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How Modular Management worked at MTS

MTS, the market leader for mechanical test equipment, wanted to increase profitability and reduce delivery time of their project-based operational model. They strived to leverage a range of product offerings within a unified product family and significantly increase the efficiency of operations

MTS CEO Laura Hamilton: “Modular platforms have helped us build a cost advantage. We’ve reduced our unique part numbers.”

MTS landmark systems integrate the latest in MTS

Servohydraulic innovation, versatile flextest® controls, proven MTS application software and a complete selection of accessories to provide highly accurate and Repeatable static and dynamic testing across the material testing continuum.

 

Formulate

The engagement with Modular Management began with Modular Strategy and Potential Analysis™ (MSAP™). A modularization program was formulated that would accomplish MTS’s strategy and provide a business case to support the investment. Complexity costs were evaluated using ValueMap™ quantifying the bottom-line benefits of modularity within MTS’s value stream. A program plan addressed the creation, implementation and governance of the various product offerings within consecutive waves.

Create

An optimized Modular Product Architecture was created using Modular Function Deployment® (MFD®), and this architecture was populated with the Module Variants and rules needed to configure the full range of products. Module Finance™ supplied a model that balanced the direct and indirect cost implications of each architecture decision and the tools to analyze the profitability of the modular system. To make the modular architecture actionable, MTS’s inbound, outbound and production value streams were newly envisioned using Module Supply Chain Study. Plans were established for each module along with the system requirements to deliver them.

Implement

Module Design™ was used to implement standardized interfaces while managing development streams, priorities and module requirements. With these enabling concepts, MTS’s approach to documentation was reimagined with process and tools and applied to the existing CAD/PDM systems. A new end-to-end, integrated Configure-to-Order system was also implemented and production was transformed from time-station assembly to a production line. MTS began to manufacture and maintain a product families with dramatically fewer unique part numbers while greatly decreasing lead times and inventory.

Govern

Modular Transformation™ established needed changes for a new way of working to ensure the benefits of modularity would be a lasting and profitable foundation for MTS. Processes in and around the value stream were enhanced with decision metrics and tools to sustain the improved business performance. New roles, such as Chief Architect and Module System Product Manager, were created with the mandate to sustain and leverage the architecture.