AlliedSignal Aerospace Repair & Overhaul (Singapore) (A)

Published 16 May 2002
Reference 5001
Topic Operations
Region Asia

This series of three cases describes the transformation of AlliedSignal’s Aerospace Repair & Overhaul (R&O) shop in Singapore*, AlliedSignal Singapore Pte Ltd between 1996 and 2000. Using a six-sigma methodology, Jacques Esculier, the Managing Director, and his change team systematically reviewed all operational and administrative processes, and came up with a set of changes to adapt Toyota lean manufacturing principles to the R&O environment. Changes were implemented based on a Hoshin Kanri goal deployment management system and they focused on achieving breakthroughs in cycle time, supported by a team of Green Belts and Black Belts. After four years of relentless implementation, Jacques and his team brought the shop’s turnaround time down from 75 days to a mere 14.5 days. It achieved the fastest turnaround time in the world. The improvement initiatives also brought along spillovers, enabling the shop to achieve quantum improvements in all other metrics related to cost, quality and working capital.

Teaching objectives

The first set of cases (Case A and B) could be used for discussing Operations Management issues. They would provide a real-life picture of an operational setting that can benefit from the application of lean production principles and six-sigma methodology. It would highlight the importance of the connections between the physical process flow, plant layout and information flows, as well as dynamics of staff interactions. It would also provide a detailed explanation of the principles of lean production and six-sigma methodology, as well as the changes that were implemented accordingly to rectify the problems faced. The second set of cases (Case A and C) could be used for discussing Change Implementation or Project Management issues. The cases are written from the point of view of the individual in charge of the change and this would help at focusing the reader's mind on how he or she would manage such a change effort. It would highlight the challenges of change management. It also provides a good view of how change can be created in a static organization, allowing readers to reflect on how organizational change can be triggered and managed.

  • RD0502
  • AR2002
  • Operations Management
  • Change Management
  • Singapore
  • Lean Production Principles and Implementation
  • Six-Sygma Methodology and Implementation