This U.S.-based Fortune 500 manufacturer provides commercial building and security products, as well as maintenance and monitoring services, for customers worldwide.
More than 4,000 employees serve business and institutional customers in North America alone.
The project scope included all non-manufacturing organizations in the supply chain: marketing, sales, distribution, customer service, and branch operations.
For two decades, the building-products division of this company dominated its competitors by getting its premium quality products specified for new institutional construction projects. These were typically bundled with 24/7 alarm-monitoring services, providing a single “one-stop shop” advantage for far-flung global networks of businesses.
But a new trend emerged: Architects were allowing contractors to ignore the specs and use substitute products. Maintenance-service customers were doing the same. Competitors offered a 30-percent discount—while delivering in just five days, while the company struggled to deliver in three weeks.
The “one-stop shop” was at grave risk.
Everyone could see that operations were needlessly inconsistent. There weren’t enough objective facts about margins, performance, and especially the critical, end-to-end processes—no repository of standards, no single source of truth.
Executives leaned on ad hoc analysis and tribal knowledge to support decisions. But to achieve their goal of a more automated and data-driven supply chain, they knew that existing operations needed to become more standardized and coordinated.
Fortunately, The Lab specializes in standardization-based improvement, which would enable non-technology gains (to eliminate avoidable rework and needless variation) as well as technology-enabled gains, without the need for any new core IT systems.
Within eight weeks, The Lab’s standardized process map and discovery templates enabled documentation of all major end-to-end (E2E) business processes for 4,000 supply-chain and services employees.
More than 85 percent of their work activities were analytically crowdsourced and documented. The templates enabled this detailed mapping while requiring only one hour per week of any subject matter expert’s (SME’s) time.
The Lab’s standardization platform and data-science models mined, compiled, and generated insights for the maps from internal client applications: event logs, volumes, and cost-center data. And our external industry data provided comparisons for benchmarks, best practices, and automation use-cases.
All major customer-facing and internal end-to-end business processes were documented at nano-scale detail. Regional and departmental variance were cataloged and reconciled.
Hundreds of improvement opportunities were documented and prioritized:
• Process standardization (200+ opportunities)
• Business intelligence, data-driven (30+ use cases)
• Automation: RPA, workflow (100+ use cases)
• AI & Machine Learning (20+ use cases)
And a self-funding implementation work plan was drafted.
During the ten-month Phase II effort, The Lab implemented over 170 process-standardization opportunities to reduce variance and 20-plus automation candidates to increase service, productivity, and efficiency. Examples:
1. Streamlined and standardized branch operations. The Lab pinpointed the handful of root causes that generated over two-thirds of avoidable work and error which disrupted new-customer onboarding and increased order cycle times. All were eliminated via standardization and automation.
2. Customer-focused automation. The Lab identified the top three most profitable customer priorities—and increased automation to address them. Meantime, automated renewals and repricing stemmed the “margin leakage” from the previously-unprofitable bottom 20 percent of customers.
3. Standardized metrics, automated reporting. Individual-by-individual employee productivity and accuracy often varied by 7x. The Lab centralized standard KPIs, while RPA bots monitored individuals’ performance, sending best-practice tips in real-time for increasing productivity and avoiding errors.
These are just the highlights. Get more detail on this fascinating case study by reading the full version below.
Client: Fortune 500 Durable Goods Manufacturer, Industrial Products
Sponsor: SVP, Operations
• Enterprise-wide standardization
• No new core technology
• 10-month implementation
• Order management
• Sales and operations planning
• Customer service
• Branch operations
• Accelerated order delivery
• Customer experience improvement
• Growth readiness and cost optimization
• Order-to-delivery cycle time: Down 50%
• Capacity improvement: Up 30%
• Operating cost: Down 20%
• Break-even point: 5 months
• ROI (12 month): 4x
Learn more about how The Lab has been helping manufacturers for nearly 30 years; we invite you to schedule your free, no-obligation 30-minute screen-sharing demo.
You’ll learn more about our patented approach to Knowledge Work Standardization®. You’ll see actual E2E process maps and RPA bots in action. You’ll learn how we are able to do all this, remotely, from our U.S. offices in Houston, with nothing outsourced or offshored, ever. And you’ll get all your questions answered by our friendly experts.
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