A 5-year strategic roadmap to meet Rafaut’s 2025 ambitions

Context

Rafaut is a French equipment manufacturer for the military and civil aeronautics industry. Historical supplier of the French Ministry of Defense and OEMs like Dassault Aviation, the group provides key elements such as Rafale’s external fuel tanks, carriage & release systems, or even scoring & targeting tools since the acquisition of the system manufacturer Secapem in 2021. The group also holds 30% of its activity in civil part manufacturing, providing complex assemblies for programs like the Airbus A320 and several platforms from Airbus Helicopters.

Since 2018, the group turned towards an external growth strategy to reach a critical size and expand its areas of competences within a market currently under reshaping. The “One Rafaut” consolidation strategy led to the acquisition of several players, to reach around 160M€ of revenues at the end of 2021. Following this dynamic, the group ambitions is to generate a turnover of 250M€ by 2025, and to become a global Tier-1 supplier for the Aerospace & Defense (A&D) OEMs.

  • 4
  • Acquisitions in 1-year
  • Secapem, Lace, Alkan, Seca
  • +60%
  • Turnover increase in 1-year

Strategic issues

As a result of the multiple acquisitions, Rafaut had to deal with a great diversity of products, competences and market segments that needed rationalization to efficiently participate to Rafaut’s 2025 vision. The following objectives had to be addressed:

Starburst’s approach

Starburst’s DNA is to ensure that innovation in Aerospace & Defense is turned into market realities. Leveraging Starburst ecosystem and expertise on all A&D market segments Starburst worked alongside Rafaut throughout the year 2021, with final objective of settling a 5-year technological roadmap and recommending a product roadmap prioritization to nurture Rafaut’s growth strategy.

A 4-step approach was deployed to rapidly consolidate the successive acquisitions into an actionable product line strategy:

  1. Assessment and structuring of Rafaut Group’s capabilities 
    Starburst performed a round of 360° internal interviews to collect internal capabilities/ know-how/ technologies and associated level of mastering. Each capability was characterized through a TRL assessment, the identification of current and potential future applications/ programs, the definition of the industrial organization (Make or Buy) and the competitive advantage of Rafaut Group regarding this capability.A consolidated picture of Rafaut Group’s capabilities along the civil and defense value chains was thus established, highlighting the complementarities and the overlaps.
  2. Capture and characterization of future market needs and disruptions on all A&D market segments (technology & business trends and dynamics)
    Analyzing the current markets of Rafaut and the newly acquired companies, a segmentation of current and adjacent addressable markets by Rafaut Group was performed, crossing potential value propositions of Rafaut Group and civil/ military platforms.Leveraging Starburst expertise on all A&D markets and Starburst ecosystem of innovators, each market segment was then fully documented: value chain description, main competitors and market players positioning, key technological drivers and products requirements.
  3. A&D market segments strategic review: prioritization and market potential assessment
    Through expert and market interviews and iterative working sessions with Rafaut teams, the attractiveness (market size and growth, strategic fit) and the accessibility (technical “stretch”, competition intensity) of each new or adjacent market segment was assessed. Doing so, 10 priority market segments, and associated Rafaut value propositions, have been defined.
  4. Business-case definition and consolidation with 2025 ambition
    Finally, Starburst supported Rafaut’s team in the definition of a comprehensive business-case for each of the 10 prioritized product-lines. Drumbeating a task force of product line managers, potential revenues over the 2021-2026 period and Recuring Costs/ Non-Recurring Costs were computed and the forecasted profitability was derived for each product line, fueling the strategic business plan of the Group.

Results

As a result of the close collaboration between Rafaut Group and Starburst teams throughout 2021, the 2025 strategic vision and business-plan was enriched with the following elements:

“Starburst support has been instrumental for the definition of our strategic product roadmap and the qualification of our growth levers

Nicolas Orance – CEO Rafaut Group

“It’s been an honor to support Rafaut in this transforming moment for the Group and enable Rafaut benefit from Starburst expertise regarding the disruptions ahead in the A&D”

Mathias de Dampierre – Managing Director Starburst France