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Tools and methods for integration and management of the evolution of industrial enterprises - feasibility study

Aim: launch projects to improve productivity/competitiveness
and support the change process of industrial enterprises.
projects will develop global methodical approach with
integrating modelling from design to implementation level.

The objective of this proposal is to launch projects to improve productivity and competitiveness and support the change process of industrial enterprises. The needs to reach these objectives have already been identified during the preparatory phase of this proposal. It is necessary: * to allow the industrial enterprises to check by themselves the situation in which they are, from an internal point of view as well as from an external point of view (situation related to competition). This action needs the development of self-diagnosis procedures. * to develop a global methodological approach allowing companies to move from their present status, changing not only the technical part of the firm, but also the organisational part. Both actions need to be supported by problem-specific reference models and the application of existing and new methods and modelling techniques. * to develop software applications and products to support the overall methodological approach. To reach these ambitious objectives, it was decided to launch first a feasibility study in order to specify the field of the market, the user requirements, the definition of the products to be developed and marketed, the planning and the costs of the various products and the return on investment (ROI). This feasibility study will have two workpackages: * WP1: a feasibility study on self-diagnosis procedures and overall methodological approaches based on problem-specific reference models. * WP2: a feasibility study and pre-specification of software products dedicated to support self-diagnosis procedures and overall methodological approaches. 1. Motivation: In the last 10 years, the economic environment has changed drastically. The worldwide market confronts the manufacturing companies with new and shifting market requirements. The current critical competitive factors are low cost, high quality, faster product development, shorter lead time in procurement, production and distribution. The integration of business operations within and even between industrial enterprises has much innovation potential in this respect. Through integration, business operations can be streamlined, in order not only to shorten lead times, but also to give radically new options for the whole enterprise's strategy and organisational structure. This new situation forces companies to define objectives not only for the type of enterprise they want to become but also for the market niche in which they will be able to compete successfully in coherence with their products. Integration simplifies problem-solving efforts by making problems visible and by improving cooperation between individual functions and the organisation. To reach this integrated situation, companies have widely introduced the use of information technology such as CAD (Computer-Aided Design), CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing), CAPM (Computer-Aided Production Management), FMS (Flexible Manufacturing Systems), computer networks, databases, etc. However, this radical change has shown the limits of such investments which can, quite the contrary, cause some reverse effects. * rigidity of the structure, which implies a lack of dynamic flexibility and reactivity and which does not allow a downscaling of lead time and time to market; * rejection of the evolution, making the change of structure harder. So, before the introduction of new technologies to speed up change in the company, performing "new integrative" thinking in order to prepare the implementation of a new organisational structure is necessary. Moreover, this new approach to industrial development is based on radical or incremental "organisation innovations". The nature of the innovation depends on the company's current situation, its perceived problems and chosen development goal (choice of market segment or integration in a larger chain from supplier to customer). The last statement involves managerial behaviour: it must shift from maintaining current operations to managing innovation in order to successfully implement, with shorter lead times, new and more effective practices, systems and structures based on integration. However, none of today's approaches is capable of assisting or accompanying the different evolutionary manufacturing strategies through the redesign and reorganisation of the industrial enterprise. To achieve this we must develop not only the use of intensive computer techniques, but also new concepts, models and managerial techniques attuned to the European mentality in order to improve intangible manufacturing factors as well. Warning! from now on, the reader should keep in mind that the document describes, in the following pages: * the two planned projects (Project 1 and Project 2). * the feasibility study (organised into WP1 and WP2) which is the purpose of this proposal; 2. Field of application of planned projects: The field of application will involve the improvement of competitiveness of industrial enterprises in design, engineering, process planning, production management, sales, delivery and recycling. It will therefore deal with enterprise efficiency and the management of change. In this field we will focus more on the intangible factors of the enterprise, taking integration into consideration. Enterprise efficiency measurement: the purpose is to develop self-auditing procedures for identifying "where we are", "where our competitors are", "where we should (or would like) to do". Management of change: several tools must be developed to manage the transition. They are supported by: * a top-down approach: - modelling techniques - modelling techniques, - databases of the various models based on a typology of problems. * a bottom-up approach: - targeted behaviour, considered within the type the company belongs to and according to the results of the application of the self-auditing procedures. - a European configuration of potential practices based upon the synthesis of the results of the self-auditing procedures application. * computerised means to facilitate the use of approaches, modelling techniques and stored knowledge. The models must be designed in a space of three axess: - production axis (from design to manufacturing and after sales) - a managerial axis (from business to Real-Time control of manufacturing systems) - an evolution axis (from a present status to a target status). To achieve and according to our current understanding, we can envisage two projects: to the Definition Phase. * Project 1 which aims to develop self-auditing procedures (for the use of companies), modelling techniques and various models (for the use of engineering companies and departments), a European configuration of potential practices (for the use of governments and Industrial Agency). The short name of this project is "Managing strategic evolution". * Project 2, the objective of which is to develop computerised support for a set of methods based on the GRAI model, in order to analyse, design and implement the manufacturing system of extended companies. The short name of this project is "Software tools". 3. Application Domain of the Feasibility Study To reach these ambitious objectives, the associated partners of the TIME project propose to launch a seven month feasibility study in order to: - define precisely the area of TIME in the space already mentioned, - improve the user requirements, - define the products to be developed and marketed, - develop the detailed planning and svaluate the costs of the projects envisaged. 4. Scope of the proposal of the feasibility study and preliminary description of the workpackages: The feasibility study will be structured in two workpackages, each being linked to one of the planned projects: - Workpackage 1 (WP1): Definition, specification and conditions to achieve Project 1: Managing strategic evolution. - Workpackage 2 (WP2): Definition, specification and conditions to achieve Project 2: Software tools. 4.1) Workpackage 1 (WP1): Definition, Specification and conditions to achieve Project 1: Managing Strategic Evolution. The following actions should take place within WP1: - WP1.1: Definition of the objectives and area: The area defined by the three axes used hefore is still very broad. Therefore a more detailed definition of the objectives and area is required. - WP1.2: Survey of user requirements. - Evaluation of existing self audit procedures, selection and adaptation. - Performance of the selected procedures. - Evaluation of the selected procedures and comparison with the existing evaluation of the companies. - Market survey. - WP1.3: Definition of the deliverables to be developed and marketed. - List and content of deliverables to be developed, - Feasibility of these developments, - Estimat of return on investment - Choice and case study for validation, - Commercial agreement between the partners. - WP1.4: Plan of development for deliverables. - Schedule, cost - External specifications of these models and tools, - Existing methods and tools to be used and specific development need, - Definition of concepts and terminology used and development schema, - Recommendations for development methods, software engineering tools and software platforms, - Recommendations for user interfaces for software tools, - Setting up synergic groups between various countries, - Definition of workpackages (and WP leaders) and tasks (with partners' role in each task), - Workplan and planning, - Setting up of editing rules for all documents (Editing Committee). 4.2 Workpackage 2 (ZP2): Definition, specification and conditions to achieve Project 2 "Software Tools". The following actions should take place within WP2: - WP2.1: Standard definition - Drawing up of a standardisation project: The project will be based mainly on the GRAI method, while taking into account interfaces for other methods, especially with regard to the informational system. However, as far as the GRAI method is concerned, it is essential to freeze the formalae. Preliminary work has been done within the framework of the AUGRAI working group on standardisation. This should ne done in close cooperation with the AFNOR CIM standardisation group, so that the results can be proposed to CEN-CENELEC. - WP2.2: Critical assessment of previous implementations. Thanks to the long enough period of use and the large number of cases dealt with, it is now possible to make a valid evaluation of the application of the GRAI method and of its previous implementations. This action will take into account both the evolution of the method over the period considered and the complexity of the industrial problems tackled. It will provide the required basis for the market study. - WP2.3: Segmented market analysis. The basic idea and objective of the project is to enable a naive user to describe the process of change of his/her enterprise. The main objective of the market analysis will be to determine hhow far the industrial world is interested in GRAI-type methods to achieve such an objective. It will also aim at defining and quantifying the various segments of the European market. - WP2.4: Demonstration kit. To assist the participants in the market analysis, an evaluation kit will be developed from an existing graphic editor (GRAI-AO). It will integrate a hypertext layer in order to deliver a package which may really assist the customer. This should not only support our marketing analysis, but also enable an improvement of the specification of the final product, through an analysis of various users. - WP2.5: Case study based specifications. The objective of this task is to take into account the results of the previous tasks of this workpackage in order to initiate the drawing up of the products' specifications from an industrial case study performed
Acronym: 
TIME (DEF)
Project ID: 
824
Start date: 
27-11-1992
Project Duration: 
8months
Project costs: 
1 780 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.