Ashok Leyland – NPD
The huge 1500+ New Product Development team at their globally benchmarked testing facilities at Ashok Leyland continuously strive to bring to market vehicles which are synonymous with the qualities of safety, reliability and ruggedness. The objective of R&D is to respond fast to the customised market needs across existing multiple diverse platforms and to develop many new platforms in the intermediate, mid and heavy segments of both Buses and Trucks business units (due to the intensified competition) in order to sustain and improve the market share. Moreover, meeting deadlines of regulatory norms (Govt and Industrial) is a matter of survival for the business.
However, the need to adhere to a very rigorous internal processes, involvement of a humongous number of suppliers (both international and domestic), several approving government authorities make this environment very challenging. So, like most such highly complex R&D environments, the team struggled with frequent rework, delays in parts development and lower than expected output.
After applying the principles & thinking of Theory of Constraints and by focusing on the flow of projects in the development funnel, rather than individual projects, this team broke out of a vicious loop of delays and capacity wastage. Within a little more than a year of implementation, the company was not only able to streamline its transition from BS4 to BS6 but they also increased the output of BS4 variants. Following were the major benefits realised.
The following are the results experienced so far –