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Purchasing cost convergence in the aeronautical field

What was the context and objective of your project?

This was a 9-month assignment within a major aircraft manufacturer, where we worked with the purchasing controlling department. The objective was to set up tools and processes to monitor the evolution of purchasing costs for commodities (titanium, composites, forged parts, etc.) and small parts (bolts, bearings, connectors, seals, etc.). The end goal was to secure convergence of commodity prices towards the initial target given by the Program, all along the ramp-up phase.

 

We were asked to set up a reference shared with all commodity managers and to provide a cost forecast for the 100th aircraft by helping them assess the impact of on-going price reduction initiatives (the identification of new cost reduction projects is the objective of a following CYLAD Consulting assignment). This project helped the Program Management secure a global view on commodity cost convergence, which made up for a significant portion of internal production costs.

And in concrete terms for a young consultant?

I contributed to three work streams:

 

  1. Data crunching: Design of a database identifying and listing parts installed on the aircraft, broken down into relevant categories – with associated quantities and prices (actual price, contractual price and forecast for 100th aircraft).
  2. Analysis and result interpretation: Identification of cost gaps (e.g. overconsumption of parts compared to forecasts, price deviation compared to contractual prices, missing/changed parts).
  3. Report and conclusions: Presentation of results during regular progress status meetings with other stakeholders (every 2 days with the Project Leader, weekly with other contributing teams, monthly communication to plants in several countries). In total, I interacted with more than 30 stakeholders.

Thurotte-Weech

Lawrence Thurotte-Weech


Implementation of Program steering method in the defense field

What was the context and objective of your project?

During this 2-month assignment within a major defense manufacturer, we were asked to build the cost/time performance monitoring by the management of a big Program. A “big Program” is the development and manufacturing of a large vehicle such as an aircraft, a ship or a train lasting several years and costing several billion Euros. The objective is to follow progress in terms of costs and time over time, in order to comply with the business case and to secure the margin. Our project aimed to increase visibility on the situation.

 

The Program is divided into macro-activities over several levels. The project consisted of working with the various management teams to understand the situation at every level and compare actual costs (hours clocked by internal teams, purchases, etc.) with the “physical progress” (number of milestones validated compared to forecasts, amount of cables installed, etc.). This correlation method – called Earned Value Management – rests on a theory that we have adjusted for various clients. It enables performance monitoring and trend setting at a team level. A global program view is then created through consolidation of team performance data. It enables quick identification of risks and launch of relevant action plans.

And in concrete terms for a young consultant?

This assignment was particularly diverse with, first of all, a structuring phase with a manager and a partner in order to adapt the methodology, and then an implementation phase. I built the tool through an Excel model, combining various management data (cost, progress, etc.), which is used by all the teams today.

 

I also contributed to the presentation of recommendations and results (summed up in a PowerPoint) for the Program Management and the Company Management. During this assignment, I interacted with more than 20 stakeholders in order to build and understand the cost/time performance calculated with their data.

Stordeur

Adrien Stordeur


Post merger integration in the metal industry

What was the context and objective of your project?

A large metal parts producer had acquired another industry leader to reinforce his competences and pursue his growth strategy. We were asked to support the integration processes, to identify synergies, to increase side efficiency and to enable profitable growth. The challenge: converting two companies with different structures, cultures and processes into one successful team. For our approach, we connected the leadership teams and built teams on the operational level to identify and implement measures for increasing efficiency and cost reduction.

And in concrete terms for a young consultant?

Together with a partner and an experienced consultant, I implemented benchmarks between the sites to identify improvements for cost reduction. I prepared and conducted workshops and benchmark visits to identify further improvement measures on the shop floor.

 

I calculated business cases for selected ideas to guarantee their profitability. I also planned and accompanied the implementation process to ensure success and efficiency for people involved in multiple working groups.

 

I invested a lot of time in communication to align strategic open questions, to create a constructive mindset by looking for synergies and creating transparency on activities and objectives. I also prepared executive summaries and presentations of results for stakeholders. During this mission I interacted with more than 25 stakeholders from Germany, France, USA, Canada and China.

Winnefeld

Marcel Winnefeld