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At SAP Insider Prague I listened into a session delivered by Tandeep Sandhu from Bombardier, he was talking to us about how Bombardier used SAP PLM and SNC to enable them to release a new line of aircraft for the 100-149 seat market and increase their market share in the process.

To give some background, Tandeep began by painting the picture of the company. Bombardier are the 3rd largest aerospace company, they design, build and support both business and commercial aircraft. As expected for a company in this position, they operate on a global scale and employ over 35,000 people.

Before embarking on this project, Bombardier outlined the key challenges that would have to be overcome in order to be successful in their bid to enter a new segment of the aircraft market.

  • There was no cross communication between the existing systems.
  • Whatever solution they picked had to run using ECC to fit alongside their current set up
  • A system was needed that could enable the engineering department to trigger a BOM change and manage the knock-on effect that this causes
  • A necessity was to create a seamless process to integrate with their tier 1 supplies, this would enable them to be a ‘paperless’ organisation and be able to manage a JIT delivery process
  • Due to the set-up of the particular industry, engineering own the change management process and the BOM is extremely large

After discussions with SAP, a comprehensive solution of PLM and SNC was chosen. Each solution covered all the challenging areas that Bombardier had outlined using various capabilities.

  • Supplier collaboration was possible and a communication platform was created using SNC
  • Paperless document exchange using PLM C folders alongside SNC
  • Visibility of shipments using SNC advanced shipping notification functionality
  • Enhanced inbound process and reduced manual entry of data through goods receipt with barcode scanning

Tandeep wrapped the session up nicely by providing us with the key things that should be taken away from his presentation.

  • Trends such as increased global sites and suppliers, more competition and higher customer expectations are driving supply chains to be more efficient
  • Prototyping is crucial in projects introducing new technologies
  • Get hands-on experience as soon as possible
  • Do extensive testing to discover where the issues are with your process and technology as early as possible
  • Avoid customizing the system to a point where it cannot accommodate the future roadmaps
  • Ensure there is enough support from the business and IT to resolve possible integration issues
  • There are significant advantages to a well-tested integrated solution

It was great to hear yet another customer talk so positively about how SAP have enabled their business to achieve targets that were previously beyond their reach. Many attendees went up to Tandeep after the session to thank him for providing an insight into the Bombardier journey, I would like to express my gratitude too for the fascinating story of his experience with SAP.

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