We often think of FieldCore sending mechanics and Field Engineers to remote locations across more than 60 countries around the world. Take a moment to consider another essential element of our ability to maintain and upgrade these facilities… the tools these experts use to get the job done.
We started our journey back in 2017, when FieldCore Tooling was created, and all the regions needed to be unified under one global team. Among several challenges, the biggest one was the need to standardize our tooling operation and digitalize it. Back then we had more than thirty different ways to request and fulfill tools; so, we took the decision to develop and customize an SAP system to suit our exact processes and needs and implement it in all tooling centers. We called it ETM, Electronic Tooling Management.
After four years of continuous improvement, we are very proud to say that our digital operations have been unified and we are closing this year with a utilization rate of 97 percent of outages using this system.
In January 2021 our two new missions were to improve the user experience to increase the productivity originated by the digitalization of our process, and the re-alignment of our operations to establish risk control for on-time tooling delivery. The first step to achieve this was to collect as much feedback from our users from all regions and tooling centers to create one single process. We decided to experiment by applying Lean tools such as Value Stream Mapping.
During the next six months, we mapped our existing processes, and we created our future state process. More than 80 people participated in several workouts and mapping sessions, resulting in the ability to implement 90 percent of the requests and feedback from our users.
This will make our tooling operation much more efficient, meeting the needs of our people by:
- Reducing international delivery lead times.
- Implementing Tooling Standard Work by eliminating waste and establishing tracking times.
- Providing accurate tooling status to Field Services teams.
- Reducing billing timeliness.
- Reducing International Freight Cost.
- Reducing tooling escaping defects.
It took us close to a year to implement these changes and after having learned how to apply Lean methodologies, we’ve also applied it in our next two enhancements that will be focused on moving tools from site to site, billing, user interface, maintenance and re-kiting process, cost control and customs management/compliance. This time the creation of the future state for both projects took us less than one month, because the whole team knew that this was the right methodology to implement changes and change the status quo.
We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that participated during the revamping of our operations. This is a perfect example of the great things that we can accomplish when projects are created for the people, by the people.