Original Date: 09/14/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Production Integrated Product Teams
Procurement quantity reductions resulted in a decrease of support staff on Raytheon Missile Systems Company’s (RMSC’s) RAM and Phalanx weapon system programs. Since both programs involved very high part counts as well as complex and hard-to-procure items, a change from the traditional organization structure was required to manage the programs. This realization became apparent between 1993 and 1995 when significant and continual manufacturing issues (e.g., cost overruns, missed completion schedules) caused customer satisfaction and confidence to slip. The company overcame these challenges by applying an Integrated Product Team (IPT) structure to the RAM and Phalanx programs.
January 1996 marked the start up of a new weapon systems contract and the change of these programs’ organizational structure. RMSC established the IPT structure by combining the RAM and Phalanx support staffs, and then subdividing the structure into seven IPTs. Five of these teams were responsible for buying and building the products. They were chartered with cradle-to-grave stewardship for the products assigned to their team, such as design, proposal, procurement, production, and post delivery support to the customer. The two remaining teams managed the administrative processes by ensuring minimal hand-offs across functions or teams, handling the managerial duties of operating systems, and overseeing spare parts contracting.
RMSC changed the organizational structures of its RAM and Phalanx programs by breaking down their functional units, getting the customer involved, and setting up empowered IPTs with a common goal. This approach led to open and frank relationships with customers, a quicker response time in addressing problems and implementing solutions, and an ahead of schedule delivery of finished products. Since establishing the IPT structure, RMSC reduced the RAM and Phalanx programs’ cycle times by 50% and the factory floor space requirements by 30%. Both programs can accomplish more work with fewer people by using cross-functional teams with a set of visible objectives. Employee morale has significantly improved, and customer’s confidence and satisfaction have been restored.
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