Baan Helps Boeing Shorten Manufacturing Cycle

Aerospace company migrates supply-chain and development processes into ERP system, improving cycle times.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

January 10, 2003

1 Min Read

The Boeing Co. is working to shorten its cycle for designing and manufacturing commercial aircraft, and it's using software from Baan to meet that goal. Six months after the company's commercial airplanes unit migrated all of the supply-chain and development processes for its 757 line, from parts acquisition to aircraft assembly, into an iBaan ERP system, it says it plans to do the same with its 737, 747, 767, and 777 aircraft lines this year.

Before the Baan deployment, Boeing relied on a patchwork of legacy systems that dated as far back as the 1960s and which required data to be moved between systems to keep teams working on various parts of aircraft development up to date. Employees often had to interact with multiple systems, reconciling data between those systems to make sure the right parts were ordered and the most current design data was being used. The company isn't sharing any specific measurements of its improved cycle times, but migrating the data into a single system has simplified processes and resulted in better coordination in the production flow. "It should help us increase our overall efficiency," says Michele Martin, director of supply-chain systems and ERP for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Once the Baan technology was in place, the migration was a smooth one, Martin says. For instance, the company converted 3.8 million individual inventory records into the new ERP application in less than 24 hours, and no errors resulting from that conversion have been detected.

Boeing also plans to incorporate iBaan OpenWorld software, which uses XML-based integration to let users access ERP systems from a variety of applications in real time.

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