CONCORD, Mass. – aPriori, a provider of product cost management software solutions, recently announced that ThyssenKrupp Elevator, one of the world’s leading elevator companies has deployed its software platform to effectively attack product costs earlier in the product lifecycle. The software platform is currently being used by the company’s engineering, manufacturing and procurement teams at its Middleton, TN plant. aPriori enables company personnel to follow products and manage costs from initial design through implementation in its plants.
“aPriori takes the ambiguity out of what a new design might cost, ensures consistency in the cost estimating process and enables engineers to evaluate one design over another in real time,” said Patrick Bass, senior vice president of engineering for ThyssenKrupp Elevator. “This accelerates our development process and ensures ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas goes to market with products that are optimized from the start. That translates to more satisfied customers and a better bottom line.”
Since deploying aPriori, ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas has seen many direct benefits to its product development process and its overall business. The mechanical engineering team is able to evaluate three times as many design alternatives than before deploying aPriori. This enables increased product innovation. It used to take design engineers approximately one week to get a ballpark quote back from the manufacturing team. Now, with aPriori, the designers can create a highly detailed cost estimate in aPriori within hours. And, they can make a change to that design and understand the cost implications with one click.
aPriori is also being used by the manufacturing group at the Middleton plant to help find the most efficient routings for a given part or product and accelerating time to market as a result. aPriori can model any manufacturing facility and take into account the unique capabilities it may have. It is also a very flexible system that has been configured to give engineers complete control over the costing process – so they can easily change routings as needed based on machine availability, maintenance schedules, etc. and quickly get a new cost estimate.
The Procurement team at ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas is also benefiting with aPriori. When team members are sending projects out for bid, they now have a cost standard to compare any quote against. This enables them to do fact-based negotiation with their suppliers and collaborate more effectively to bring costs to the forefront of the discussion and ensure they are fully optimizing costs on any particular part or product.
“For the engineering guys in the trenches, aPriori provides the tools they need to be efficient and effective and they can grow with the system,” says Stephanie Feraday, president and CEO of aPriori. “As ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s engineers use the system, they are learning to design for cost-effectiveness from the outset – further accelerating design cycles and increasing efficiency. The system is building cost proficiency as a core competency for the company.”