What we achieved

  • Tracking

    service management special tools

  • $2M+

    savings per year

  • 50%+

    increase tool utilization

To who

Overview

  • Part 1

    Challenge

    With 40 sites, keeping track of inventory was burdensome due to manual processes for assigning specialized tools, which lead to high expenses, lost productivity, and long lead times.

  • Part 2

    Solution

    HCL Aftermarket Cloud Service Management Platform was purpose-built to handle special tools after conducting a thorough aftermarket technology audit and the existing features were mapped to address their issues.

  • Part 3

    Results

    A complete digitalization of what once were manual processes resulting in complete visibility of inventory, an asset management system, ability to budget and allocate funds appropriately; all of which yielded $2M+ in savings per year and 50%+ increased tool utilization.

The Challenge

Manual processes prevent progress

When opportunity knocks at your door, you answer it. For this large European Commercial Vehicles Manufacturer, they saw an opportunity to drive service excellence by streamlining their aftermarket tools and asset availability. The company spares no efforts to ensure quick, reliable, “best of breed” service to its customers.

But with more than 40 sites across India, the company struggled with their manual process for handling all their special tools required to address customer repairs. These tools were not normal tools like screwdrivers or spanners, but rather, specially procured and expensive, to be used only for major jobs like engine overhauls, great box repair, removing or fitting axles, etc. The company spent close to USD $1.34 M annually on procurement of special tools without visibility of usage. So once a request was made, there was no further tracking. Furthermore, tools were shared across branches but they had no inventory visibility outside of the region.

Due to lack of visibility of inventory, tools and assets were not monitored or maintained, resulting in additional expenses. There was no control on tools issuance nor traceability of utilization. When tools were borrowed or transferred across two different sites, information management created challenges due to outdated manual processes. With no consolidated or up-to-date information available, tools would reach a site with undocumented and inconsistent lead time, affecting the promised TAT and customer delivery.

Assets were not issued on service priority, and in some instances, associated travel costs were not assigned and visibility in the nearest stock location was nonexistent. Information losses such as assets borrowed or never returned or intractability of assets when site operations were closed plagued the company’s service efficiency and overall cost of service. This also adversely impacted their annual budgeting process because of incomplete information on special tool inventory and value.

To address these gaps, the company swiftly recognized the sole hiccup in their otherwise smoothly operating service engine was the absence of a comprehensive CMMS (Computerized maintenance management system) that’s capable of handling all the workflows managing aftermarket special tools.

  • Manual process for assigning specialized tools across 40 sites.
  • Losing track of tools inventory
  • Excess tools purchases costing company $1.34M+ every year
  • Lost productivity searching for tools and long lead times

The Solution

Gaining full control and visibility on progress

HCL Aftermarket Cloud Service Management Platform was purpose-built to handle special tools after conducting a thorough aftermarket technology audit and the existing features were mapped to address all their issues. Based on an assessment study, the cloud-based system had the following capabilities:

  • Purchase planning
  • Asset tracking and handling depreciation
  • Comprehensive tools master with tools image, warranty, schedules, applicability, movement history, supplier, price, stock, attachments and BOM
  • Tools tracking based on loan, non-returnable, or stock transfer
  • Option to configure with or without serial number, each having a different calibration/maintenance schedule
  • Dashboard with details on service due, aging analysis, machine status, pending orders, etc.
  • Monitoring of dead stock and initiation of scrapping process with approval configurations, and handling of workshop issues/receivables
  • Analytics reports like reorder level, aging analysis, month-end reports, blocked stock report and ledger reports, etc.
  • Stock verification process

An asset number identification format was populated in the system that generated identification tags for all existing assets. HCLSoftware rolled out the pilot and standardized the workflows and reports. The client’s IT team fed the assets info into the system and tracked asset movement at a few sites to verify whether the system was delivering based on the expected business logic. The client team was trained to track all newly purchased assets, asset calibration/maintenance through the system and then extended it to other sites.

The Results

The price you pay versus the results you receive

The European Vehicle Manufacturer’s decision to implement HCL Aftermarket Cloud produced quick, noticeable and measurable results.

Here’s a comprehensive look at how Service Management’s system for special tools helped them:

  • Visibility on tools’ movement across multiple locations
  • Online data to take quick decisions
  • Ease of tracking overall inventory of tools and equipment
  • Analysis of tools for new models
  • Visibility on tools status
  • History of stock transfers issued on a single click
  • Reports of borrowed, returned, lost-in-transit and other leakages
  • System generated emails for all types of notifications
  • System-driven approval process for each transaction
  • Yearly budget allocation and purchase tracking
  • System-generated asset number generation
  • Printing system generated documents for asset movement

The new HCL Aftermarket Cloud Service Management Platform allows the approving authority to track special tools across branches, regions and Pan India. Team members can now measure availability and utilization of tools so they can transfer them from one place to another - no more lost tools!

Strict inventory controls have been implemented on procurement requests. This has multi-level approval right from the regional head, to the business head to the finance head before being procured. This alone resulted in savings close to $1 million USD per year! Over the last seven years, the company has saved close to $10M USD.

With notifications on service, management of tools and other company assets, they’ve saved close to another $250K USD per year which results in close to $2M USD in total. Since the maintenance schedule got streamlined, there are no more unwanted bills before the due date. The option to transfer costly special tools from nearby branches is now visible, saving on cost and reducing frustration. The reduction in lost tools and lack of traceability resulted in close to another $2M USD savings across the past seven years.

With calibration done on schedule, the mean value utilization of tools increased more than 50% and repair time was also cut in half. This resulted in better utilization of the service engineer and customer satisfaction (not captured in our special tools management packaging). Overall, the special tools management system (as of 2023) has given the manufacturer a $14–15 M USD savings over a period of seven to eight years.

Opportunities for progress and growth can come at a price, but don’t let the cost deter you. With HCL Aftermarket Cloud, the European Vehicle Manufacturer’s vision of differentiating themselves from competition through service excellence became a reality. The return on investment has been incredible. And the results are everlasting.

About the company

This multi-brand, multi-division commercial vehicles manufacturing company was established in 2008 as a joint venture which comprises of a complete range of manufacturing trucks and buses, managing distribution, engine manufacturing and export hub, non-automotive engines and component business. The company is constantly introducing innovative technologies & services, through 9 manufacturing facilities spread across India, supported by a strong dealership network of over 800+ outlets.

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