product | Process Improvement
• Sales Strategy
• Marketing Plan Development
• Website Development
• Social media strategy
• E-Commerce
• Technology Scouting
• More!

Contact Brett Wiler, Director of Research, Grants, and Business Outreach today to find out more.
Bwiler@eriepa.com
814-454-7191 ×137

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