“We’re going through the most valuable cost-reduction program”
Whether high-speed trains in Germany, the USA, and China, regional trains in Malaysia, or metro trains in New York, Shanghai, and London – more than 100,000 rail cars from Bombardier Transportation are in action around the world every day, making this international rail technology corporation one of the leaders on the market. But major competitors, especially from Eastern Europe and Asia, are making ever greater inroads into the rapidly growing transportation sector. With innovative solutions such as a 30 percent reduction in the power needed to run trams, Bombardier Transportation is working on making its products yet more efficient, clean, sustainable, and attractive.
The company is convinced that a crucial factor will consist of harmonizing the complex authorization processes and quality requirements for new rail systems. "The first key steps have been taken in recent years," says Philippe Crauste, Vice President Industrial Strategy & Operations at Bombardier Transportation. "But greater efforts are needed to achieve real flexibility in rail transport." Bombardier is responding to these challenges by harmonizing its different sites worldwide. With the support of Porsche Consulting, it has rolled out a new quality initiative and a corporation-wide production improvement program. The results speak for themselves: error-associated costs have dropped by as much as 50 percent, and inventory levels have been lowered by up to 25 percent. "We are currently going through the most valuable cost-reduction program ever at Bombardier Transportation," says Crauste. Given multiple sites on different continents and 38,000 employees, the job has not exactly been simple. Each individual factory has had to undergo an intensive analysis before specific steps could be defined. "Porsche Consulting’s flexibility and its ability to send consultants around the world who also speak the local languages have been major factors in success."