Case: Modularization and Product Consolidation

A global multi billion dollar Swedish corporation needed assistance to introduce modularization to their product structure. The client had acquired numerous companies and needed to consolidate not only the operations, but also the products and the product structures. SAM was called in.
The project included 15 sub-projects, where modularization was considered to contribute to a better and simplified product structure, as well as faster development of new end variants. The sub-projects were both product specific and cross-functional across different product categories. All to support the potential for synergy effects in simplified supply chain operations and a more coherent product program, i.e. offering to the customers.

Methodology

The project was carried out at local development departments across the globe from Australia, to several countries in Europe as well as North and South America. Besides from training and coaching of designers and managers in modularization theory, a lot of effort was put on practical application.
Initially SAM engaged a substantial group of development managers to define development and design principles. The principles, turning into a common mind-set, would support the alignment of product development over the geographically spread organization.
SAM contributed with technical definitions, definition of design, user factors and design relations. Further more SAM did much of the analysis and data collection for the analysis in cooperation with the client. Each sub-project was unique and much time was spent with designers on site and out in the field where the equipment was used, in order to get a deeper understanding and getting closer to the actual user factors.

Results

  • Wide understanding of modularization amongst the designer teams.
  • Complete product structures for specific product families at the end of the Project.
  • The company was calculated to cut costs with 40 MEUR annually

The modular structure made it possible

One of the design teams received a request for a quote. Unfortunately the design team had focused their time on developing a machine of a different size and performance than requested in their new modular product family. However, the structures where defined and ready. Instead of the 6 months of the past to fulfil the request for the quote it took only 30 Days, thanks to the modular structure.

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