Engineering Change Control

If you are a manufacturer, your ECR/ECO process is the most expensive process in your company.

Many studies have proven this to be true.  I was at a customer site that hired one of the ‘big 5’ consulting firms to come in and discover their most expensive process.  Their conclusion – it was the engineering change process.  [No surprise there…]

Interestingly, even if this process hasn’t been documented, it is the most well known process within a manufacturing company.

Many of the PLM [product lifecycle management] companies have added business process management capabilities so that their software can address the engineering change process.

Many studies have shown that managing a paper based engineering change control process costs an average of $1,800 per change request.

How do they arrive at that number?

Companies have administrative people, program managers or engineers that will manually move information [files, etc] from one person to another.  They will keep records showing the progress of the change request through the process.  They will make sure that defined business rules are followed.  They will schedule change control board meetings and invite attendees.  They will print out all of the documentation needed and distribute ‘packets’ before the meeting.

PLM software allows you to electronically perform these activities.  It makes it possible to remove many non-value added activities.  It makes it possible to eliminate many if not most CCB meetings.  As an added benefit, ISO audits are a breeze.

If you do as little as 10 change requests per month, PLM software can pay for itself.  I can help you with a return on investment analysis…


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