Modularization of Product and Organization

Case: Re-shaping the product and the development organization

The Client:

High-Tech Industry

A product division at a global Swedish tech company with over 10,000 employees and complicated technical challenges.

The Challenge:

Introducing Modular Design

The division needed to change its mind-set. Due to shifting market demands cost, product variation and lead time had become increasingly important factors to consider. Each new customer had its own demands, leading to yet another product variant that required extensive development.

The non-systematic development process resulted in long lead times and expensive product cost. This was despite the fact that many of the demands were similar and the products were all a part of a bigger, common system. Shortening the development lead time and cost – combined with satisfying customer demands – was considered a considerable competitive advantage.

The Success:

Part Reduction and Shortened Time-to-Market

  • The same customer need was met using one third of the original number of parts.
  • The company closed an important deal thanks to shortened development and delivery times, compared to the competitors’.
  • Modular mind-set within the whole organization was achieved, not just within the development department.

Interested in modularization? Read more about it here.

How we did it

A pre-study showed that there were opportunities to create a modular platform. Existing and future demands could be met by having a toolbox of modular components which could be re-used. The results would be lowered costs and reduced lead times, mainly related to the development department.

Training and understanding for modularization and its development principles were implemented by arranging Principlay™ workshops. SAM worked with both the development and market departments in order to analyze the current and future customer demands. The analysis was the basis for the following step, in which one of the sub-systems was modularized. The organization was able to work practically with modularization during their daily work, resulting in an even deeper understanding of the modular mind-set.

The improved knowledge of modularization spread through the organization and created needs for more Changes, that SAM facilitated. The development department was re-organized in order to support a modular product platform, new processes for development, test and verification were implemented and manufacturing was re-shaped into a production strategy where all products were made on the same line. Now the transformation journey had started and could continue because of the mind-set, that had been cemented into organizational culture.