Alstom Transport B.V. is a global developer and provider of systems, components and services for the rail industry. As part of their internal Back on Track programme, Alstom Transport is currently restructuring their organisation in order to achieve transparency, measurability, result-driven working methods and cost savings. All in all, a highly ambitious undertaking for this complex Ridderkerk-based organisation, which offers both manufacturing and repair services. Jack van Benten, Services Managing Director and Bert Passchier, Services Sales Director, explain the company-wide process management and improvement project.
“It turned out that the alignment of processes across the organisation was off, resulting in gaps, time wastage and an inability to make analyses. This was a real eye-opener that forced us to take a critical look at our working methods,” says Jack van Benten. “We want to clarify the alignment of processes across all layers of the organisation. Accessibility is very important,” Bert Passchier adds.
Experiencing Sensus process management
Alstom is making serious work of the project. “The Sensus method offers a very clearly structured way of looking at yourself. In fact, Sensus BPM Online is not only a methodology and a piece of software, it incorporates practical experience that guides us.” Monique van Dodewaard, Senior Consultant at Sensus process management, has joined Alstom’s project team. “Monique has really done an excellent job. She has a supporting role in the project. She advises and assists the project team, delves deep into the organisation to bring the right information to the surface, and makes sure processes are consistent,” agree Van Benten and Passchier.
“We have to deliver results!”
Firstly, all the organisation’s main processes were structured to create a solid foundation. The next step was to set up a pilot to map and improve the Repair on Quote (ROQ) process, which is a process – or rather a chain of processes – that affects a large number of departments. The ROQ process offered opportunities for quick improvements, or in Passchier’s words, “We picked the low-hanging fruit first.”
Over the past few years, Alstom had significantly stepped up its production, tripling its production workforce. This put a considerable strain on their repair operations, often leading to Alstom not meeting agreed turnaround times. A key objective of the project was therefore to achieve measurability and transparency in this area.
Measurable processes put Alstom Transport back on track
“We defined KPIs for turnaround times and documented them in Sensus BPM Online for total clarity on how long a repair, or part of a repair, takes. This is monitored by the primary system and the results are then later shown on screens in the production area to give actual production staff insight into the results as well. Aside from that, we are getting information based on which we can better manage and plan operations, as well as keep our capacity in step with our backlog,” say Van Benten and Passchier. “Because the bottom line is that we have to deliver results!”
Van Benten and Passchier are also considering the future of the organisation. “Logistics is becoming increasingly prominent in our operations. Assembling components and shipping them all over the world requires a professional approach. You can only add value for your customers by staying on top of your logistics. And by being better at it than your customer,” Van Benten suggests.
A win-win situation for our customers
“We are now seeing that our improvement project is starting to pay off. In a pilot project with one of our customers, we found that this customer needed 37 steps to get a train component to us for a repair. Our aim is now for them to be able to lean on us to simplify part of their process. We can show them that letting us take care of certain aspects will yield cost savings, both for them and for us. It’s a win-win situation! And we have data to back up our claim, which really inspires confidence.”
91% delivery reliability – a great result
Although the project at Alstom Transport is still ongoing, Van Benten and Passchier are proud of the results they have achieved so far. “We are now at 91% delivery reliability for repairs, thanks in part to Sensus BPM Online, but also thanks to a set of changes at the organisation, which have brought greater structure and more targeted management. We are really proud of that!” Both men still see a range of opportunities for further improvement through automation, the introduction of barcodes on parts, etc. The plan is to have Sensus process management train their employees internally, with a view to empowering them to independently keep the process management and improvement project going, with a little help from Monique whenever they need it.
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Our unique Sensus BPM Online process management solution lets you map, improve and share all the processes at your organisation. This will give you a solid foundation from which to respond to opportunities and threats, and to implement improvements consistently.
“We are now at 91% delivery reliability for repairs, thanks in part to Sensus BPM Online, but also thanks to a set of changes at the organisation, which have brought greater structure and more targeted management. We are really proud of that!”