Better design

Getting parts right the first time to reduce design costs and speed time to market

Advanced Industries, Automotive

The design and engineering of car components in new models require the close coordination of a large number of people and processes.

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Goal

Moving from blueprint to production requires careful testing and refinement of each of the hundreds of parts in an automobile. Inefficient processes can cause significant delays in the rollout of new models while adding R&D costs. One car manufacturer wished to understand the underlying issues that were causing rework and delays in the development of parts. Inefficiency was increasing programme costs, using more resources, and lowering after-sales quality. Executives set a goal of achieving right first time (RFT) for 80 percent of its parts, thereby reducing the amount of unnecessary rework.

Insight and Action

QuantumBlack conducted analysis that revealed teams were not adequately addressing and resolving concerns before releasing parts for the first time. This failure to collaborate more effectively resulted in parts having to go through multiple releases. By aggregating data from multiple sources, we analysed the interactions between design teams, defined all of the interactions between parts, and then determined which parts were most likely to cause rework if not designed correctly the first time. This effort uncovered a key finding: the majority of people were on teams that had poorer RFT results. We adjusted the car-development process based on our insights and developed a live-tracking tool to allow the automaker to monitor RFT across all its car programmes.

Results

  • 3Timesincrease in RFT for parts
  • £15Millionin cost savings per programme

The automaker used these tools and insights to achieve a threefold increase in RFT for auto parts.