Original Date: 06/05/2006
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Outsourcing Chemical Management Systems
The Lynx system used at Rockwell Collins has given Environmental, Safety & Health total control of the hazardous material system process at the enterprise level. The process has decreased Environmental, Safety & Health labor and reduced inventory and disposal of hazardous material and the risk of noncompliance to regulatory requirements.
The Rockwell Collins enterprise chemical procurement process previously performed supply-base procurements of chemicals among 160 suppliers. Chemical Strategies Partnership, a nonprofit organization that operated the Chemical Management Service, was consulted. A team of Rockwell Collins employees performed an enterprisewide value stream analysis, which revealed a high degree of non-value-added activity. Multiple tracking and information systems were identified. Fact finding identified waste and redundancies in ordering, inspection, receiving, delivering, and inventory. Potential risk of stockouts existed when demands were not forecast. Packaging size was often in excess of user needs, and expiring shelf life material was generating excessive waste.
With a cradle-to-grave chemical management system (CMS) needed, Rockwell Collins evaluated ten companies that perform CMS and chose Avchem as its contractor, who then assumed inventory, buyer history, and user baseline. Avchem uses a stand-alone, Web-based Lynx online system for catalog ordering, tracking, and reporting Material Safety Data Sheets. Lynx has 2,500 items loaded in the approved products lists, including 1,300 items that have been active. Lynx requires Environmental, Safety & Health (ES&H) review and approval online. Cabinet management is done at the point of use. Rockwell Collins employees do a weekly scan of the cabinet areas to reflect current inventory and trigger restocking orders. Operations personnel use Lynx to immediately locate and remove material when alert notices are issued and to monitor areas for package sizes. The Shelf Life Recertification Program has been established to reduce waste. Training and communication with the union have been integral parts of the program.
Rockwell Collins has reduced its chemical supply base from 160 to 1. Lynx, a cradle-to-grave system, provides a consistent enterprise solution, allowing for the capturing and reporting of CMS activities and the reduction of inventory, emissions, and waste. To date there has been a full-time equivalent redeployment of seven personnel. Rockwell Collins is currently developing a method for determining additional cost reductions.
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