A large automotive manufacturer took bold steps to reinvent the way they managed their product lines. Their thinking was to stop trying to catch up to the competition, and leap past them with radical new management approaches that broke with the industry standard and delivered products to market faster. When the company delivered products to market faster, they could successfully reclaim lost market share.
At the time, executives knew well the gravity of their decision— breaking from the industry standard and implementing a new, dynamic management approach. At the same time, they turned to the entrepreneurial ingenuity that has been their hallmark for nearly a century and moved forward. With everything to gain—and just as much to lose—the company formed partnerships with the best in the business to ensure its success.
Company executives turned to Robbins Gioia and Electronic Data Systems (EDS) as partners. As technology experts, EDS began building the technical infrastructure. Robbins Gioia started designing the management processes and implementation strategy to deliver the products to market faster. The shift from the status quo management approach to a totally reinvented manufacturing model was underway.
Armed with Robbins Gioia’s new management techniques and strategies, the large automotive manufacturer started focusing on a new design platform as its standard for success. The team implemented a comprehensive management strategy that stretched from the initial design drawings to the pilot car production. With this early success, the company extended the management approach for additional years.
This marked a turning point for the company: a total rethinking of the way product scheduling should be done in the automotive industry. Up to this point, the company had adhered to a long-standing approach of managing individual schedules for vehicle parts and tooling systems. Each schedule was developed and managed in isolation from other parts and systems schedules on the same vehicle. Together with Robbins Gioia, the company introduced a new integrated schedule that treated the product as a total package, with the individual schedules for vehicle parts and tooling systems integrated in the same way these elements are integrated in the vehicle. This ground-breaking management approach was the first of its kind in the company’s history.
The new model was design to be more than simply a master schedule; it connects the schedules with other schedules. This powerful approach gave the company executives the invaluable insight to know exactly how one schedule impacted others; and how a schedule was impacted by others. Potential problems and delays were averted and the product delivery date stayed on track.
The large automotive manufacturer successfully launched all-new product lines helping to reestablish them as a leader in the personal luxury car market.
In another striking example, Robbins Gioia identified a change to the assembly tool tryout process that eliminated another 2–6 valuable weeks. This change will affect 10 vehicle programs resulting in significant savings.
The company also successfully avoided major revenue delays for each plant in the MidSize Car Division. Robbins Gioia identified resource shortfalls at three plants enabling the company to proactively acquire additional resources and avoid not only these delays, but also cut valuable time from the schedules.
Most importantly, the company stuck to its tough standard for success and the ultimate goal; delivering products to market before the competition. As a sign of the company’s continued satisfaction, they awarded Robbins Gioia and EDS an unprecedented five-year contract to support all of its vehicle programs. This extraordinary commitment to our partnership illustrates the core of its success.