With SMART Project Delivery ISGEC grows by 32% in two years.
An Indian manufacturing behemoth learns how to neutralize last-minute surprises, gains control over a sprawling operation, and grows two business units by 32% in two years. Ready-to-act information, the beating heart inside Realization’s SMART Project Delivery System, helped lead the way.
In business since 1933, ISGEC is an Indian manufacturer and service provider with prestigious clients around the world. Over 4,000 employees work at multiple locations. The scale and scope of ISGEC operations is enormous, providing engineering, procurement and construction for the energy sector. They make green energy boilers, turbines, transfer presses, iron castings and more. It’s an impressive portfolio.
Over fifty projects running at once
It’s normal for ISGEC to have over 50 projects going at any point in time. Each of these projects competes with all the others for resources. There are untold numbers of daunting tasks and challenges. Tracking over 100,000 parts coming from suppliers is one. Another is to see—and to grasp—what is happening inside each ongoing project to help nail down reliable delivery dates. Yet another is to have a predictable manufacturing process. With ISGEC’s level of production and complexity comes a constant flood of questions.
Which projects are in trouble? What’s the real ship date? Where in the system are things getting stuck? Will the parts we need arrive on time? Where and when should we intervene?
Answers are crucial to meeting customer demand and sustained growth. Until recently, the flood of questions were nearly impossible to answer. ISGEC had no way to see into all the moving parts and processes that impacted various areas of their business. The only system they had in place told them only what had already happened. Which they already knew.
SMART Project Delivery: Looking ahead versus looking back
From years of working in the trenches with clients, Realization teams know what executives and frontline managers at firms like ISGEC need to do to keep projects on track. Even in the kinds of sprawling, difficult, always-changing conditions that characterize daily life there. Our software helps focus our clients on what needs to be done right now, not on what has already happened. Ready-to-act information lies at the heart of the system. It provides ready-to-act alerts for executives, and ready-to-act schedules for the frontline. Everyone, at every level, knows what to do next. It changes everything.
One constant in the life of ISGEC was the last-minute surprise—a missing or late part, a specialized welder not available at a critical moment. The firm manufactures 50 - 60 presses in a year and the average cycle time from order to delivery is nine to ten months, depending on the size of the press. That’s a lot of time and opportunity for all kinds of things to go wrong. Everything that ISGEC builds depends on specialized labor, and on parts and materials coming from outside the company. A shortage of personnel or materials meant that things would get stuck. In business as in life, things got stuck.
“SMART Project Delivery gave us alarms, flags, and escalation of issues on which we promptly acted. The visibility allowed us to work smarter by adopting out of the box ideas to catch up with the plan. We persevered, we maintained discipline, and finally found the actual slowly converging with the projections.” ~ Vivek Nigam, EVP & Head of Machine Building
To help solve some pressing issues, ISGEC brought in a Realization team to work with 40 to 50 ISGEC staff members. The team was engaged to work with two divisions; the Machine Building Division (MBD) that makes presses for the automobile industry, and the Pressure Vessels Division (PVD) that makes heat exchangers, boilers and reboilers for various industries.
The world of projects at ISGEC was about to change.
Problems aren’t always where you think
One significant obstacle at ISGEC was a long-held view. ISGEC believed their main challenge in the MBD division was to maximize output from every machine involved in production. It wasn’t an unreasonable assumption to make. But here’s what happened. SMART Project Delivery delivered true visibility into ISGEC’s operations.
The constraints in the operation weren’t where ISGEC thought they were. They were not in machining, but in the assembly space, where final assembly took place. (When an organization can only see delays that have happened, they often see constraints everywhere.) With SMART Project Delivery, the moment of truth had arrived. The ISGEC team could now focus on the few real constraints rather than the noise.
“We met our growth target of 25% within eight months of implementing SMART Project Delivery.” ~ Vivek Nigam, EVP & Head of Machine Building
Setting up SMART Project Delivery for ISGEC took only five months. The steps involved were system integration, working through business processes, setting up the software, and training ISGEC teams.
The simplification that SMART Project Delivery brought to ISGEC was significant. Instead of constantly facing 250 traditional-plan tasks, the system streamlined all that down to 30-40 focus-and-finish tasks. Once that step was in place, the team could make use of the system’s project-level forward-looking alerts. Management could finally take pro-active steps. SMART Project Delivery predicted a capacity shortage in ISGEC’s assembly area six months in advance. Management planned ahead and worked out some of the assembly in situ and brought the portfolio back into control.
SMART Project Delivery is revolutionary by dealing with the real-world head on. It used to be that formal project management systems required everything and everyone to be on time—everything had to be perfect. At the same time most teams wouldn't know what items would be late, what resources were the actual constraint, or which tasks they ought to be working on.
SMART Project Delivery is changing all that.