GEBHARDT implements variant management

Simplification of complexity and processes: GEBHARDT implements variant management

How is a medium-sized company able to keep the balance between product diversity and manufacturability? These and other questions were discussed by the head of product development, Oliver Bernard, from GEBHARDT on Monday, 19 June 2017 in his expert speech in front of about 40 participants at the Smart Variant conference in Berlin.

Customer requirements are of the utmost importance. This results in a paradoxical situation: the product should meet customer expectations and still be profitable developed and produced. At the Smart Variant conference last week, around 200 responsible complexity and variant managers discussed practical concepts for handling product variability and complexity in the conflict between customer requirements and efficient manufacturability.

The family business GEBHARDT develops and produces industry-specific solutions for the transport and storage of goods and merchandise in industrial, commercial and automotive sectors. Customer orientation and consistent industry focus are two key success factors, which is why GEBHARDT has developed a wide range of products with little standardization. In order to be able to handle this, variant management is currently being implemented. This includes the implementation of a product management system as well as the conversion of the current design method from project-specific to product-related design. The advantages of variant management include the cost savings in the reduced development times of products. In addition, product variants can be implemented more quickly and responded to changing market requirements at short notice. By reducing the variance and standardization, the company can optimize assembly processes and scale yields.

"Our customers benefit from improved delivery reliability, price reduction and quality improvement, as well as the possibility to configure their products themselves", Oliver Bernard explains the implementation of variant management.

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