Eberhard Weiblen, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche Consulting, sees the award as a confirmation of the management consulting company’s special approach and self-image. “We convince our clients with measurable results,” he said. “Our special expertise lies not only in our ability to put change into practice, but also in our capacity to unleash enthusiasm for these changes on the part of our clients’ managers and staff.”
This was also a key part of the successful work with Meyer Werft. “We have a tradition that goes back 200 years,” said Lambert Kruse, Managing Director of Meyer Werft. “Many things that we do are deeply anchored – and it is not easy to change them. In Porsche Consulting, we found a partner with a great deal of sensitivity who developed all the changes together with our employees right from the start.”
Fishbone principle and Lego blocks
The consultants were hired to shorten the time needed to build cruise ships and to raise productivity. To achieve these aims, a professional process management system and a lean order-processing system were introduced which follow examples set by the automobile industry. Individual sections and blocks now “flow” into the construction dock based on a fishbone principle and are assembled on a modular basis like Lego blocks. This makes the processes highly parallel and saves a considerable amount of time. The shipyard has now also integrated its many suppliers into the same tact in order for the construction components to arrive precisely when they are needed.
This new construction process assumes that the development staff are finished with their design work considerably earlier than a sequential construction strategy would require. The development processes were therefore also streamlined, and described and synchronized anew to meet the production requirements.
Employees are trained at a newly established academy
Meyer Werft now runs its own professional continuous improvement process (CIP) that puts improvement projects into practice throughout the shipyard. The employees are trained and qualified at a newly established academy. As a result, Meyer Werft is now able to implement larger projects and new developments in shorter periods of time – despite higher levels of complexity. This can be measured on the throughput times at the construction dock. Despite larger dimensions, cruise ship construction times dropped from nine to six months in the period from 2009 to 2013.
Porsche Consulting GmbH headquartered in Bietigheim-Bissingen is a subsidiary of the Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. Founded in 1994 with a staff of four, it currently – in its 20th year – employs around 370 people.
An internationally active company with four subsidiaries located in Milan (Italy), São Paulo (Brazil), Atlanta (USA), and Shanghai (China), Porsche Consulting is one of Germany’s leading management consulting companies. Its experts in operational excellence advise corporations and medium-sized companies worldwide in the automotive, aviation and aerospace, and mechanical and plant engineering industries. Additional clients come from the service, consumer goods, retail, and construction sectors.