Monitoring and servicing of third-party products is simplified by a new tool
Are you also familiar with the challenges that arise when there is no clear agreement on how to to define a term, measuring point or a parameter?
A large Danish manufacturing company monitors and services the same types of machines from many different manufacturers and experienced a growing need to standardize large volumes of concepts, definitions, and terms. Accurate handling of products from other manufacturers is business critical , as errors and inconsistencies can cause extensive (and expensive) damage – and if the organization has not clarified how the individual elements are described, measured and handled, there is a risk of errors in relation to both product integrations, collaboration with customers and service of the 'foreign' products. In an agile cooperation with the customer kaastrup|andersen developed a database solution that eliminates all the challenges caused by the former Excel solution, thus ensuring continued scaling of the profitable service business.
Read the full case below.
A production company undertakes, among other things, to monitor and service its customers' products, and these are often products (machines) from other OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer). This means that the employees in the company must relate to - and work with - that there are many different terms for components, units and measuring parameters, which are actually comparable, but are named and defined differently by the different manufacturers.
The company operated with a huge Excel sheet, which contained all the different terms, codes, and tags from each OEM. In practice it was almost impossible to use, and at the same time there was no control over who was able to update the information, and who was responsible for each definition. It was quite impossible to ensure a consistent quality for the customers across the many different products and customers.
In short, the company saw an ever-increasing need for a structured overview and management: a solution that would support a standardization of definitions and the use of the many different concepts and terms.
The customer already had an overall vision and goal of the solution. After a short phase creating a detailed specification of demands, the development of the solution was done in an agile setup with a number of partial deliveries and ongoing adjustments in close co-operation between key personnel at the customer’s and the development team of kaastrup|andersen.
The solution consists of a database (cloud-based) adapted to the customer's needs and requirements: for example, it has a number of in-built wokflows, which among other things ensure that no employee can make a change without it being approved by another person . At the same time, all changes are registered, so it is always possible to track who has changed what and when. The system also ensures that the user does not type incorrectly when creating new items or making changes.
The users operate the system via a browser and have access to a number of predefined searches and views in the system. The users can also perform specific searches and create new views themselves - and share them with the other users.
The solution also offers major improvements for the rest of the organization, which can now monitor when changes occur in the database. All information is always up to date and available to everyone and can be used in other functions that work with the products from the many OEMs. In practice this means also that the employees who work with products from other OEMs, no longer relate to original documentation from the individual OEM, but can use the common definitions, located in the new database solution.
The customer now has a solution that ensures a razor-sharp handling and standardization of the many concepts and terms from the various OEMs. This provides the customer with a clear competitive advantage, as it has become both safer and easier to handle, integrate and service the OEMs' many products. And the solution is scalable - unlike previous Excel sheets.
The solution has a number of daily users who map the terms between the different languages from the OEMs. The great business value lies in the fact that the rest of the organization utilizes the structure and transparency that the solution offers, so that the entire company always works based on the same conceptual framework and definitions.
The agile approach to the development of the solution ensured an optimal solution with a focused work effort; many small, ongoing deliveries gave the customer the opportunity for adjustments in relation to both work processes, safety and interfaces. At the same time, the agile approach ensured that the customer got valuable functionality out of the collaboration from day one. The development of the solution continues with the expansion of functionality and further design of the user interface.
kaastrup|andersen has developed the solution and was responsible for the project management of the task. kaastrup|andersen also operates and hosts the solution, until the customer has the organizational setup in place to handle ownership and daily operations.
Do you also have a need to clean up data and terms – and ensure standardization of workflows in your company? Or do you want to look at how to operate in a more agile fashion? Contact us and let us look at how we help you with clarity and management - and sharpen your business.