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  Thomas Moik
As the director of operational procure- ment for Airbus, Moik is responsible for millions of parts—all of which have to be at the right place at the right time.
needed information. The next step was to contact each of the locations and teams and ask them to complete an online survey. This approach made it possible to quickly and easi- ly survey all employees of the operational procurement unit about their precise activities. They didn’t have to wait long. After just ten days, the results were in: “The analysis was very informative,” says Moik. “Through it we were quickly able to establish a consistent picture of our situation and in particular our current capacity distribution.” In contrast to the conventional method used, which involves analyzing an individual location and then extrapolating from that to the overall situation, this approach enabled Airbus to draw on an exact, fact-based assessment. “The survey also enabled us to get the employees on board,” says Moik. Involving the workforce in a change process, he says, is critical to ensur- ing its ultimate success.
Together with input from employees and management, the answers to the three initial questions ultimately emerged. Some 65 percent of transactional processes can be auto- mated. A further 20 percent can be improved through har- monization and reorganization of processes. And 15 percent of procurement tasks can ideally be performed by external service providers.
To the surprise of the Airbus management, it turned out that many activities that were previously outsourced should be brought back in-house. “We had actually expected that the share of outsourcing would rise relative to the automation and optimization,” recalls Moik. “But in fact, the exact opposite was the case: the slice of the pie for outsourcing actually got smaller. When looking at the two other instruments, we found that we have a lot of capabilities within the team that we need to put to better use and that we can build on through further training measures. And that for some task packages that we previously outsourced, all we have to do is re-sort things in order to be able to perform parts of those activities internally in the future.”
Moik has been very pleased with the results to date: “Our employees, who have enormous potential, can now do many more jobs, and in a less reactive and more proactive manner. Another aspect of this is that we can now think and act in a more data-driven way, plan and simulate with greater fore- sight, and thereby avoid disruptions in the production pro- cess. And finally, we have identified many new digital tools that we can use in processes and that lead to efficiency gains.” One example is that orders can be automated with the use of small programs known as bots.
The build-up of the High Performance Organization in the operational procurement unit is now in full swing. “We’re at about 80 percent in terms of outsourcing and are hard at work on programming further bots,” says Moik. One particularly im- portant point for the aircraft manufacturer is the reduction of the rate of missing parts, which the company was able to re- duce by factor of six between 2012 and 2017. “But that is not yet the performance level that we need for our production,” emphasizes Thomas Moik. “We are currently at an availability rate of 99.3 percent, but our goal is to get up to 99.6 per- cent.” The automobile industry serves as the model for this European aircraft manufacturer. All the more reason why, as Moik notes, “That’s why we chose Porsche Consulting to ad- vise us.” In addition, he says, he was also looking for a partner “that doesn’t just put together a PowerPoint presentation but has actually conducted and implemented similar projects in practice in the past.”
For Airbus, optimizing the operational procurement appa- ratus is of decisive strategic importance to its effort to remain ahead of the global competition in the industry. Flexibility is one aspect—a manufacturer has to be able to react swiftly to market shifts. Another aspect is the planned expansion of pro- duction of the A320 family from currently sixty to sixty-three machines a month by 2021. Moik explains, “One thing is clear: everything we’re doing helps boost the efficiency of our pro- duction. The key to our success is to manufacture top-quality products with the fewest possible disruptions under serious cost pressure.”
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