Leading Automotive Manufacturer
Achieving a single global approach to product development
The client is one of the worlds leading automotive manufacturers with revenues of $118.3 billion, producing 4,817,000 automobiles and employing 198,000 employees across global operations with 90 manufacturing plants worldwide (2009 Annual Report).
The South American Product development operations, predominantly situated in Brazil, is a growing centre of product development with an increasing number of vehicle programs in its product portfolio.
The clients business plan for achieving success globally encourages focus, teamwork and a single global approach. In order to achieve this vision of true global product development, process and tools need to be globally aligned. A new global product development process is an enabler for this and within this the need for a central Bill of Material (BoM) which can be authored and consumed by all users throughout the product development lifecycle is a key principle. Over the past 4 years a strategy has been taken to deploy new Early Bill of Material process and tools in Product Development (PD) to provide the benefits of improved time to market for new products, more robust Bill of Material information which in turn provides enhanced confidence in decisions based on this information and a common process and tool for users regardless of region or location. These processes and tools have been deployed in a consistent manner across both North American and European regions on a number of vehicle development programs.
South America PD has also deployed the Early Bill of Material process and tool but struggled to fully embed these into day to day business. With the upcoming deployment of an enhanced version of both process and tools being deployed globally it provided a new set of challenges:
- Providing operational stability - challenge in ensuring consistent process and tool use for all users regardless of geographical location.
- Implementing new process and tools - deploying the new Bill of Material process and tool to South American vehicle programs to bring in line with global deployment strategy and ensure global users are using the same tool regardless of vehicle program.
- Sustaining operational capability - developing a sustainable capability in local South American region with current resources.
Other key challenges included:
- Organizational differences - the organizational setup within South America is different to other areas of the business meaning 'lift and shift' of existing operations cannot necessarily be implemented from the start.
- Communication challenges - cultural, language and timezone differences all contribute to the challenge of global working.
- Understanding current knowledge base - understanding the baseline level of BoM knowledge in South America both operational and vehicle program teams.
- Obtaining buy-in - engaging the vehicle program teams and key stakeholders to ensure they share the vision.
- Changes in interfacing business processes - in a climate of organizational change related business processes were also being enhanced throughout the organization
The Pcubed Solution
Using subject matter expertise in both project management and Bill of Material processes and tools developed through 4 years of BoM tool development and implementation in the European region, Pcubed used the following approach utilising its Program Delivery service line:
- Capability Assessment - measurement of current South American Bill of Material and vehicle program teams operational organization & capability against key performance criteria.
- Capability roadmap - recommendations for enhancements required to improve capability to a level consistent with rest of world.
- System Implementation - managing the implementation of new Bill of Material process and tools to in-process vehicle development program including user training, issue capture and resolution and data migration.
- Stakeholder management - engagement with key stakeholders to promote understanding of business changes and impact on their functional areas.
- Skills transfer - embedding capability within the local operations team to ensure sustainable business as usual activities through training and education.
- Setup for success - establish ongoing communication networks with global experts to ensure ongoing sustainable support model working across time zones.
- Successful implementation of new Bill of material system on South American vehicle programs.
- South American BoM team capability enhanced enabling in-house training to users of new BoM tool and process.
- South American team aware and tied into global expertise to be engaged in future enhancements to both tool and process and ongoing support for issue resolution