Product Lifecycle Management is at the heart of Grundfos' strategy
Grundfos expects major gains in a large number of areas when concrete, new initiatives within PLM are launched.
For many years, Grundfos has worked in a structured way with PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and considers PLM to be fundamental to a well-functioning business. At the same time, it is clear to Grundfos that working with PLM is an ongoing process that requires focus and effort.
kaastrup|andersen has managed project that has uncovered challenges in the existing data setup, identified pains and gains and pointed out and prioritized concrete initiatives to strengthen PLM. The project reached its goal thanks to a close collaboration between the two central departments PIM (Product Information Management) and IS (Information Systems). And it is precisely the collaboration in combination with in-depth studies and a methodological approach that was fundamental for Grundfos now to have a solid and fact-based knowledge of which concrete efforts provide the most value in relation to the continued development and implementation of PLM in the organization.
Like so many other large companies, Grundfos has a wealth of data on the many products that are manufactured - and have been manufactured throughout the company's long life. And the many data are used by many different departments and functions, so it is important that data is up to date and consistent. Here, PLM is a key discipline that requires constant work, in-depth insight and sharp focus. PLM is challenging in that there are many stakeholders at play and that the value can often only be seen and measured in the long term, so it can be difficult to visualize the business case.
The challenge in the specific project was precisely to create the necessary insight for key stakeholders in order to be able to identify and prioritize the efforts that provide the most value in relation to both business, work processes and organization.
The project's goal was thus to provide proposals for a number of concrete and tangible initiatives, based on real and proven knowledge, that the initiatives were prioritized and, not least, that there was full support from the key stakeholders to carry out the identified tasks.
It was absolutely central and consistent in the work on the project that the project team was composed of 8 employees from the two affected areas: PIM (Product Information Management) and IS (Information Systems). The project team also drew on a large number of colleagues from their own and other departments, to ensure that all nuances and perspectives were covered. The work followed a structured, step-by-step plan:
- Step 1: AS-IS process and dataflow mapping - here the team, through surveys, sharing information and discussions, created a common true-to-life picture of existing processes and investigated how these resulted in data flows across the company.
- Step 2: Identify pains with major impact - based on the mapping, the team used their common knowledge and their different affiliations to assess which challenges had the greatest impact on both processes, products and employees.
- Step 3: Opportunities and effort requirements for solving the pains - the team continued to work with the results from step 2 and was able to focus on the individual challenge and record both possible gains and an assessment of how large the implementation effort would be (including both organizational resistance, requirements for cross-organisational cooperation and technical obstacles). The team was able to place the various challenges in matrices that provided a clear overview of 'what will pay off’.
- Step 4: Proposal of initiatives and KPI’s for improve process and dataflow - the team used their combined knowledge to make concrete recommendations on the most effective initiatives. Based on the factual information, the team outlined KPIs for each initiative and mapped the impacts the initiative will have on the rest of the organization.
Step 5: Classification - all the information that the team collected during the project process also resulted in graphical overviews of definitions, organizational and systemic dependencies, hierarchies etc.
The cross-cutting project team presented a comprehensive, well-documented delivery to the management: All proposals for PLM initiatives are based on studies of the specific circumstances, insights from those who work in the areas on a daily basis and real assessments of both efforts and gains, all the way down to expected savings on, for example, FTEs (full-time equivalent). The assessment is that the total optimizations and changes amount to a larger number of FTEs per year - which will result in annual savings in the range of millions.
The proposed initiatives are largely based on process changes and increased cooperation and are not directly financially costly. They require changes in behavior and work processes and a successful implementation is therefore dependent on the employees' support and motivation - an element for which the project's collaboration between the two central departments has already created the foundation.
In the longer term, implementation of the initiatives will also lead to a number of other gains. One area is the customer-facing documentation on Grundfos' products, which will be even more complete and comprehensive. For example, product sheets can be generated automatically: there will be greater certainty that the data contained in the product sheet is always up to date, consolidated and reflects the product as it appears in a given situation.
Grundfos is now starting to implement the initiatives and maintains the sharp focus on PLM in several similar projects, which both point to concrete initiatives and actions and at the same time contribute to raising the general organizational focus on the value and necessity of PLM.
How is PLM doing in your company? Do you have transparency and unique data? Let's look at how your company can take the optimal steps toward better data flows, consolidated product data, and improved processes. Contact Thomas Tengstedt on 5093 7243 or email@example.com and have a chat about how we work together to strengthen your business and help you for future growth.