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Case Studies

Case Studies

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Published by subhash kumar1958

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: subhash kumar1958 on Aug 30, 2010
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09/03/2010

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Case Studies: 1Credit Voucher Turnaround Time
Situation
 Customers loved the company's product, but hated doing business with them. Thesingle largest source of complaints was how long it took to process credit vouchers.Data collection efforts, guided by Oriel, showed that one out of every four salesinvolved a credit voucher of some sort, and it took anywhere from about 10 days tomore than 180 days to process the vouchers. While one team worked on reducing thenumber of vouchers, another worked on speeding up the processing time.
Intervention
The processing of credit memos often involved five departments: receiving,sales, customer service, accounting, and technical services. A cross-functionalteam with representatives from each department was formed.
With Oriel guidance, the team created both a deployment flowchart and awork-flow diagram of the process. These revealed numerous places whereconfusion, multiple approvals, and inefficiency slowed down the process.
The team clarified which groups of people needed to be involved in processingdifferent types of vouchers. They eliminated wasted steps and severalunnecessary approval steps.
A key step was establishing a computer tracking system that allowed rawmaterials to be easily tracked and verified.
 
Results
Within a few weeks, turnaround time dropped to a median of 3 days, and allwere being processed in less than 13 days. (Before the changes, some invoicestook more than 170 days to process, and the median time was 55 days.)
Management in the departments worked to change the mindset from "processvouchers whenever you have the time" to "do it today."
Customers were much happier with the company.
Cash flow greatly improved.
Employees have more time to spend on value-added work.
 
Case Studies: 2Reducing Time-To-Market
Situation
 A major automobile manufacturer was disappointed in the sluggish sales of the newmodel of a high-end car. Customers indicated that the absence of a particular stylingdetail made the car less attractive, and therefore they were buying competitor's cars.Incorporating the styling detail was possible, but would take time to implement.The head of engineering worked hard and managed to reduce the time-to-market from24 months to 16 months, but even that was too long.
Intervention
 The head of engineering was tempted to bring together all the possible suppliers of the particular subassembly and have them competitively bid on their delivery times. Oriel persuaded him to take an alternative path-to work more closely with proven suppliersto figure out what barriers stood in the way of speeding up their delivery cycles.Taking this path avoided the quality problems that typically arise when switchingsuppliers.Oriel consultants then worked with the engineering leader to identify 25 key peoplewho would have the knowledge and authority needed to make changes in thedevelopment processes. The team consisted of representatives from the assembly andsubassembly plants, their suppliers, their supplier's suppliers, as well as purchasing,engineering, and marketing. These people spent two days studying the situation froma process viewpoint.They built a GANTT chart to identify the process delays and bottlenecks.The critical path was highlighted, and the team brainstormed options to shorten theoverall cycle.A breakthrough came from the thinking about the feature not as one big job, but fiveindividual components. Each component was put on its own timeline.One component couldn't reach the market for the full 16 months. The other four components could be ready in 4 months.
 By looking closely at the process, the team realized that only one of the fivecomponents required the full 16 months to reach the market.
 

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