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Accenture helped this supplier of products and services to the US military improve its processes and create the capacity to deliver a greater range of products in the future.
The results: optimized processes, reduced costs and cycle times, and increased production quality and efficiency—critical steps on the journey to high performance.
An engineering company was in the midst of a long-term contract with the military to supply and maintain complex products. When the military switched to a set pricing structure, the company worked to contain costs by improving production efficiency on specific products.
However, these steps were insufficient to increase production capability from two products per year to more than 20 that the military would require in future years. To meet this goal, the company needed to ramp up engineering and production capabilities to produce more products at a faster rate. The company knew that increasing production capability required a broader perspective of the entire life cycle of production as well as a way to significantly streamline processes.
The company was familiar with Accenture’s capabilities and engaged Accenture’s Process and Innovation Performance service line, which helps organizations take an integrated approach to process optimization.
In addition, Accenture offered product life cycle management experience through our Supply Chain Management service line. The combined knowledge and experience of these two service lines provided the client with a powerful, industrialized approach to helping it in achieving high performance.
Accenture’s initial assessment of the company’s operations revealed a number of delays between process steps, which led to operational inefficiencies and cost increases. Process disconnects also led to incorrect parts being delivered during production, which added to delays and resulted in avoidable defects.
To address these problems, Accenture helped the company build a process repository to document existing “as is” processes. Accenture’s industrialized approach to process improvement throughout the product life cycle draws on process models from more than 20 industries.
Once the processes were transparent, the combined Accenture Business Process Management—Life Cycle and Product Life Cycle Management team ran simulations to identify bottlenecks, model potential improvements and dramatically improve processes.
The new process repository enabled the company to simulate enhancements, along with generating specific requirements for information technology systems to support next-generation processes.
By adopting a Business Process Management perspective, the company gained an understanding of cross-functional dependencies throughout product development, production and service delivery. Greater transparency also revealed crucial handoffs among suppliers, subcontractors and business partners.
In addition, the company’s management team now has objective tools to test problem areas and simulate the impact of potential solutions. As a result, it can rank which projects are most likely to deliver greater financial impact.
The project, which Accenture delivered in approximately 20 weeks, lays a vital foundation for next steps: detailed process redesign and system implementation to support improved processes and business results. More recently, and with an eye toward continuous improvement, Accenture also helped the company set up an approach to develop internal capabilities for Business Process Life Cycle Management. Combined, these efforts helped the engineering company optimize processes, reduce costs and cycle time, and increase production quality and efficiency—critical steps on the journey to high performance.
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