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Premier consumer goods manufacturer modernized their R&D / Engineering and PLM platform leveraging SAP solutions

Company:

Manufacturer of consumer goods in the United States.

Background:

The client was utilizing an outdated computer-aided design (CAD) integration toolset for managing Research & Development/Engineering data and integrating with SAP. This led to the user interface, user experience, and efficiency issues. Due to its complexity and outdated nature, the system was limited to certain Research & Development (R&D) data only, it was time-consuming, and critical functionality was missing. This led to issues for enabling R&D/ Engineering and the business to efficiently manage the product’s lifecycle, to engineer, and to manufacture its products at the highest level while continuing to innovate. 

Business Problem:

The business challenge was to transform and modernize the R&D/Engineering and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) experience, in order to leverage the data across the entire PLM process. This includes managing Documents, CAD data (SOLIDWORKS), Quality Processes, and deploying a modernized and flexible Engineering Change Management process that can control the entire Workflow from Product and CAD design across the End-to-End process, including all the stakeholders that are part of the change management and supply chain.

Business Solution:

The customer deployed the SAP Engineering Control Center (ECTR) Interface to leverage a single, integrated platform for R&D data, enabling a view of all product development information, including data from planning, purchasing, manufacturing, engineering, and quality teams. The main CAD tool in use is SOLIDWORKS, which is directly integrated via ECTR. 

This platform enabled the customer to handle more items in the innovation pipeline. The customer was able to respond to consumer demand faster and more economically. Additionally, the customer was able to scale new item creation as innovation grows, while reducing scrap and rework due to flaws in the current design and process.

The goal was to replace the outdated UI and software with SAP ECTR, which is an SAP solution for which LeverX is the prime authorized partner in North America. SAP ECTR provides the R&D/ Engineering teams an engineering-friendly workspace to design, engineer, and innovate - while connecting the design and engineering data with the business data in SAP.

Additionally SAP’s 3D Visual Enterprise is leveraged in order to create 3D lightweight visuals which can be leveraged for Manufacturing Planning and creation of Visual Work Instructions. These can improve Manufacturing processes as well as the customer experience for the final assembly of the Consumer Product.

In order to manage engineering changes, it was also critical to deploying a flexible Workflow and Engineering Change Management solution. Instead of custom programming and hardcoding engineering change’s in SAP, which requires a great deal of development, significant time, money, and highly skilled developers, the project team opted to deploy the Integrated Process Solution (IPS) by LeverX. IPS allowed us to quickly modernize and revamp the customer's engineering change management process, at a fraction of the time, with the added flexibility built in to make changes to the workflow as the product’s lifecycle evolves. It is easier and simpler to modify workflow and integrate from ECTR across the PLM process running End-to-End in SAP. 

LeverX guided the client every step of the way, not just with our expertise on the solution, processes, and business challenges, but also by being patient and understanding the client’s specific business needs, pain points, and new/old technologies. We used IPS to resolve the immediate business problems, as well as setting up future proof processes for which the customer is in control. During the project delivery, we deployed highly skilled engineers and process consultants from LeverX to understand the customer’s processes, objectives and implement the new solutions. 

Business Impact:

The client was extremely pleased with the solutions and consulting expertise delivered by LeverX, to successfully implement this critical project. This project began at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020) and we went live in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic (September 2020). Through all of the business and personal challenges, COVID-19 provided, including no on-site travel, switching to fully remote delivery, and the obvious challenges we’ve all experienced working from home while trying to stay sane and healthy - we were able to work hand in hand with the customer to successfully kick-off, deliver and go-live during this challenging time. 

The project was delivered on budget, on time, and at the most critical business time in the customer’s history. Due to COVID-19, state-wide lockdown’s and the temporary closure of many restaurants, most people remained at home and looked for innovative ways to spend time at home - cooking, barbequing, and getting through this pandemic. This company's revenue increased by 40% due to the immediate surge and demand for their products, and we have helped the company to continue its business operations without any disruptions. The demand for grills and related products has increased internationally and the customer is actively expanding and continuing to leverage LeverX with this expansion, in order to engineer, manufacture and get their fabulous products into the hands of consumers around the world.

We continue to stay involved with guiding the customer as European Manufacturing sites are being stood up, and we will continue to be involved with the planning for the 2022 projects moving to S/4HANA. On a personal note for all of us at LeverX, this has been one of the most exciting projects to be part of, since it’s a product we all can relate to, it’s a brand that has been the market leader in this space for close to 130 years, with its quality and reputation second to none. We are proud of the customer’s accomplishments, our team’s accomplishments, and look forward to our future involvement with this customer.