In efforts to cut costs and improve efficiency, prime contractors are finding that direct contact with suppliers is key, executives said at a conference this month. Optimizing the supply chain involves better supplier integration and better use of e-commerce, Al Mulvey, vice president-UTC Aerospace Supply Management, Pratt&Whitney Canada said in Long Beach, Calif. at Aviation Week's Aerospace Expo '99. If suppliers typically account for 70 percent of product costs, he said, "we're ...

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