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Organizations of all kinds face unprecedented pressure to boost productivity and efficiency, and the US federal government is no exception. As part of its drive to extract more business value from its suppliers, the government recently began using a concept known as performance-based logistics (PBL). Under a PBL arrangement, suppliers must guarantee an agreed-upon level of performance and system capability—which, in the case of this contractor, translated into a certain level of flight readiness. In essence, the company faced a major challenge: vastly increase its manufacturing capacity, but do so in a way that would meet the government’s budget while maintaining sufficient margins.
To achieve these goals, the company would have to increase the scalability and flexibility of its manufacturing processes, as well as identify and eliminate the root causes of inefficiency, delays and defects within these processes.
However, modeling existing processes, while an important first step toward greater process efficiency, would not provide all the insights necessary for the company to settle on the optimal process flows. For that, the company would need the ability to test various process flows and configurations before implementing them to evaluate their resulting impacts on the company’s operations—and ultimately hired Accenture to help. The company had worked with Accenture on numerous aspects of this ongoing project and was confident Accenture had the process simulation skills and experience necessary to lead this important initiative.
Accenture’s process simulation capabilities, part of Accenture’s broader Business Process Management Lifecycle capabilities, proved to be instrumental in helping the defense contractor begin realizing value quickly from its process improvement effort. By designing and running a wide variety of scenarios involving the company’s engineering processes, Accenture revealed weaknesses within those processes, as well as opportunities to improve their throughput, scalability, and functional integration.
Accenture also was able to illustrate the alignment between the organization and the engineering process, and how changes to staffing would affect performance. Accenture’s approach to business process simulation would not only help the contractor put optimized business processes into place, but also ensure these processes would support its broader, long-term success.
The impact of Accenture’s process modeling contributions to the project encouraged the client to ask Accenture to lead two additional, related projects. One of these projects was essentially an extension of the initial effort: applying Accenture’s business process design and modeling skills to develop the new engineering process the company ultimately would implement. This initiative would involve conducting further simulations of the engineering process to determine the precise combination of structure and supporting resources that would result in optimal performance. The other project focused on applying Accenture’s expertise beyond the engineering function and developing an overall BPM strategy.
Accenture’s efforts to date have generated immediate substantial benefits for the contractor and have helped position the company for high performance over the longer term.
Deliver measureable results. Accenture’s business process simulation expertise has helped the company more effectively model its engineering processes by ensuring that all related processes and functions from across the organization were included in the scope of the project. The company’s enhanced visibility also helped it keep a $120 million system implementation on track by clearly revealing the full range of integration points between the new system and the functional areas it would support—some of which had been overlooked initially.
Establish durable BPM solutions. As the two new projects are initiated, Accenture anticipates our work will build on the success of the current initiative by providing the company with a robust BPM capability based on more effective repository management, a comprehensive set of BPM governance structures and standards for the entire enterprise, and a BPM Center of Excellence that will help the company create, manage, refine and develop processes more effectively and efficiently for years to come. Accenture’s work also has helped the contractor lay the groundwork for long-term agility, efficiency, competitive advantage and, ultimately, high performance.
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