Coordination & change management of special packaging
Shortening the lead time for the approval of special packaging for production supplies from 3-4 months to 2 weeks.
Simultaneous processing of documents and concepts instead of manual, sequential email-based handling of change lists with attachments.
Reducing the error rate from over 10% to under 1%.
Utilization of the platform from both the workplace and mobile devices.
The logistics department of a premium automotive manufacturer requires special packaging for shipping and storing supplier parts when introducing new product lines or making changes to existing models.
The planning and development of these special packaging solutions are subject to numerous legal regulations and are based on a checklist with over 200 criteria for the design and production of special packaging, including aspects related to occupational safety, ergonomics, environmental protection, and more. These criteria must be evaluated, and any resulting changes must be implemented.
The development of special packaging is divided into three process steps and several development stages:
Concept of the packaging
Development of a prototype packaging
Production of a production sample
Up to 15 different internal and external stakeholders are involved at each process step. Some are active stakeholders who must provide their approval or rejection to the respective department, while others are informative stakeholders, such as department heads.
Before the project started, this approval process was conducted using Excel spreadsheets and emails, resulting in a complex and error-prone process.
The entire process for planning and approving special packaging typically took several months, from initial capture to the final approval date by the stakeholders. The long lead times and the error rate in the approvals prompted management to set a goal of achieving alignment, validation, and approval of special packaging within 4 weeks instead of the previous 3-4 months.
Based on the bloofactory process, a digital process based on Microsoft 365 was aligned within one week. With the expertise of specialized process consultants and UX designers, a web-based solution built on Microsoft 365 services was designed, aligned, and developed within a few weeks. The company was able to try out parts of the solution during the development process and continuously provide optimization feedback.
The foundation of this system is a multilingual data entry form that logically captures all the necessary criteria for users. Based on the responses provided, the relevant process partners are added to the transaction, and the process is initiated once all mandatory information is entered. The approach of automatically checking inputs reduced the error rate in the initial stages.
The process system automates adherence to process timelines through scheduling and escalation functions. Process partners also have the ability to delegate meeting and approval appointments (including permissions) to representatives or successors as needed.
Information required for the approval process, such as schedules and container names and dimensions, can be easily and error-free imported from other tools. Additionally, the documentation of approvals and deliveries is appropriately considered. The upload of photos and other documents is integrated, ensuring a fully automated process.
Furthermore, a real-time status report can be generated for different audiences at any stage of the process. This report includes all feedback from process partners along with the current status.
Upon approval or rejection, the relevant process partners receive notifications from the system.
Corresponding reviews, corrections, and edits can be done directly online using familiar tools such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and can be viewed and edited by all stakeholders online in real-time.
A special packaging process, along with all associated documents, can be processed by multiple individuals simultaneously within a day, with direct coordination in Microsoft Teams meetings, and finalization. Integrated task management ensures seamless tracking of activities and guarantees collaboration among multiple teams with deadlines and automated reminders.
The integrated archiving system permanently preserves the aligned transactions and complies with all necessary and legally required compliance and documentation regulations.
The planning, coordination, and approval of special packaging have been reduced from 2-3 months to just a few weeks. Simultaneously, the efficiency has increased by a factor of 10 with the same team through parallel processing of tasks. The goals set by the management have been exceeded in this process.
The implementation of the change management system has already significantly reduced processing times. The company is continuously working on the further development of the change management system for maintenance activities and is also planning to involve and manage external service providers. Based on the Bloofactory process and the standard Microsoft 365 platform, new features can be implemented and rolled out within a matter of days to weeks.