Using the PIKON 3-point approach, in which not only the processes and IT systems are considered, but also the wishes and needs of the people involved are heard, it was possible to work out the individual points of view in particular of the design team, the work preparation technicians and the sales department staff. The problems were as follows:
The response time to customer enquiries was already too long due to the respective replanning of the customer product and the total processing time was also too long. The sales staff felt the effects of customer dissatisfaction on a daily basis.
Each customer product was elaborately redesigned, even if only individual components were different to previously manufactured products. This tied up a lot of capacity that was not available for the actual core task of product innovation.
Each product needs production to be readjusted. There is no reliable master data to fall back on.
The solution to this situation was, as is often the case, to switch from repetitive manufacturing to variant production: A maximum parts list with the corresponding maximum work plan is created for similar products. The maximum parts list contains all the possible components and product features. The parts and features required for the order-specific requirements can already be selected very easily from this in the sales department. The stored object dependencies ensure that only parts that go together are combined. For example, if a spring arm is to support a heavy monitor, it not only needs a larger mounting plate but also more load-bearing joints than are required for a smaller monitor.