Typical Projects Call Us 770-859-0161

As managers in industry and as professional consultants, we have completed over 1000 assignments in marketing, engineering, manufacturing, and distribution

These projects usually involve improvements in one or more of the following: strategies, business or industrial processes, organization and people, information systems, facilities, or performance measures. We do much of our work on-site — in engineering design centers, factories, laboratories, and warehouses, and divisional and corporate headquarters. Clients have called us to over 40 countries, sometimes into highly progressive operations and highly restricted areas. Our associates have helped some of the world’s largest companies, and numerous smaller ones, in a variety of industries. Over the years we have built lasting client relationships, so most of our work is through repeat business and referrals. Some of our client relationships span 40 years.

Some projects require just one of our services, while others involve two or three of them. A few projects allow us to apply all of our capabilities. Our services include the following:

  • Supply Chain Improvement (SCI)
  • Business Process Reengineering & Industrial Process Improvement (BPR & IPI)
  • Organizational Improvement & Change Management (OI&CM)
  • Information Systems Integration (ISI)
  • Facility and Operations Improvement (FOI)
  • Performance Measurement and Targets (PMT)
  • Multi-Dimensional Improvement (MDI)

In the list below, checkmarks identify the services performed on each project.  We describe each project by the business challenge, our role and the benefits.  You may sort the list by service type (click the column title) or search the list by keyword (use the feature on the right).

ProjectsSCIBPR & IPIOI & CMISIFOIPMTMDI

Computer Aided Design Systems for a Manufacturer of Large Pumps


Challenge: A manufacturer of large pumps wanted to use computer aided design Systems (CAD) to improve engineering processes.
Our Role: We reviewed the choice of CAD system suppliers.
Benefits: Lower risk, improved return on investment, and compatibility with longer-term integration plans.


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Business Process Reengineering, Organizational Improvement and Systems Integration at a Major Aerospace Contractor


Challenge: A major defense electronics manufacturer wanted to improve its ability to compete in commercial markets and a rapidly shrinking defense industry.
Our Role: Five of our associates helped lead over 300 people and 15 concurrent teams in this "business re-invention" program. Teams improved and reengineer manufacturing, engineering and support processes, integrated information systems, and made required organizational changes.
Benefits: Positioned the company for survival and growth. Reduced inventory by $80 Million. Reduced production cycle time by 33%. While competitors have lost business and closed facilities, this company has been awarded additional work.


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New Research and Development Center for a Leading Automobile Company


Challenge: A leading automobile company wanted to build a new research and development center at a new location, with an entirely new layout.
Our Role: We helped plan the billion-dollar complex, including engineering offices, design studios, test and materials labs, prototype shops, etc.
Benefits: Reduced product development cycle times, improved quality, and lowered costs.


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Order Management System Assessment for a Major Textile Manufacturer


Challenge: A major textile manufacturer was ready to implement a new Order Management system, but management noticed some problems and wanted an independent perspective.
Our Role: We conducted an independent assessment of the software and implementation plan.
Benefits: We identified 5 business process improvements to maximize the benefit of the new system and identified 7 implementation issues to resolve in order to assure project success.


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Strategic Linkage Framework for the World's Largest Beverage Company


Challenge: To improve the planning and execution of marketing and operational activities, the world's largest beverage company needed to define the business drivers that impact particular business results.
Our Role: We created a simple, business-driven, system-level "Strategic Linkage Framework" and process to improve the planning and execution of marketing and operational activities.
Benefits: More customers and higher sales per customer.


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Processes Reengineering and Information Systems Requirements for the Trademark Merchandising Group of the World's Largest Beverage Company


Challenge: The trademark licensing group of the world's largest beverage company was slow in approving new products and completing licensing agreements. Information systems were inadequate, many organizational issues existed, and planned growth would triple the workload in 5 years.
Our Role: We helped create an improvement plan and define new processes, organizational structure, information systems and facilities.
Benefits: A plan to support dramatic growth and accountability.


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Process-based Business Planning for the Technical Division of a Major Consumer Products Company


Challenge: Management of the corporate technical group of a major consumer products company wanted to create a new business planning process to replace the current bottom-up, hard-to-coordinate one. The group was made up of specialty groups, serving global operating divisions and other corporate groups.
Our Role: We helped develop a process-based business planning methodology and implement it immediately.
Benefits: Better coordination of annual business plan and improvement initiatives.

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Enterprise Modeling and Strategic Assessment for the World’s Largest Beverage Company


Challenge: The world’s largest beverage company wanted to develop enterprise-level models of strategy, process, organization, information and performance measures to use in improving their worldwide operations.
Our Role: We designed and orchestrated the entire project. We led a team of 15 consultants and analysts who supported a business team of 30 people from corporate headquarters, country divisions and bottling companies from around the world. The scope included all major business processes: engineering, production, distribution, finance, etc.
Benefits: A standard model to assist in process, organization and information systems improvements around the world. Operating divisions in the USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Africa, and Spain became the initial “enterprise” pilot projects.

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Overall Improvement Plan for the Technical Division of a Leading Food and Beverage Company


Challenge: Management of a leading food and beverage company wanted to create one improvement plan from various plans, business models and projects proposed by global engineering, manufacturing, distribution, and QA support groups.
Our Role: We used strategy, process, organization, and information models to identify organizational overlaps and gaps, define unmet business needs, and determine the effectiveness of current information systems. We also helped develop performance measures and the overall improvement plan.
Benefits: Clear priorities for 400 technical employees supporting a global business.

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Packaging Development Process Improvement for the World’s Largest Beverage Company


Challenge: The world’s largest beverage company needed to reduce packaging development cycle time.
Our Role: We documented the current process from concept to market introduction, and defined lead time drivers and causes of delay – e.g., poor prioritization, complex execution, lack of measures, unclear roles, etc.
Benefits: Identified primary issues and created four projects to resolve them.

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Information Systems Delivery Process Improvement for the Technical Division of a Major Consumer Products Company


Challenge: A major consumer products company needed to improve the delivery of technical information systems. Problems included long lead times, low user satisfaction, difficult and costly integration, and the rapid growth in information systems staff.
Our Role: To identify and resolve the root causes, we analyzed the information delivery process, including the following activities: Planning and Funding to Construction, Package Selection and Implementation. We identified the 3 key symptoms (e.g. many lead time drivers, circumvention of the I/S process, etc.) and 4 core issues (e.g., organizations in place of processes, lack of system plans, conflicting goals, etc.)
Benefits: Clear direction via an improvement plan, including 15 action items.

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Restructuring Opportunity Assessment for the Corporate Headquarters of a Global Consumer Products Company


Challenge: The headquarters groups of a global consumer products company were suffering from unclear roles, escalating costs, poor responsiveness, and lack of alignment with the strategic needs of the company.
Our Role: We used an enterprise business model and worked with a client team to assess strategy alignment, processes, roles, and information systems in areas ranging from marketing to engineering to finance. After creating a future vision, we proposed processes, roles (headquarters vs. field), performance measures, and the information needed.
Benefits: Clear, specific improvement plans to enhance the value added by HQ groups. Plan to streamline structure and eliminate organizational overlaps and gaps. HQ functions, priorities and structure aligned with the needs of the business. 100 “great ideas” for reducing cost. Eliminated 50% of management reports. Over $80 million savings from process improvements, role changes and cost reductions.

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Skills Assessment and Development Plan for a Large Corporate Engineering Group


Challenge: A large corporate engineering group needed to identify the skills and knowledge they would need in the future, so that they could plan for personnel development and hiring. In addition to business skills, required competencies included: Process, Electrical, Mechanical, Industrial, and Design Engineering.
Our Role: We helped define future types of projects, enabling activities, and skills and knowledge needed. We identified existing skills, compared them to required future skills, and created an engineering personnel development plan.
Benefits: Engineering personnel development plan and a “do-it-yourself” skills planning process for future use.

 

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Streamlined the "Fuzzy Front End" of the Equipment Development Process for a Fortune 50 Company


Challenge: A Fortune 50 company needed to streamline and improve the business focus of the "fuzzy front end" of the equipment development process. Management wanted to create an effective project screening method, ensure early resolution of key project management issues, and improve communication.
Our Role: We led a team of marketing, engineering, finance, quality and manufacturing personnel in developing project screening criteria, a new project definition document, and a list of information needed to screen projects at various stages.
Benefits: Improved project definition and screening. Better focus. Fewer, but better, projects.


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Restructuring the Spain & Portugal Division of a Leading Consumer Products Company


Challenge: The Spain & Portugal Division of a leading consumer products company needed to resolve three serious problems: unclear roles, escalating costs, and the inability to serve a wide variety of customers.
Our Role: We used an enterprise business model and worked with a client team to assess strategy alignment, processes, roles, and information systems in areas ranging from marketing to engineering to finance. We created a future vision and established priorities for improvement. The team proposed improved processes, roles, performance measures, and the information needed to support them. Clarified the role of the division office in marketing and distribution operations. Determined how to streamline the business structure. Created an implementation plan.
Benefits: Streamlined structure and improved efficiency and effectiveness. Improvements in processes, performance measures and information systems.


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Cycle Time Reduction in Engineering Testing Processes at a Major Costumer Products Company


Challenge: A major consumer products company needed to reduce the cycle time of engineering testing. The testing lab accepted more work than it could do, worked to too many priorities, and experienced long process delays. The lab performed routine and developmental tests for 13 internal customers (e.g., packaging development, marketing and quality assurance).
Our Role: We analyzed key processes and identified improvement opportunities. We found that testing cycle time ranged from 58 - 164 days, in which over 70% was "hold" time. Also, 66% of technician time was spent doing tests and related work.
Benefits: 30 opportunities for improved process cycle times, better working relationships and improved communication.


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Supply Chain Vision for the World's Leading Beverage Company


Challenge: The world's leading beverage company needed a way for international divisions to decide how to provide a high variety of products to a broad range of consumers, in 180 countries.
Our Role: We helped create a tangible, actionable Supply Chain Vision. This vision defines the capabilities required to serve consumers in the global market of 2005. We also developed a planning guide to allow each international division to tailor its own version. Business processes addressed include: planning, procurement, production, distribution, customer service, and product commercialization.
Benefits: Clear direction for global operations. A major step to strengthen the lead on the competition in the world's most demanding markets.


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Performance Measures for Engineering Testing at a Major Consumer Products Company


Challenge: An engineering testing lab at a major consumer products company was not meeting customer expectations. Management wanted to improve performance measures to help drive the proper behavior. The lab performed routine and developmental tests for 13 internal customers (e.g., packaging development, marketing and quality assurance).
Our Role: We helped to identify performance measures, data requirements and baselines.
Benefits: Clear, customer-driven measures to drive performance.


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Best Practices in Supply Chain Flexibility for a Fortune 50 Consumer Products Company


Challenge: A Fortune 50 consumer products company wanted to identify, document, and share best practices for supply chain flexibility and agility.
Our Role: We researched industry databases, investigated internal practices, and documented over 100 supply chain flexibility tactics. Tactics included vendor-managed inventory, simplifying product offerings, etc. We also identified where the practices were used and whom to contact.
Benefits: Improved management of company knowledge. Better access to ideas and tools for supply chain improvement.


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360 Degree Performance Feedback System for Major Consumer Products Company


Challenge: A major consumer products company needed to detail and implement a 360-degree performance feedback program to support personnel development planning.
Our Role: Our associates planned the entire program, and developed content, tools and process maps. Our people also created the rollout plan and supported the implementation.
Benefits: Improved performance feedback and personnel development.


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Talent Acquisition Strategy for Major Consumer Products Company


Challenge: With a growth rate of 30% per year, this major consumer products company was hiring so often from within that most associates held their positions for fewer than 2 years. This level of change was becoming a problem, and many uncoordinated initiatives had been started to address it.
Our Role: We documented a coordinated talent acquisition strategy to eliminate gaps and overlaps among initiatives. We provided a plan to identify links, dependencies, timing and resources required.
Benefits: Clear strategy and plan. Elimination of gaps and overlaps among initiatives. More effective implementation and better use of resources.


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Distribution and Customer Service Performance Metrics for a Global Beverage Company


Challenge: The distribution network of this global beverage company spanned 180 countries, served by many local and international operating groups. Management wanted operating groups to compare their effectiveness with others in the network, but a common set of measures did not exist.
Our Role: We facilitated an international group of operating managers in the development of a set of common, meaningful metrics.
Benefits: Ability to compare performance across all company operations.


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Integrated Manufacturing Systems for the World's Leading Beverage Company


Challenge: The world's leading beverage company wanted common processes and integrated information systems to better leverage the capabilities of the company's three flagship plants and centralized support functions.
Our Role: We worked with a cross-functional, cross-plant team from the US, Puerto Rico, France and Ireland. In work sessions at various sites around the world, we modeled business processes and information, created a plan for Integrated Manufacturing Systems, and selected a common ERP system. Completed the entire effort in 4 months.
Benefits: Reduced inventories, faster cycle times, improved customer service. A common, flexible, and integrated software solution for three international plants and their U.S. corporate office.


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Restructuring Plan for the Technical Operations Group of the Southern Africa Division of a Major Food and Beverage Company


Challenge: The Southern Africa Technical Operations Group of a major food and beverage company needed to restructure in response to political, economic, cultural and market changes.
Our Role: We helped a client team assess the situation and develop recommendations on how to re-align the technical group to better meet market and customer needs.
Benefits: Specific recommendations on improving communication, quality control, procurement, new product and package development, training, and the application of knowledge and technical information.


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Technical Training Assessment for the Southern Africa Bottlers of a Major Food and Beverage Company


Challenge: As markets and operations changed in a post-Apartheid South Africa, bottling companies of this Fortune 50 food and beverage company needed to increase their foundation and technical skills.
Our Role: We worked with them to identify skill gaps and identify gaps best addressed by training. We also matched needs to existing training programs, defined new programs, and developed recommendations and implementation plans.
Benefits: Associates able to meet the long-term objectives. Increased capability and skills. Paths for personnel growth. Leverage of existing knowledge to accelerate training.


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Marketing Process Improvement at the Southern Africa Division of World's Largest Beverage Company


Challenge: After the end of Apartheid, we worked with the South African Division of world's largest beverage company to develop and improve sales and marketing processes.
Our Role: We analyzed current marketing activities and improved processes and organizations. During Apartheid, this division had been excluded from improvements made in other parts of the world. Processes included marketing/sales planning (customer/brand/channel), bottler operational planning, customer account management, etc.
Benefits: Clear processes and roles for corporate, division and bottler organizations. Set the stage for successful change and increased sales volume on the African continent.


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Distribution Center Performance Measures for a Well-known Household Furnishings Retailer


Challenge: Management and associates in the single, large distribution center of a well-known household furnishings retailer had few metrics by which to evaluate and reward good performance.
Our Role: We helped develop a comprehensive set of performance measures.
Benefits: A defined, agreed-to measurement system to help drive performance of the DC, departments, managers and individuals.


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Improved New Product Introduction at Manufacturer of Material Handling Equipment


Challenge: A material handling equipment manufacturer needed to speed up new product introduction. The company had grown by merging three smaller companies - each with its own work methods, numbering and classification schemes, and computer systems.
Our Role: We helped multi-site teams arrive at a company-wide design process, standardized procedures, a streamlined organization, and common pay grades and job descriptions. We also helped implement a CAD system, including integration with other systems. We advised on training, hardware, document management, backup and system support procedures.
Benefits: Cut product development cycle time by 30%. Major savings in tooling, testing, and technical manuals.


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Improved Materials Management at a Distributor of Industrial Equipment


Challenge: A distributor of industrial equipment needed to improve logistics and operations.
Our Role: We helped overhaul materials management practices and systems, as well as reorganize the physical layouts and operations in eight regional warehouses.
Benefits: Reduced cost. Improved customer service and cycle times


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Improvement Opportunity Assessment for Expendables Inventory Management at a Major Airline


Challenge: A major airline was having difficulty in managing its $200 million inventory of expendable spare parts.
Our Role: We documented and evaluated the distribution network alternatives (hubs, line stations and suppliers). We analyzed the inventory model and quantified the inventory impact of demand and ordering patterns. In addition, we defined, modeled and assessed all current processes, organizations and information systems. Eight processes were in scope, e.g., forecasting, allocation, ordering, etc. We found problems such as: incomplete order cost information, lack of performance measures, inconsistently followed procedures, and inadequate information systems. We documented, benchmarked and assessed key performance measures and actual performance. We then identified long-term and fast-track opportunities, and estimated costs, benefits and timing.
Benefits: Potential to increase inventory turns by 200%, inventory accuracy to 95%, and service levels to 97%. 20% productivity increase in Materiel Management, Logistics and Purchasing.


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Inventory Accuracy Improvement Plan for a Leading Airline


Challenge: A leading airline was preparing to implement a new ERP system and became concerned about the record accuracy on over 100,000 maintenance inventory items.
Our Role: Working with a client team, we quantified the seriousness of the problem: Bin accuracy ranged from 65% - 94%. We identified the major recurring causes of error and created a multi-dimensional improvement plan, including 10 major project teams and 12 quick hits. The major improvements were: code changes in legacy systems, process performance measures, faster exception reporting, culture change, improved supplier packaging, enhanced education re: accuracy, the creation of an inventory audit group, and process improvements in receiving, put-away, picking, shipping and data entry.
Benefits: A clear road map for improving inventory accuracy prior to the new ERP implementation. In the first 3 months, accuracy improved from 65% to 75% on low-cost parts and from 94% to 95% on high-cost parts. Process accuracy improved by 10 - 60%.


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Detailed Design and Implementation of Inventory Accuracy Improvements for a Leading Airline


Challenge: A leading airline needed to implement 10 major improvements in 5 months in order to reach high levels of inventory accuracy before an ERP implementation.
Our Role: We helped to design improved procedures, systems and performance measures. We also prepared detailed implementation plans and supported the implementation. Major improvements included: code changes in legacy systems, process performance measures, faster exception reporting, culture change, improved supplier packaging, enhanced education re: accuracy, the creation of an inventory audit group, and process improvements in receiving, put-away, picking, shipping and data entry.
Benefits: Still in progress. In the first 3 months, accuracy improved from 65% to 75% on low-cost parts and from 94% to 95% on high-cost parts. Process accuracy improved by 10 - 60%.


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Operations Improvement and Logistics Systems Software Specification for Managing Aircraft Maintenance Parts at a Major Airline


Challenge: The maintenance materials management group at a major airline had been improving business and physical processes at 10 warehouses in its main hub, 3 maintenance hubs, and 30 line stations, but the company's 20-year-old systems and processes were impeding the progress. The company needed new logistics information systems to integrate the far-flung operations, speed the flow of information within operations, and enable improved processes.
Our Role: We prepared system specifications, determined a vendor short list and issued an RFP. We also defined processes and identified improvements in business processes and practices that could be implemented before or together with the new system. The scope included inventory control and all physical processes from receiving to shipping.
Benefits: Short time to get to RFP. Parallel definition of process improvements.


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Selection, Detailed Design and Implementation of Warehouse Management System (WMS) for Managing Aircraft Maintenance Parts at a Major Airline


Challenge: A major airline had selected SAP software to run most of the business, but still needed to decide on Warehouse Management software to manage aircraft maintenance parts.
Our Role: We led a team in finalizing requirements, detailed evaluation and final selection of WMS software. The scope included inventory control and all physical processes from receiving to shipping. Types of material included routable, expendables, repairable's, special project materials and supplies. The warehouses included 10 in the main hub, 3 at major hubs, and 30 at line stations. After selecting the SAP WMS solution, we led the team through detailed process design, system blueprinting, configuration, test and implementation.
Benefits: Fundamental process and information systems improvements. Increased service levels, reduced inventory, increased warehouse productivity.


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Requirements Definition, Selection, Detailed Design and Implementation of Advanced Demand Planning Software (APS) for Managing Aircraft Maintenance Parts at a Major Airline


Challenge: A major airline had selected SAP software to run most of the business, but still needed to decide on Advanced Demand Planning software to manage aircraft maintenance parts.
Our Role: We led a team in defining requirements, detailed evaluation and final selection of Advanced Demand Planning software. Types of material included routable, expendables, repairable's, special project materials and supplies. The scope included forecasting and planning (linked to maintenance plans), for 3 major hubs and 30 line stations. After selecting the Xelus solution, we led the team through detailed process design, system blueprinting, configuration, test and implementation.
Benefits: Solved some of the world's most demanding inventory management problems. Reduced inventory, increased planner productivity, and increased visibility of inventory and needs.


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Process, Information System and Facility Improvements for Aircraft Modification Kitting Operations at a Major Airline


Challenge: A major airline needed to improve the productivity, inventory management and service levels of the aircraft modification kit operation.
Our Role: We helped a client team develop and implement improved processes, roles, information systems, facilities and performance measures. Processes included planning, purchasing, receiving, kit building, issuing and inventory management. We also developed and delivered a custom-built Access/Visual Basic system for "interim" use by 10 people. Four years later, the system was still in daily use, by 40 people.
Benefits: Improved productivity by 20%, reduced inventory by 50%, reduced space by 40%, and increased service levels to 99.5 percent.


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ERP Integration Feasibility Study for a Leading Provider of Nuclear Power Plant Engineering and Maintenance Services


Challenge: A leading provider of nuclear power plant maintenance and upgrade services tripled its size by purchasing 2 other companies - each with a different ERP system. To minimize near-term cost and disruption, the company hoped to keep JD Edwards and SAP for 3 years and integrate them. Business planning cut-off dates allowed only 4 weeks to decide.
Our Role: We determined the technical and business feasibility of running the engineering, service and manufacturing aspects of the business by using SAP, JDE and a limited set of key related systems. We defined the needed integration, created a preliminary application architecture, selected the best integration alternative, and estimated the cost and time required. We also recommended integration projects. Integration options included: system to system integration, data warehouse, and middleware.
Benefits: A feasible, agreed-to solution, with cost and timing estimates. Completed in 4 weeks.


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Improve Resource Management Process, Organization and Information Systems for a Leading Provider of Nuclear Power Plant Engineering and Maintenance Services


Challenge: A leading provider of nuclear power plant maintenance and upgrade services was growing rapidly. Management needed consistent company-wide resource management processes and information systems to effectively manage the workforce. To meet tight schedules, the company was spending 10's of millions of dollars to acquire 1000's of contractors - while some of the company's own qualified staff resources remained underutilized.
Our Role: Working with a team from 3 business groups, we designed future resource management processes, organizations, information systems and performance measures. Processes included personnel forecasting, planning, procurement, availability and deployment. We created a 1- year, $4 million improvement plan including 10 teams, 10 new information systems and 16 quick hit projects.
Benefits: Identified savings of $12 million/year, through improved planning, reduced cycle times, supplies integration and better leverage of internal resources. Payback: Less than 1 year.


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Sales and Distribution Network Consolidation for a Leading Building Products Company


Challenge: A leading building products company needed to consolidate sales and distribution facilities and organizations.
Our Role: We surveyed over 20 distribution centers and helped plan locations for the company's new "mega-centers."
Benefits: Reduced cost, improved service, and increased inventory turns.


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Reviewed Computer Aided Design (CAD) Systems for a Major Pharmaceutical Company


Challenge: A major pharmaceutical company had diverse needs for Computer Aided Design (CAD) to support project management, engineering design and facilities management. The needs included 2-D and 3-D CAD as well as document management systems.
Our Role: We interviewed personnel, examined current information systems and quantified the number, type and use of drawings. Also, we identified the right level of computer support for each type of systems user at the plants and corporate offices.
Benefits: Clear requirements as input to information systems plans.


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Improvement Plan for a Major Manufacturer of Industrial Chemicals


Challenge: The manufacturing operations of a major manufacturer of industrial chemicals had some challenging goals, including: ISO9002 certification, improving on-time delivery by 50%, reducing plant inventory by 50%, and achieving 14% ROI on all investments.
Our Role: We developed a manufacturing improvement plan by assessing their operations and identifying, prioritizing and planning potential breakthrough improvements to surpass the objectives.
Benefits: Clear direction and improvement priorities for meeting strategic objectives. The plan included 5 process reengineering projects, 3 infrastructure projects and 3 "quick hits." In addition to the goals stated above, the proposed changes would reduce quality costs by 40%, distribution costs by 30% and material waste by 50%.


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Improvement Opportunity Assessment for Facility and Property Management Processes (FPM) for the Truck and Bus Division of a "Big 3" Automotive Company


Challenge: The Truck and Bus division of a "Big 3" automotive company was consolidating its offices from 6 sites to 2. Facility and property management (FPM) costs were $650 million per year. While many cost-reduction, process improvement, downsizing and outsourcing efforts had already brought some improvement, the company had no formal approach to process improvement and reengineering. Some existing Facility Management practices were considered good, but others were not.
Our Role: We assessed the FPM processes, identified improvement opportunities, and defined the major projects. The process in scope were planning, requirements definition, acquisition, installation, management, disposal and support.
Benefits: Clear strategy and direction for improving FPM, including 7 specific, defined projects.


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Quality Improvement for a Major Custom Cabinet Manufacturer


Challenge: The profit margins of a major custom cabinet manufacturer were too low. While the company had rapid-response manufacturing, serious quality problems plagued its overall business processes. Upstream processes (sales, design, measurement and ordering done by retailers) and downstream processes (shipping by truckers and installation by independent installers) had a major impact on the installed product quality. Management did not have a solid quality system in place, and they did not know the real cost of quality (COQ). They needed a quality system and improvement plan.
Our Role: We worked with a client team to survey customers and consumers, estimate the real COQ, assess quality/cost improvement opportunities and identify fast-track, high-yield projects. We also helped to develop a Quality System Plan, including measures, reporting and training.
Benefits: Identified COQ as 12 - 20% of sales, and the opportunity to reduce it by 50%, for early savings of $18 - $30 million. Created a quality improvement plan consisting of 17 projects, for example: fix the dark-color staining process, implement a rapid parts replenishment process, and conduct an on-going customer/consumer survey. Defined a Quality System.


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Reviewed the Information Systems Plan for a Large Carpet Manufacturing Plant


Challenge: A large carpet manufacturing plant had burned down and a rapid re,building program was underway. Managers were busy dealing with personnel issues, facility construction and equipment installation. The VP of Finance wanted to assure that the information systems being implemented would meet future plant and financial management needs.
Our Role: We reviewed current plans and progress, and identified major gaps in system requirements definition and integration planning for factory floor systems.
Benefits: Client was able to resolve issues soon after plant start-up.


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Market Research on New Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology for a Well-known Paper Forms Manufacturer


Challenge: A well-known paper forms manufacturer needed to establish the market value and applicability of a new Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology in several vertical markets.
Our Role: We conducted market research with customers and our own client contacts and established the value of RFID in specific applications.
Benefits: Clear value definition prior to further product development, marketing and introduction.


Business Process Reengineering for the World's Best-Known Maker of Cell Phones


Challenge: The world's best-known maker of cell phones wanted to cut cycle time on delivery of current and new products.
Our Role: We helped this cellular phone base-station group to re-design forecasting, inventory management, planning, scheduling, purchasing, and engineering change processes. Also integrated new processes with a Product Data Management system and a new ERP system.
Benefits: Reduced order fulfillment time and better coordination `cross multiple plants.


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"10X" Cycle Time Reduction in New Product Development at a Leading Provider of Wireless Technologies


Challenge: A leading provider of wireless technologies needed to reduce its software product development cycle time by 90%.
Our Role: We helped the "10X" leadership team to develop a mission, define objectives, and create a strategy. We assisted them in identifying issues, developing performance measures, and building an action plan to initiate the 10X program.
Benefits: 16 specific actions and well-defined responsibilities to bring about the tactical, strategic and cultural changes required to reduce product development time.


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Business Process Reengineering for an Oil Field Distributor


Challenge: Reengineer methods of materials management and physical distribution for an oil field distributor.
Our Role: Our associates planned and helped to implement a complete overhaul of procurement, warehousing and transportation processes to support 125 sites. Redesign included: procedures, job descriptions, warehouse layouts, compensation, performance measurement, and information systems. The company's revised computer system was so successful that several competing firms copied it.
Benefits: Improved customer service and productivity. Reduced cost.


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ERP Software Selection for an International Manufacturer of Custom Long-Haul and Heavy Duty Trucks


Challenge: Four divisions of an international manufacturer of long-haul and heavy duty trucks had spent 12 months, with little success, in trying to agree on a common ERP package. The choices were SAP, Baan, and JD Edwards.
Our Role: Using our "Quick-Select" methodology, we helped the team to come to agreement in 2 months. This included the identification of unique requirements, "teaching" them to software vendors, managing vendor demonstrations, evaluating alternatives and agreeing on a final solution.
Benefits: Rapid agreement led to earlier software implementation, integration and accrual of benefits from the new software.


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Inbound Logistics Process Reengineering for a Custom Long-Haul Truck Manufacturer


Challenge: A custom long-haul truck manufacturer was rapidly growing and rolling out a major new model. Management wanted to run "just -in-time" materials management and manufacturing operations, while continuing to provide individually customized products.
Our Role: We re engineered all aspects of inbound logistics processes, information systems, and facilities, in support of outsourcing, transportation, purchasing, supplier management, receiving, and material handling.
Benefits: Tripled inventory turns, saved floor space and reduced the hours per truck. Maintained customer satisfaction.


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Supply Chain Software Selection for a Growing Distributor of HVAC Equipment


Challenge: A distributor of HVAC equipment was growing rapidly through acquisition and had made many improve lents in operational effectiveness. Still, the company needed new supply chain systems to manage its network of branches, distribution centers, and suppliers.
Our Role: We guided the team in software requirements definition, vendor selection, implementation planning and detailed design. Scope included forecasting, purchasing, inventory management, order fulfillment, transportation management, warehouse management and finance.
Benefits: An effective selection process and an appropriate solution.


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ERP Software Selection for $35 million Manufacturer of Custom Metal Buildings


Challenge: After completing an enterprise-wide information systems plan, $35 million manufacturer of custom metal buildings needed to select ERP software in 3 months. The system would support sales, engineering, materials management, manufacturing and logistics, if possible.
Our Role: Using our "Quick-Select" methodology, we helped the owners and management team agree on an ERP vendor in 3 months. This included identification of unique requirements, "teaching" them to software vendors, managing vendor demonstrations, evaluating alternatives and agreeing on a final solution.
Benefits: Rapid agreement led to earlier software implementation, integration and accrual of benefits from the new software. One-year payback.


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Enterprise-Wide Information Systems Assessment and Plan for $35 million Manufacturer of Custom Metal Buildings


Challenge: This $35 million manufacturer of custom metal buildings had grown significantly and needed more robust information systems. They also needed to replace or upgrade some non-Y2K-compliant systems. However, management did not know how to move forward, nor did they know the cost or timeframe.
Our Role: We worked with the owners and management team to assess current systems and create an enterprise-wide information systems plan for sales, engineering, materials management, manufacturing and logistics. The process required 4 months.
Benefits: A 3-year information systems plan, including 6 key systems, costs, benefits, timelines and resource estimates. Payback in 18 months.


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Cellular Manufacturing Implementation at a Leading Commercial Kitchen Equipment Company


Challenge: In order to grow the business, a leading commercial kitchen equipment company (frozen yogurt machines, frozen drink mixers, and clam-shell fryers) needed to reduce long order fulfillment cycles.
Our Role: We implemented cellular manufacturing and taught their people how to spread cellular manufacturing throughout their operation.
Benefits: Improved customer service, and reduced costs and cycle times. Reduced plant lead times from 4 weeks to 2 hours. Moved from lot sizes of 30 to lot sizes of 1. Reduced material losses by 85%.


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Design of a Campaign Maintenance Process for Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Division of a Major Oil & Gas Company


Challenge:A major oil and gas company has grown its’ regional presence to 8 large-scale deep water production platforms, but very little maintenance work was coordinated across the platforms.
Our Role:Assisted in the assessment, planning, design and early implementation of processes, roles, information systems and metrics for execution of similar maintenance work across multiple deepwater offshore production facilities. The scope included: identification of candidate activities, selection of campaign suppliers, work planning, scheduling, mobilization, execution and management of the work. Maintenance work such as crane and turbine inspections, routine repairs, etc.
Benefits:Potential 20 – 40 % cost reduction for planned work that is campaigned vs. not. Increase equipment availability, Reduce production losses due to equipment failures, Increase PM compliance, HSSE performance impact.

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Strategy, Assessment and Improvement Plan for the Reliability & Maintenance Function of a Major Oil & Gas Company’s Gulf of Mexico Production Division


Challenge:A major oil and gas company had 8 large-scale deep water production platforms, but had never had a strong central maintenance function to set direction, develop common plans and practices, coordinate resources and manage maintenance at a business level. A new central function had been created, but needed to develop a strategy and an improvement plan.
Our Role:Worked with the function manager to define a very detailed vision and strategy for his group. Assessed current processes, roles, information systems and metrics vs. the vision. Developed a 5-year improvement plan: 10 projects and 2 quick hits to achieve the vision; impacting 8 large-scale deepwater production facilities, hundreds of personnel and over $150 million of maintenance work.
Benefits:Potential benefits included: $8 - 28M cost reduction, improved reliability, better coordination with operations, and reduced production losses.

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Process Design for Defining Equipment Reliability Strategies for a Major Oil & Gas Company’s Gulf of Mexico Production Division


Challenge:Reliability and Maintenance (R&M) Function had just been centralized, but maintenance procedures were inconsistent across 8 large offshore production platforms.
Our Role:Led a cross-functional team of client personnel to redefine the process of setting maintenance strategies for equipment. Critical issues included role responsibilities, working with large amounts of data, level of detail, and expanded use of current information systems. Worked with a team to pilot this process.
Benefits:Improved uptime and reduced business losses. Consistent practices. Reduced maintenance costs.

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Design and Implementation of Integrated Resource Management for the Gulf of Mexico Division of a Major Oil & Gas Company


Challenge:The Gulf of Mexico Division of a Major Oil & Gas Company needed to improve its planning and scheduling processes.
Our Role:Assisted in the assessment, planning, design and early implementation of a “Activity Planning,” a comprehensive set of planning and scheduling processes, roles, information systems and metrics. Scope included:


  • 30 business functions and 8 large-scale deep water production facilities

  • Activities including operations, drilling, logistics, projects, maintenance, etc.
    Time horizons ranging from 1 day to 2 years

  • Integration of activity plans and financial plans

  • Resources: money, manpower, materials, marine and physical (space, etc.)

Benefits:Visibility of all activities, totaling billions of dollars. Increased on-time execution of projects. Improved uptime and reduced business losses. Better alignment of business plans, project plans and operations plans.

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Implementation of Integrated Field Planning Process for a Major Oil and Gas Company


Challenge:A Major Oil and Gas Company had designed a standard planning and scheduling process, called Integrated Field Planning (IFP) for use in all of their operations, but no one had successfully implemented it.
Our Role:Assisted two major deep water production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, and 100’s of land-based support personnel, in implementing IFP. The process spanned long-term planning to daily scheduling and involved personnel at every level. Implementation involved production, maintenance, engineering, wells, integrity, logistics, etc.
Benefits:Payback was 1 year. These assets were the first in the world to be certified in IFP. Specific benefits included: Improved maintenance planning and schedule performance, increased on-time execution of projects, improved uptime, and reduced production losses.

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