2017 The Boeing Company - Boeing Defense, Space & Security Team Project


The Challenge:
In an effort to move the company toward One Boeing, the Electrical Center of Excellence (ECOE) will be increasing production by onboarding more programs. Management believes the current program-based manufacturing layout has resulted in siloed production and duplicated resources and work practices that cannot be sustained with an increase in volume. Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) partnered with the Tauber team to move away from this siloed production system and toward a process based manufacturing system within the ECOE.

The Solution:
The team conducted interviews, benchmarked other Boeing fabrication sites, and analyzed process data to develop recommendations for process improvements and cost reduction. The team recommended creating graphic assembly instructions to increase build efficiency, implementing visual management to increase sense of urgency, level loading demand to reduce overtime, and grouping similar products to prepare for the implementation of process-based manufacturing. Combined, these recommendations are projected to save approximately $2.8M over the next five years, which equates to a 22% reduction of the manufacturing labor and support budget. Through a stronger foundation, the team expects a smoother changeover to process-based manufacturing and continued further reductions in cost and defects.

Read the 2017 The Boeing Company - BDS Team Project Executive Summary in the 2017 SPOTLIGHT! book.

"I was on the Tauber Boeing BDS project for improving manufacturing of electrical panels. I learned how to work in a multidisciplinary team to achieve effective results from an ambiguous scope. The Tauber project will often give you free reign to make valuable impacts past what was included in the project scope, be open-minded and determined when your goals have to shift." - Daniel Pippen

"I worked on improving electrical panel manufacturing at Boeing. My favorite part was working in a manufacturing environment because we got to literally immerse ourselves in the project every day. My team also had access to such a wide array of resources; we were able to learn a ton about the company and how it's culture and infrastructure can have a major impact on anything and everything." - Amy Goddell

Student Team:
Amy Goodell –EGL (BSE & MSE Mechanical Engineering)
Daniel Pippen–EGL (BSE Chemical Engineering & MSE Industrial and Operations Engineering)
Stephanie Wang–Master of Business Administration

Project Sponsor:
Ed Carr –Senior Manager of Electrical Center of Excellence

Faculty Advisors:
Brian Talbot –Ross School of Business
Peter Washabaugh–College of Engineering

About Tauber Team Projects:

The 2017 Tauber Team Projects resulted in $575 million in savings according to sponsoring company calculations, an average of $18.5 million per project over 3 years.

Each two to three person Tauber Team consists of graduate engineering, MBA, and/or MSCM students. Along with receiving high-level corporate support from the sponsoring company, each team is advised by a College of Engineering and a Ross School of Business faculty member and overseen by a Tauber Institute Co-Director. The projects begin on-site in May and continue for 14 weeks.  Students present the results of their projects and compete for over $40,000 in scholarships at the U-M Tauber Institute's annual Spotlight! event, held each September in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Spotlight! provides outstanding opportunities for students and corporate partners to establish relationships while exploring innovations in operations and manufacturing.
Access Spotlight! book for project details.
2017 The Boeing Company - Boeing Defense, Space & Security