"Imagine there's no countries, It isn't hard to do..."
- John Lenon & Yoko Ono
Have regional borders subsided with the steady rise in the global footprint of products and services?
Concurrent “global product development and manufacturing,” facilated through faster, improved and affordable connectivity and transportation, has enabled manufacturers to proactively move out of their geographical silos and serve the global citizens. Products often need to be tweaked, re-engineered or sometimes even redesigned to match the needs & wants, preferences and purchasing power of consumers across various regions.
Nice as it may seem, concurrent engineering and multi-site manufacturing has its own sets of challenges. There are multiple teams doing the design, various manufacturing centers and global supply chain teams spread across the globe. In this scenario, lack of standardization across the enterprise presents the manufacturers with numerous setbacks that impact organizational objectives of time, money and quality.
Some of these setbacks are mentioned below:
Duplicate parts consume unnecessary design time and effort, in turn prolonging the cycle time and lowering productivity. These result in additional procurement, inventory, maintenance and production costs which add on to the overall product cost. Aggressive globalization has amplified the duplicate proliferation issue.
Non- standard processes
Lack of uniform and standard processes in engineering and manufacturing across multiple sites results in low levels of accountability. Varied processes of review and evaluation in the product development projects also add on to the risk of defects and compromised quality.
Disparate information systems
Inadequate collaboration between teams, information systems in the form of closed silos and multiple platforms result in further complexities in concurrent global product development. There are increased chances of duplication of efforts resulting in reduced productivity, failure to adhere to delivery schedule and increased process complexity.
Standardization as a solution….
It is a comprehensive technique that aims at eliminating duplicates and making the engineering and manufacturing system free of clutter and unnecessary efforts, through standardizing parts, tools, raw materials and processes. It facilitates faster time to market, improved quality and reduced costs.
Here is how it impacts the triple constraints:
Impact on Time to Market
Standardization reduces the design time by eliminating redesign and enabling reuse of existing parts. It reduces design complexity by curbing the usage of variants. It simplifies the supply chain cycle and imparts operational flexibility to manufacturing by standardizing the processes. This accelerates the product development cycle, thereby, enabling faster time to market and an added competitive edge over the late market entrants.
Impact on Product Cost
Implementation of standardization across the platforms and processes reduces variants in parts, components and systems. Effective control on duplication drives usage of existing parts. Raw material standardization enables optimal material utilization across product lines. This keeps inventory, procurement and other overhead costs in check. Savings on the supply chain, production and sales costs result in improved margins.
Impact on product Quality
Standard parts are tested and proven for quality. Usage of these parts minimizes risks and builds higher quality and reliability into products. Reduction in variability and part count reduces complexity and design time. Product development, supply chain and manufacturing teams get adequate time to suggest, procure and build the high quality parts, components and materials.
Thus, here is a simple tool that empowers product manufacturers with the key to unlock the potential of effective management of the triple constraints; Time-Cost-Quality.