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April 2008 edition

Factory series: Machine-style precision plays a big part in efficient assembly

Eurocopter needs to expand and develop its range of advanced machinery if it wants to stay ahead of the competition. But equally important, the company says, is ensuring that the workforce has what it needs, when it needs it.

Marc Laur, senior vp global supply chain, says: "We have to keep our in-house strength and in-depth technological knowledge as well as our established set of processes ahead of our competitors. To do this we have to make significant investment in new equipment. We are growing at 20 per cent a year in terms of orders. Lots of machines are required to help us keep our technological edge."

Two years ago Eurocopter launched a significant reorganisation and improvement program named Vital. The Deliver program, which is one of the "change" programs inspired by Vital, is concerned with the global supply chain.

Deliver aims to implement within Eurocopter the most effective and lean supply chain by focusing firstly on making an "On Time Delivery" performance improvement along the value chain. "This is in order to secure the ramp-up," says Laur. "Secondly, Eurocopter wants to implement best supply chain practices in order to guarantee efficiency and sustainable performance."

Deliver is organised in three tranches:

Plan & Execute aims to deploy standard and closed loop forecast and planning processes, tools and management rules in order to better manag....

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