Italy's Leonardo has launched an initiative to improve the performance of its supply chain and grow its business through closer co-operation with industrial partners.

Called LEAP2020 – which stands for Leonardo Empowering Advanced Partnerships – the programme is aimed at delivering "growth of Leonardo's supply chain in terms of both scale and quality", the company says.

The initiative will establish a "new model" for relationships with suppliers under which partners will be "sharing future challenges and opportunities", it states.

For its own business, the programme will deliver "important cost savings and streamline [Leonardo's] purchasing activity", while the group's quality and on-time delivery performance is also to be improved.

Leonardo says the effort will generate "benefits in the short term", and deliver, by 2020, "larger gains, in some cases in the region of 20% improvements in deliveries and quality".

The scheme is part of the Rome-headquartered group's four-year industrial plan, which runs until 2022.

Initially, the programme will concentrate on improving co-operation with "strategic suppliers" that deliver equipment to multiple Leonardo divisions, with a total volume of around €1 billion ($1.17 billion).

The group will select suppliers as "growth partners" based on their "capability, competitiveness, transparency, traceability and sustainability", and that similar partners will be organised in clusters, it says.

Leonardo says it intends to "grow alongside suppliers which offer high levels of technology and capabilities", and that it will provide "support, closer integration and new business opportunities" for partners.

This will include "capacity-building initiatives aimed at transferring technical and management skills", Leonardo adds.