Original Date: 06/05/2006
Revision Date: / /
Information : GPS Customer-Returned Goods
Rockwell Collins is applying lean manufacturing principles to reduce the turnaround time of customer-returned goods to its customers by using a simple visual indicator system that alerts employees to those assets that require immediate attention. This system promises to save up to 20% of the company’s overall turnaround time.
Rockwell Collins’ Cedar Rapids facility has begun reducing the amount of time it takes to return assets to the field. Spurred by increasing turnaround time (TAT) and worsening on-time delivery (OTD), the company has targeted more than 14 product types of customer-returned goods (CRGs) to benefit lean thinking.
Prior to recently implemented solutions, Rockwell Collins’ Coralville facility tracked its CRGs using handwritten tags, with significant time spent prioritizing product and trying to interpret tags. The implementation of a color- coded visual indicator method has enabled every operator to know how long an asset has been in shop and which asset needs immediate attention. Additional improvements to the TAT were made by direct shipping to and from the customers, eliminating duplicate handoffs in the paperwork portion of the process.
Although these changes are relatively new, evidence points to improved trends in both TAT and OTD. Benefits to using the visual system include improved visibility and tracking of prioritized items, elimination of the need to access requisite information from a PC, and reduced workload scheduling. By reducing the handoffs, this simple and inexpensive system has the potential to save up to 20% of the overall turnaround time.
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