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Robustness as driver of Profitability

Sogeti Labs
September 20, 2013

FrankProduct life cycle has always been managed by two successive steps:

  • First, a conception & manufacturing phase performed by engineering teams. This phase represents the development and the industrialization of the product, mainly driven by performance objectives. For example, for an aircraft, develop and build composite architecture enables to obtain an optimized weight breakdown and so guarantee the best aircraft performance in term of fuel consummation.
  • Secondly, the product is delivered and used by customers. This operation phase consists in supporting, maintaining the product. This support is performed by customer service teams. For example, AIRBUS delivers the support on 21 000 flights every day combining engineering issues, operations & maintenance, supply chain coordination, material management and training deployment.
Product conception and manufacturing phases are pure investments. Product operations represents a phase, where the ROI on the product should be maximized, which induces dramatic operations cost reductions. Engineering and customer services organizations are often separated, that is to say performance objectives are not always in compliance with operations objectives. The best product in terms of performance could become very expensive in terms of maintenance and thus kill ROI in terms of profitability. This situation could be compared to an optimization issue: optimization enables to determine the best solution in front of an issue. What is the best solution? This solution could be local, that’s to say you obtain a high level of performance in relation with a fixed set of parameters. Nevertheless, if one of this parameter evolves, your solution is down. The best solution represents a solution which is the least sensitive to any evolution of set of parameters. In optimization, this solution is identified as “robust”. Product life cycle requires integrating this robustness dimension between the different steps to accelerate and optimize a true profitability. Develop and Enhance this ability, definitively represents a fabulous opportunity of business within our tomorrow customers’ challenge.

About the author

SogetiLabs gathers distinguished technology leaders from around the Sogeti world. It is an initiative explaining not how IT works, but what IT means for business.


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