Baldwin Filters (and MatrixOne)

Baldwin Filters (and MatrixOne)

Baldwin Filters works to protect engines and engine-powered systems from dirt. Known as the heavy-duty people, Baldwin Filters builds air, oil, fuel, hydraulic, coolant and transmission filters for a wide variety of applications, including agriculture, automotive, construction, mining, industrial, marine and trucking. With 1,200 employees, sales of $200 million, and facilities in the USA, Mexico, China, UK and South Africa, the company designs and manufactures more than 4,100 different types of air, coolant, diesel/gas fuel, hydraulic, lube and transmission filters. Baldwin’s strategy is to design each filtration product rather than assemble components made by other companies. This design process provides Baldwin engineers with constant opportunities to improve and to deliver the world’s best filtration products.

The challenge: delayed time to market and reduced revenues

Baldwin’s 20-person engineering staff and 10-person support team introduces an average of 700 new filters per year. In the past, processing up to three new products and an average of 12 engineering change orders (ECOs) per day generated an overwhelming amount of paperwork that slowed down Baldwin’s engineers considerably. New products faced similar delays, averaging 10–12 months to reach the market. These delays reduced revenues and meant that an extensive portion of an engineer’s time was devoted to shuffling papers rather than meeting customer needs. Baldwin managers wanted to automate this process using a product development management system but were concerned that such a system would require hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of customization before users could perform even the simplest tasks. Baldwin contacted Advantech Solutions, a design automation integrator with experience in product development management solutions, to analyses the company’s engineering processes and develop a for mailed set of specifications. The Advantech team brainstormed with Baldwin managers to develop these specifications for a system capable of automating the company’s approval process. After a thorough evaluation, Advantech recommended Matrix One’s matrix solution as one that could automate Baldwin’s existing processes with minimum customization and training.

Matrix One

Matrix One’s collaborative PLM solutions, which include the eMatrix global collaboration platform, claimed to target specific business issues:

The Matrix One Collaborative Product Development solution enables companies to share product engineering and design data across their value chains;

The Matrix One Global Programmed Management solution enables companies to manage product development programmers across global teams;

The Matrix One Supplier Relationship Management solution enables companies to accelerate strategic sourcing and supplier management business processes.

Upon Baldwin’s acceptance, Avatech began the process of installing the eMatrix solution, providing initial employee training, and assisting Baldwin engineers in laying out the implementation process. The first area addressed was Baldwin’s ECO process. Through eMatrix automation, Baldwin estimates that the company has saved approximately one month per ECO, a saving of $125,000 per year. Furthermore, an indeterminate amount of additional savings comes by reducing the time engineers spend on paperwork

Next, Baldwin engineers focused on automating its five-step new product release (NPR) process – request, design, approval, implementation and release. With this process automated through the eMatrix solution, management estimates that the company will reduce the product development cycle by one month and thereby produce $50,000 in additional revenue per year. Further benefits are expected. The new NPR cycle also enables the contribution of many others in the process, a benefit that is expected to result in higher quality new product decisions and additional revenue.

The results

Faster time to market – reduced product development cycle by one month, resulting in $50,000 additional revenue.

Increased revenue – reduced average ECO implementation by one month, generating savings of $125,000 annually.

Increased engineering productivity – reduced paperwork, freeing up engineering to develop next generation products.

Case study questions

1 Did Baldwin Filters face a marketing or a manufacturing problem?

2 What were Baldwin Filters’ real marketing issues?

3 Compare Baldwin Filters’ NPD process to the one outlined earlier in this chapter. What, if any, are the differences?

4 How does matrix compare to any of the PLM products from Assault Systems (see Exhibit 9.8)?

 

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