Original Date: 08/07/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Supplier Leadtime Reduction
Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems (LMTAS) initiated a schedule review program called Supplier Leadtime Reduction to reduce the production cycle of an aircraft assembly from 42 months to 24 months. All elements of the production cycle were reviewed for improvement including authorization, planning and control, requirements analysis, solutions definition, products and processes description, design descriptions proof, acceptance establishment, procurement, fabrication, and component assembly.
The results of the review showed that the procurement element individually contributed to 30 months of the production cycle. Major aircraft components such as valves, actuators, pumps, landing gear, and government- furnished equipment had long lead times that extended beyond 24 months. The procurement managers of these major components were asked to perform a leadtime reduction analysis and attempt to meet the 24-month target.
Supplier surveys were sent, asking the supplier to rate various factors that contributed to long leadtimes. A high rating indicated that the factor is an important driver of the leadtime. Suppliers were also asked to what extent LMTAS drove the supplier’s leadtimes. The survey included such factors as military standards requirements, impacts driven by the government, revision processes, lack of up-front supplier involvement, inspections, communications, unclear or incomplete specifications, certification process, administrative activities, paperwork, inadequate computer systems, scrap/rework, and many other factors that affect the lead time.
The findings of the Supplier Leadtime Reduction review identified the procurement cycle, government furnished equipment, and LMTAS all contributed to the 42-month production cycle with LMTAS being responsible for the largest portion of the cycle. The company addressed these areas by forming alliances with the supplier, establishing new guidelines for purchases less than $2500, using letter contracts instead of definitive contracts, group reviews versus sequential reviews, and supplier conferences. Through this and other efforts to work with the supplier, LMTAS has reduced the lead time of most procured items to 24 months or less.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.