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Accenture helped a defense supplier streamline its complex supply chain processes to enable it to meet the military’s stringent demands for on-time delivery, quality and cost management.
The innovative, results-focused process improvement initiatives that Accenture helped develop effectively empower the defense supplier with an overall strategic direction and implementation plan for fulfilling its mission to achieve high performance through operational excellence in supply chain management.
The defense supplier provides logistics support on a worldwide basis to US military services as well as civilian agencies and foreign countries during both times of peace and war. It coordinates and delivers a wide range of essential supplies and equipment to support military missions and humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.
The defense supplier’s operations were challenged with process variances across its supply chain and an overall cycle time averaging two years or longer. These supply chain process challenges made it increasingly difficult for the supplier to meet the high expectations and stringent compliance requirements of the defense industry and government for on-time delivery, quality standards and effective cost management.
Under an enterprise business system deployment contract, the supplier teamed with Accenture to lead the identification of process improvement and continuous process improvement initiatives. Specifically, Accenture was engaged to help the supplier improve performance across its overall supply chain with a focus on developing:
Accenture was selected to help address the supplier’s complex set of operational challenges due to its proven track record in successfully teaming together on a continuous process improvement program for another organization in the industry.
Accenture brought the skills of its Process & Innovation Performance service line, defense industry insights, Lean Six Sigma application experience and project execution methodology. Accenture helps clients evolve their operations for high performance by removing costly waste and driving high-quality operational processes through the integration of the proven improvement methodologies of Lean (speed) and Six Sigma (quality).
The Accenture Process & Innovation Performance team brought to bear deep knowledge and skills in the areas of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Lifecycle Management. Key Lean Six Sigma areas included Lean Six Sigma execution, Lean Six Sigma global deployment, and rapid improvement and Kaizen. Key Business Process Lifecycle Management areas included business process optimization prior to large-scale information technology implementations; process optimization prior to outsourcing; and process ownership, governance and management.
Accenture kicked off the process improvement initiative with a comprehensive assessment of the supplier’s current-state operations. The assessment included developing an enterprise or “Shingo-style” value stream map of the overall acquisition process—requirements, development, procurement, production, and warehousing and distribution—for which the total cycle time averaged six years or longer. The purpose of the assessment was to help identify problem areas within these operational process verticals as well as how the verticals interact with each other. The improvement opportunities identified were aimed at reducing the overall acquisition process cycle time from the closing of a solicitation through the awarding of a contract.
A total of 115 improvement opportunities were effectively identified as a result of the assessment conducted. Of this total, 96 opportunities were identified as relevant across more than one of the supplier’s four supply chains.
Accenture then helped to create a “future-state” vision for the supplier’s operations and to define and prioritize the overall implementation strategy for the process improvement projects identified. The process improvement initiative was essentially divided according to those projects that could be quickly addressed in the short term to realize immediate results and those projects that would require a longer timeline to implement and realize results.
Upon these initiatives, Accenture facilitated the transition of all process improvement materials to the client’s organization. The transition included providing overall guidance for prioritizing the execution of improvement opportunities based on available resources.
The innovative, results-focused process improvement initiatives that Accenture helped develop effectively empower the defense supplier with an overall strategic direction and implementation plan for fulfilling its mission to achieve high performance through operational excellence in supply chain management. The overall value Accenture delivered was in helping the client to:
Short-term process improvement projects identified opportunities to:
In effect, the benefits Accenture helped deliver to the client are measured in the identification of tangible opportunities for implementing process quality, speed and cost management improvements to significantly advance the performance of its supply chain operations.
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