Case Study: Aerospace Company Drives One Company Synergies
The competitive pressures brought on by the 4th Industrial Revolution are requiring transformational change for long-established companies to remain competitive. Their test organizations are no exception and, fortunately, are locations of great opportunity for driving competitive advantage. Because of their effects on the cost and speed of key enterprise processes in engineering and manufacturing they have become a key focus for producing “one company synergies”.
The customer’s Aerospace division had completed several reorganizations focused on reducing costs and improving performance and they were looking for more. Like many aerospace companies, this one was an assembly of many previous acquisitions. Each acquisition brought its own company culture and practices. What they hadn’t fully explored was how to improve resource management within their complex and costly test organizations. They thought there might be an opportunity for “one company” synergies.
A snapshot of their situation follows.
- 40+ facilities globally
- An eclectic mix of categories of equipment: sharable & non-sharable, large fixed & portable, mechanical & electrical, company developed and COTS
- Equipment utilization averaging below 20%, 7% to 30% depending on asset category
- A proliferation of processes, tools, and spreadsheets for managing the equipment
- Cultural barriers included distrust between departments that lead to hoarding of equipment and other costly behaviors
- No comprehensive data about their assets, their use, availability, condition, future demand, obsolescence, or a host of other important information
These unknowns were anathema to the company’s data-driven, engineering-focused culture. Company leaders realized that not knowing the answers quickly translated into excessive hidden costs of ownership – equipment purchases, property taxes, storage space, calibration & maintenance, rental & lease costs, distractions of key technical staff, etc. – as well as downtime associated with obsolete equipment and, more importantly, program delays. This was the opposite of “one company synergies”.
With demand for capital out-stripping supply, there was a clear need and plenty of room for dramatic improvement.
A Blueprint defined the essential elements of the solution which included an implementation plan and financial Pro-forma against which the team would measure future success. Phase one of the implementation focused on re-deployable and sharable equipment because of its ubiquitous presence throughout the test process. The goal was to launch and test the Sente enterprise asset management software Scireo® at one location, then implement it globally to produce “one company” synergies.
Sente and the company’s in-house equipment management team worked together to audit existing equipment, set up the management structure – tailored processes, refined roles with metric responsibilities and Scireo® integrated software tools – and introduce it at the beta site in just two weeks. The integration would enable all of the different categories of equipment to be managed in one tool with performance enabled by powerful workflows designed specifically for each equipment category. They wanted to be able to be consolidated into one view of all categories of equipment needed for each test program.
It didn’t take long for company leaders to see that the new system was working, leading to a rapid rollout to key sites in North America:
- 14 additional locations
- 9-month implementation
- Over 100,000 assets brought into the system
The keystone of the solution is Scireo®, the integrated software previously mentioned that measures utilization and provides real-time information on specific pieces of equipment – leading to smarter, more cost-effective decisions about every asset.
In addition, Sente’s detailed knowledge of the cultural dynamics that needed to be overcome led to quick adoption by labs and middle management as a mechanism to reduce costs.
The company-wide implementation of the TRM solution led to several rapid, significant improvements. The “one company synergies” vision became reality. The results below include all categories of test capabilities. Some of the benefits include:
- The cultural transformation from hoarding to collaboration opened the possibility for synergy
- Overall utilization increased to > 55% resulting in a significant improvement to the ability to fund new projects
- Over 40% location-consolidation on targeted capabilities managed using Scireo®
- Reduced equipment downtime over 30% with robust maintenance protocols
- Responsiveness of test processed improved over 60%
- Greater visibility to future resource constraints and available contingencies across multiple locations, enabling planning based on knowledge of resource dependencies
- All laboratories now share standard processes and tools for scheduling the capacity of all different equipment categories.
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