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Enterprise Operations Improvement

Case Study Summary

The client had been experiencing strong operating results (one of the best performed in the parent company's portfolio). However, based on obvious inefficiencies across the organization, there was widespread understanding that operating performance could be dramatically improved. Moreover, the client was looking to expand into new product segments, a necessary step to meet growth objectives. The client engaged Archstone to identify the operational efficiency improvements needed to capitalize on the growth opportunities.

The Client

Aerospace and defense manufacturer.

The Challenge

To take an enterprise view of the operational 'configuration' of the organization in order to identify opportunities for improvement.

The Solution

Archstone took an enterprise assessment of the client's operations, focusing not only on observed processes and practices but also hand-offs and interactions between processes. Based on discussions with the client and review of documentation, Archstone quickly identified key pain points and tailored the approach to further analyze these processes:

  • Scheduling - identifying gaps in the scheduling process and the impact on operations
  • Engineering Change Notice Process - Determining cost and cycle time impacts
  • Parts Ordering Process - Evaluating effectiveness of procurement processes in supporting manufacturing schedules
  • Return to Vendor Process - Understanding the impact of current RTV process / performance on operations
  • Excess Working Capital - Assessing the cost and operational impacts of UBAR
  • Manufacturing Organization and Flow - Assessing the processes by which products are manufactured

The Results

Archstone identified, among other things, that the lack of design standardization was driving excessive in-process change notices, and that the gaps in procurement processes were routine, leaving the manufacturer "waiting for parts." Moreover, an ineffective S&OP process was resulting in demand spikes while the lack of a master schedule led to programs competing for manufacturing priority. Archstone's recommended that the client take the following actions:

  • Revise enterprise scheduling approach and system
  • Reconfigure and extend the cellular operations and improve hardware flow
  • Improve coordination of materials throughout the organization
  • Build product right the first time
  • Measure critical processes to drive performance
  • Improve information flows and access

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