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CUSTOMER SUCCESS

Maximizing asset utilization under fluctuating market conditions for a cable manufacturer.


Axcend Lean Production Planning enabled a leading electrical equipment manufacturer in the APAC region to plan and schedule their production operations that helped them improve their machine utilization by 12%.

The Client


The client is a leading electrical equipment manufacturer in Malaysia catering to various industries like telecom, oil and gas, utilities etc. Apart from major utility and public works customers in the domestic market, they also export their products to customers in APAC and Africa markets.

The client has two world-class manufacturing facilities in the country complying to international standards for safety and quality.

With multiple products in their portfolio, our client frequently needed to changeover between them. They were looking for a solution that will improve their utilization while catering to changing market demands.

 

Business Challenge


Unable to cater to fluctuating demand

Apart from catering to the local market based on their own sales forecast, the client also manufactures equipment based on order. Owing to the fluctuating demands, they were unable to quickly combine production orders to balance their make to order and make to stock production. This sometimes led to products not being delivered to their customers in the right time. This reduced their profitability and they could not utilize the potential of their factories.


Lower utilization due to frequent changeovers

Having multiple products across various industry domains, the changeovers in the lines are frequent. But with inefficient planning, the plant staff were often waiting for instructions on the changeover and what to produce next. This added a lot of non-value adding hours to the production lines lowering utilization significantly. The lines were also stopped due to insufficient stocks because of the poor changeover planning.


Inefficient asset usage owing to imbalanced loading

With demand changes and the eagerness to fulfill them, the production schedules were often over optimistic, and the lines were disproportionately loaded leading to deterioration of assets in an unpredictable manner. The client had to stop production owing to breakdowns and ad hoc maintenance. The over optimistic scheduling also led to poor employee satisfaction.


Poor customer satisfaction

Having no visibility into the lines, the client was unable to update on order status to their customers. Frequent changes to their order ETA and non-delivery of their orders led to dissatisfied customers which also dented the client’s customer lifetime value.

Solution


Axcend LPP enabled clarity in production planning and scheduling and provided the factory staff with the exact work and job sequence they need to follow. Axcend worked with a solution partner to implement LPP for the client.

Implementation

Axcend team understood the client’s products, the factory operations, and the changes in demands for the products. They analyzed the interactions of the demand with the materials, machine, factory staff and the processes to fine tune the algorithm for the manufacturing unit. The implementation team also analyzed the existing technology portfolio to integrate Axcend LPP with the enterprise systems seamlessly.


Low in disruption high in value

Axcend LPP was integrated with their enterprise ERP (SAP) from which the input data related to process, demand, inventory, and Bill of Materials were obtained. LPP has bi-directional SQL and Excel interface which reduced integration efforts and costs significantly for the client. The easy to use interface enabled the factory staff to understand and use the product within days and with minimal training.


Accurate and actionable production plan

Axcend LPP’s powerful simulation engine analyzed order data, parts data and provided the factory staff with the work sequence and job sequence and changeover schedules. It also provided the various stakeholders with reports on machine utilization, load status of the lines, queue data for WIP items etc. so that they can track key metrics and keep the customers apprised of their order status.

Business Outcomes


 

Axcend LPP was deployed in 4 months and the customers started seeing tangible benefits within 2 months of deployment. .

 

Ability to meet market demands successfully

With Axcend’s powerful what-if analysis, the clients were able to simulate various scenarios and extract production plans and schedules for them in advance. With advanced planning, they were able to meet their customer demands successfully despite fluctuations.

Improved machine utilization by 12%

Powered by Axcend’s informative dashboards and reports, the clients were able to streamline their production process and improve their machine utilization by 12%. With precise work order and job order sequence, they were able to reduce changeover times and the non-value added hours thus maximizing their productivity.

Reduced machine-related issues

Axcend’s realistic simulation of the production workflow enabled the clients to balance the load on the lines. With appropriate loading, they were able to reduce load-related stress on the machines. Also, with precise planning, they were able to schedule maintenance without the production taking a hit. This improved the quality of the product and also improved the morale of the line staff.

Improved CSAT scores

Visibility into the orders that are taken up in the production line gave our clients more confidence on providing the ETA on customer orders. As they fulfilled customer orders successfully while providing them with timely status updates, the CSAT scores improved. The client was also able to pick up new opportunities that were missed out earlier due to poor planning and visibility.

 

Way forward


Upon seeing tangible results with Axcend LPP, the client wants to take it a notch higher and wants to provide a mobile application for the line staff.

The mobile app will provide the staff access to LPP and give them the production plan and job sequences on the go.

This will help the client to react to any unforeseen changes quickly and further streamline their manufacturing operations.

 
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