Leveraging Enterprise Test Assets to Accelerate Speed and Competitiveness

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Paul McNamara

The most asset-intensive and costly part of any manufacturing business is its test equipment operations. Test equipment is an essential and very costly component of the product development process in engineering and the order to cash processes in manufacturing and field support/MRO. These processes are complex and costly, tend to be slow or erratic, and are, therefore, a great source of improvement opportunities to produce and maintain competitive advantages against competitors who are all now moving aggressively in their transformation efforts.

Test Equipment Enabled Operations are High-Leverage Improvement Targets

Test’s ubiquitous presence in mission-critical engineering, manufacturing, and MRO processes makes it uniquely high-leverage as a focus for cost containment and process acceleration. It was hands down why our first customer selected test equipment operations as the place to focus and why another customer delivered improvements to speed and cost that were 400% greater than the next best improvement project across their entire enterprise. Other typical results:

  • Up to 400% improvements to utilization typical
  • 35% to 75% reduced capital equipment demand
  • 40% reduction in equipment obsolescence
  • 2X increases to speed
  • Many administrative, non-value added tasks automated or eliminated
  • Increased Collaboration
  • 70% more planned, less reactive

Improving Test Equipment Operations also Improves Lives

These results are why those who use our aEAM solution to manage their test assets win management awards for the improvements they make. One team even went to Disneyland, and why not, as their business doubled their asset base was cut in half! They produced a more satisfying, fun, focused, and innovative work environment that grew and as a result, opened new opportunities for career advancement of the team members.

Leveraging Enterprise Test Assets Requires a Local-Global Approach

For years common asset and property management solutions were used in test operations to produce incremental improvements to asset costs but had a negative effect on speed. These disconnected solutions were incapable of leverage enterprise assets to produce “one company” benefits across organizations. Managing assets is a much different game in engineering than it is in manufacturing or quality where hoarding is a concern. In order to get leverage, the system must be one global system across functions but also be must be tailorable, configurable, and infused with the knowledge that makes each enterprise process resilient.

“One Company” Asset Leverage Requires Embedded Knowledge

Producing the “One Company” leverage that contains cost and accelerates time-to-market and responsiveness is achieved by embedding three different types of knowledge, Fundamental, Domain, and Contextual, in addition to the knowledge typically configured in an Enterprise Asset Management Solution.

Fundamental Knowledge

The fundamental knowledge required is about human behaviors. To end hoarding requires knowledge of the mechanisms that drive it.  Our knowledge is embedded in our solutions.  We call it our “Culture Change Algorithm” and the first step in the algorithm is our accountability practices, written about in,  Are Your Teams Equipped for Speed.  These practices vary slightly across domains.

Domain Knowledge

Domain Knowledge is knowledge unique in a specific domain (e.g. engineering, manufacturing, MRO). It includes 1) process performance knowledge, 2) data required to characterize the capability of assets used in the domain (e.g. performance characteristics, options, fair-market-value) as well as 3) data collected through the use of the assets as part of a process (e.g. product test results) for reporting and analysis.

Contextual Knowledge

Contextual Knowledge is data about the historical, current, and future planned deployment/uses and capacity of enterprise assets (equipment or facilities), resources (people), and services (3rd party or internal service groups) required to produce a requested outcome (e.g. complete a test program).

As contexts change (e.g. schedules move, people get sick, assets are out of service) constraints are quickly identified, contingencies planned, and then acted on.

Embedded Knowledge Transforms EAM into aEAM.

For a typical asset management application, we apply our high-performance Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) package. When that isn’t sufficient to meet your competitive requirements for cost and speed we add acceleration with embedded knowledge. We can this Accelerated Enterprise Asset Management, aEAM.

aEAM with Embedded Test Knowledge = Test Resource Management

When Scerio aEAM software includes embedded test knowledge we call that solution Test Resource Management. It is a solution that has won numerous customer and industry awards and is unique in the total value of asset management benefit produced.

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Notable Quotes

“While competing companies provide test asset management solutions that offer simple inventory tracking capabilities, Sente focuses on providing a variety of integrated solutions that bring efficiency and effectiveness to test operations and that enable improved alignment with the supply base. Sente’s software tools have improved utilization rates of test assets (with cases using Scireo exceeding 50%), reduced downtime caused by unplanned equipment requests—in some cases reducing lead time from 16 weeks to less than 1 day—with enhanced program schedules.”

Industry Analyst, Frost and Sullivan