We have excellent expertise and excellent references in the one-piece production. The shortest cycle times, achievement of project aims (time, costs, results) and a crystal-clear transparency of the job status are the challenges in this industry. Only the specialists with practical knowledge of the industry can succeed in using industrial standards (best practices). The implemented solutions are as unique as the mechanical engineer. There is no “broad-spectrum antibiotic as a quick cure”.
The engineering company and the engineering-to-order are unique
Mechanical engineering is very heterogeneous: it includes special machine construction with a single unit and also companies which produce several thousand machines or installations of a family in various sizes with various fittings. In some cases, the machine is completely assembled, presented to the customer representative and accepted, disassembled and then reassembled at the subsequent place of operation before finally being commissioned and handed over to the customer. Afterwards the manufacturer is frequently responsible for worldwide service, the spare part business and general overhauls. Success in mechanical engineering is very often based on having a technological advantage over the competition. We have identified the following general issues in the industry:
Craft-based character at the threshold of industrialization
The thinking and action of the engineering company and the electrical industry are frequently workshop oriented. The focus is on tried-and-tested craft-based processes. There is frequently a low cost awareness in the environment of the “in-house technological lead” and a high resistance to change as opposed to improvement processes can be identified. The “uniqueness of the projects” is stated as a reason for the rejection of industrial processes and modern management concepts; significant potentials are still too often neglected here.
“Driving by sight” instead of cash management
The longer the period of the individual advance financing and the duration of the project as a whole, the fewer the number of projects which can be implemented at the same time. This is because the financial framework of the company is exhausted. This also applies to capital-intensive engineering projects (engineered-to-order) e.g. in the electrical industry. It becomes interesting when major customers postpone delivery calls in their large-scale projects and the goods are completely pre-financed and available as finished goods in the company. It becomes even more interesting if this substantial cash-flow gap is unplanned and presented to the owners “without prior notice”.
Cross-subvention and lack of transparency in multi-project management (order management)
Depending on the company, several projects with different processing stages can be found in the project business. Payments for advanced projects carry the risk of cross-subsidizing more recent projects. Incipient financial imbalances are no longer recognized in good time to counter them as a result of unprofitable new projects. In addition to this, the status of the projects with regard to delivery date, costs, risks and quality (multi-project management) is often not transparent. This represents a risk for the management and the company which should not be underestimated.
No lead time management
Problems in ensuring the delivery date frequently occur as a result of a high product complexity, a high dependency on module suppliers and raw material suppliers, low reliability of the delivery and production processes and the complex planning of small series (“low-volume high mix”). Typical missing parts lists in the assembly department indicate the extent of the unreliability of the in-house planning and the supplier's side. This may result in serious customer complaints or even financial penalties (contractual penalties).
We can assist you professionally with strategic issues:
- Restructuring of organizations as a result of changed general conditions or long-standing structures (industrialization)
- Assessment and restructuring of departments (e.g. production, technology, supply chain, sales)
Strategy consulting and effective management
- Concerted development of end-to-end strategies to provide for the future of companies
- Effective, value-driver-oriented management processes, including in the context of a visible cash flow management (secured liquidity in long-running projects and pre-financing)
Increasing efficiency as a program
- Implementation of simple and efficient processes in the following areas: engineering, planning, production and quality assurance
We can assist you professionally with operational issues:
- Improvement in the delivery performance (OTD) and reduction in the lead time:
- Ensuring raw material and component availability at low stocks
- Ensuring the level of service (on-time delivery)
- Organizational analysis and implementation of a lean, efficient organization:
- Analysis of the management conditions
- Policy deployment with effect
- Transparency of status and power as well as process cost reduction in the engineering processes
- International Lean programs for production and management including project management