ESCF Operations Practices: Insights from Science

We regularly publish a new issue in our ESCF Operations Practices series. In this high-level series, we highlight important findings and results obtained with our companies. The series emboddies our long-term and intimate relationships with our members.

The two issues below are freely available. All issues in the ESCF Operations Practices series can be found here (members only).

Predicting throughput time at Fokker

Availability of machines is very important in achieving operational excellence. In Aerospace, this need is especially high, to make sure that airplanes can keep up with flight plans and passengers, as well as cargo, can get to their destination in time. However, machines have to be maintained from time to time. Then, it helps to have a good estimate of when the maintenance activity will be ready. This enables the maintenance department to take appropriate measures, such as keeping the optimal number of spare parts in stock and optimally planning for down time of the machine.

This operations practice describes how Fokker Services implemented a technique for predicting the throughput time of their maintenance activities on airplane engines. It shows that they managed to improve their throughput time prediction, which potentially means higher customer satisfaction can be achieved. We expect that – with the advent of Internet of Things – such ‘data-driven condition-based maintenance’, will not just be important for Fokker Services, but for all companies that maintain expensive machinery. 

Integrated planning project at Hilti

Hilti is an organization supplying to professional construction companies using a direct sales model. They have been operating in the construction market since 1941. In 2013 Hilti launched the Hilti Integrated Planning (HIP) project. The HIP project started because, at the time, the company was operating without an organized Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) process.

The HIP project focused on integrating the end-to-end supply chain and creating a structured S&OP process. The main focus was to create full transparency throughout the supply chain. With this improved transparency, more educated decisions can be made, and the company can make use of the One Number Steering Principle. The HIP project has been successfully deployed in all markets (Sales Planning) and all plants (Supply & Operations Planning), and the results look promising. In the coming years, the aim is to further advance the S&OP process and integrate external suppliers.