Case Study Highlights: Engineering Collaboration and Globalization

Muthukumaran Kanniappan March 16, 2015

case_study_globalizationManufacturing globalization and engineering collaboration are two of the most powerful strategies companies can implement to control bottom-line product costs. These are practices that make it possible for manufacturers to design anywhere manufacture anywhere, and strengthen communication between teams, technologies and product lines.

In this article, we outline real-world data on how practices such as engineering collaboration and globalization have been able to help manufacturers around the globe increase efficiency and generate millions of dollars in annual savings.

Highlight: European Printing Accessories Manufacturer

With broad objectives to turn scale to profit and simplify manufacturing processes, the company in this case study contacted B-WI to reconnect misaligned systems internally. The company is a leading manufacturer in the European printing accessory industry, and B-WI was eager to take on their organizational challenges.

In identifying solutions for the company’s needs, B-WI created a phased implementation plan with key deliverables to push the company to the desired results.

“B-WI had conducted an engineering process assessment to define the bottlenecks in detail, and determine the root causes for critical issues.

B-WI proposed its Engineering Collaboration framework, built on Six Sigma DMAIC methodology, which helped to prioritize a list of project initiatives, consisting of:

•   Process refinement and standardization
•   Efficient Multi-CAD data handling
•   Only needed data converted and migrated
•   On-demand search and migration process established
•   Centralized numbering system, which also takes into account legacy numbering systems already existing in multiple sites
•   Focused integration of engineering and manufacturing to reduce BOM errors and entry time”

B-WI engineering collaboration framework helped the manufacturer see 56% ROI in a short six months after project completion, generating approximately $2 million in annual savings.

Highlight: Study on Globalization and Modular Design

The next study in our article concerns a 2012 study on ongoing modularization and globalization trends, and the way these trends are changing the manufacturing world.

In the study, it was estimated that roughly 50% of manufacturers will produce over 40% of their goods within emerging markets via manufacturing globalization by the year 2020.

Reconfiguring your current large-scale manufacturing with globalization practices can help your company save as much as 25-30% on annual product development spending. Establishing global standards for products, processes and manufacturing lines has never been more imperative to a product’s success.

Practices for product cost optimization (PCO) such as globalization and engineering collaboration are most successful when implemented throughout the product development process. In fact, these two practices are more two sides of one unified PCO initiative.

Globalization, specifically, works best for manufacturing operations spread across multiple sites and geographies (hence the “global” name). Making key manufacturing practices standard across an entire operation limits defect risk and capitalizes on aftermarket potential for added revenue.

Engineering collaboration, in a similar vein, simplifies communication and tracking between engineering teams, and facilitates clarity throughout the entire product lifecycle.

To learn more about how to strategically structure product cost and identify key savings areas, read our most recent case study on PCO, “Structured Approach to Product Cost Optimization” or access our video.


Topics Globalization Product Cost Optimization Product Development Solutions Engineering Collaboration