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Implementing DFX, increasing competitiveness, and 25x ROI (CS269)

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Analysis

Market dynamics are changing rapidly in the space sector with more aggressive commercial players competing within a historically government-only market. One of the world’s top manufacturers of satellites and geosynchronous satellite platforms faced increased commercial competition and tighter government budgets. Their ability to adapt was limited by a legacy culture, identity challenges, fragmented transformation across the business units, and distributed ownership, with engineering leading.

SGS Maine Pointe engaged over 110 leaders and personnel across engineering, supply, operations, sales, finance, IT, HR, advanced programs, and the business units. Interactions were passionate with threads of frustration and optimism. The culture was focused on managing compliance, achieving customer requirements, and protecting IP, but lacked commitment to speed of market and designing for affordability.

With a cross-enterprise, collaborative approach, SGS Maine Pointe focused on three areas: design for excellence (DfX), make identity, and supply optimization.

Implementation

Build Excellence: We improved producibility, commonality, and requirements flow down to boost DFX; and executed pilot initiatives in procurement, operations, and engineering to demonstrate “what good looks likes.”

Optimize Supply: We standardized spend categories with strategies for mediating supplier power.

Re-orient Make Identity: By assessing capability, capacity, and cost, we moved the company from a “make first” mentality to understanding what should be core to manufacturing, secondary, and non-core.

Increase Collaboration: We created a new role, Integrated Supply Chain Engineer, to build communications between procurement, manufacturing, and engineering.


Results

  • 25x Long-term ROI

  • $68M Annualized savings

  • $23M Additional identified savings


Conclusion

With new commercial, challenger players entering the space market, business as usual is not an option for legacy players. SGS Maine Pointe engaged the organization to understand the situation, worked hand-in-hand with the leaders across siloed functions to improve collaboration and quantify the benefits, and developed operating models to make the changes stick. The improved collaboration resulted in supply chain and operations having more input earlier in the upfront sales and design process, giving them an equal seat at the decision-making table. This increased affordability and substantially decreased lead times to make the organization more competitive and able to take on new challengers going forward. 

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