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Operational Analytics Solves Bottleneck for US Equipment Manufacturer

The Challenge

A well-known U.S. equipment manufacturer was experiencing undue losses and order delays because of a paint shop bottleneck preceding its assembly line. With 30 separate enterprise resource planning (ERP) reports used to plan painting schedules employees had no idea which items to prioritize. As a result, planning accuracy was a dismal 47% and only about 9% of orders were assembled on schedule.

The paint shop issue was just one, albeit glaring, example of the challenges the manufacturer faced due to a lack of system integration and optimization.

Our Approach

Cognizant's manufacturing technology solutions experts began by breaking the problem down into two parts: planning and sequencing. In the planning phase, we identified which parts had to be painted first based on assembly plans. For this, we applied data transformation techniques to information, including an inventory of already painted parts, the demand for parts for assembly and upstream work in progress. We applied an algorithm in the sequencing phase to optimize the sequence of parts being painted, taking into account variables such as the time of day and work shift, cycle time and assembly rate of production.

Our team quantified current financial loss due to delays and identified why these delays occur. Armed with this information, we presented a plan of how to solve the paint shop bottleneck and the resulting business benefits.

Operational Analytics Solves Paint Shop Bottleneck

Using complex data extraction and analytics techniques, supported by ERP system integration, Cognizant determined how to raise assembly schedule adherence from 9% to nearly 100%. By operating at this new level, the company will be able to manufacture its tractors and diggers in a much more efficient way. The bottom line: faster production, reduced delivery times and significant cost savings.


$3 million

potential cost savings per year

From 9% to ~100%

determined how to raise assembly schedule adherence

120-day plan

to eliminate all order backlogs