Manufacturing Process Management at GM (R)
General Motors needed an approach that would leapfrog results, a reengineering approach to tap into the vast potential savings available through "process management." Beyond the value of CAD, to attain significant benefit, one needs to go past each individual task and look at the whole process, the whole system. GM posed a tough question: CAD is to tool design as blank is to processing? The "blank" would be some kind of technology, but far broader in scope than CAD. GM did not want to develop the technology that would fill in the blank. Identifying a comprehensive process management tool was the goal. GM's new Process Management System provides a substantial reduction in the time required to develop process information used by manufacturing to establish each operation in the plant. It directly addresses the three major metrics that guide manufacturing engineering: cost, quality, and timing. Consider for a moment how big the payoff could be. The new system offers benefits inside and outside GM. It also facilitates communication and decision making across manufacturing organizations and the supply chain by providing collaborative capability through the viewing of a web-enabled process model, either on demand or version controlled.
Keywords: CAD, eM-Planner, Engineering, GM, manufacturing, metrics, Process Management System, product design, reuse, time-to-market, web-based process