Original Date: 07/01/1991
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Engineering Team Concept
The success of any company is tied directly to not only the ability to perform as contracted within estimated budgetary, quality, and schedule constraints but also to successfully estimate and accurately quote new jobs. Kurt Manufacturing recognized the need to improve its turnaround time and estimating accuracy for all Requests for Quotes.
Historically, common practices often yielded high priced, non- competitive quotes; finished manufacturing part routing significantly differed from the initial estimates; key shop personnel were uninformed of the new jobs; special gaging and tooling often missed delivery time tables corresponding to first-piece manufacturing runs; manufacturing process ideas were organizationally centralized creating confusion on the shop floor when initially processed; and focal key customer support for awarded contracts was lacking.
The common factor in this problem was rigid departmental, organizational structure whereby individual departments played a significant role in the Request for Quotes (RFQs) process, but each department's responsibility was based on the other for upstream and downstream processing. If the bid was successful and the contract awarded, the problem of managing the project remained, potentially with an individual who did not play a role in the RFQs process. Kurt applied recent, successfully implemented team concepts on the manufacturing floor to the RFQs and, later, to the Project Management responsibilities.
Under the guidance of Division Management, four cross-departmental teams were developed (one for each major product category) creating a matrix organizational structure which included ten individuals from nine separate organizational units. At the top was the Program/Business Unit Manager. These individual members were assigned responsibilities based on earlier group brainstorming meetings. The team concept allowed a team to follow a given contract from initial quote to final evolution of the parts life cycle.
Results from the organizational change were seen immediately. Synergism amongst team members created the best manufacturing process and estimates. Requests for Quotes lead times were greatly reduced; manufacturing personnel were given the opportunity to provide input into the process and buy into the job up front. Interdepartmental feuds, finger pointing, and overlapping job responsibilities were discontinued. Customers were given a central focal point of contact for updates and status reviews. In addition to the organizational change, the internal RFQs routing system was streamlined to include the team concept.
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