Automotive : Industrial Performance

Identify the paths of improvement of industrial performance for an automotive equipment supplier
Case study

Assignment context and objectives

Argon Consulting was contacted by this European automotive equipment supplier, which is one of the leading players on the world market, to look for new ways of improving its operational performance as part of a performance audit.

The assignment covered the following themes:

  • Qualification of the productivity of the assembly line
  • Existing modes of control and practices
  • Qualification of the main cross-function processes
  • Organization and control of equipment maintenance
  • Maintenance policy
  • Planning and management of maintenance operations
  • Management of spare parts

Approach and methodology

The diagnostic of the existing situation covered the organization, processes, flows, productivity, performance indicators and control systems.

The main points covered by the diagnostic of production were :

  • Understanding the existing organization (assembly lines and maintenance activities)
  • Qualification of the personnel (motivation, versatility, etc.)
  • Production controls (forecasting, scheduling, tracking and reporting)
  • The qualitative analysis of performance (ergonomics, resources, line equipment Balance, instructions, respect for procedures)
  • The quantitative analysis of performance (standard times, the cost of achieving Quality)
  • The qualification of the production planning – production interfaces (mirror survey, etc.)
  • The identification of paths of improvement: organization, management of the start and end of jobs, target operation to absorb the future workload

The main points covered by the diagnostic of the maintenance activities were :

  • The organization and control of maintenance activities
  • Qualification of the personnel (skills, reactivity, versatility, involvement, etc.)
  • Analysis of the interfaces between production / maintenance and centralize maintenance / zone maintenance
  • Qualification of the management of spare parts
  • Analysis of the legacy cmms
  • Analysis of the maintenance plans and actions for continuous progress


The initial diagnostic highlighted and prioritized the main malfunctions and defined the new paths of progress.

The main avenues of performance identified for production:

  • Optimize the cost of achieving quality, in particular by halting/optimizing the matching operation
  • Review the standard times and harmonize the various functions (production engineering, finance, lean)
  • Better control of balancing cycles by :
    • Reducing the balancing gaps between stations
    • Using the available time for workstations whose standard times are below the takt time
  • Improve the ergonomics of the workstations, in particular to cut absenteeism
  • Reduce the cycle times of bottleneck machines

The main points identified for maintenance were:

  • Cmms: user interface, functionality, robustness
  • Spare parts: process, roles and responsibilities, tracking
  • Maintenance plans: review and intervention strategy
  • Plans for improvement: management and arbitration of resources
  • Practices (scheduling / preparation and diagnostic): harmonization of practices
  • Sizing of the maintenance personnel: top-down and bottom-up flows
  • Relevance of the indicators and administrative workload involved in producing the indicators
  • Management of tools and, in general, the problems of activities that are meshed with the neighboring site