Innovation and collaborative, synchronized program management for new programs
Mercury Marine is the world’s leading manufacturer of recreational marine propulsion engines. A $2.6 billion division of Brunswick Corporation, Mercury provides engines, boats, services and parts for recreational, commercial and government marine applications.
Headquartered in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, United States, Mercury Marine is the world’s leading manufacturer of recreational marine propulsion engines. A $2.6 billion division of Brunswick Corporation, Mercury provides engines, boats, services and parts for recreational, commercial and government marine applications, empowering boaters with products that are easy to use, extremely reliable and backed by one of the most dedicated customer support groups in the world. Mercury’s industry-leading brand portfolio includes Mercury and Mariner outboard engines; Mercury MerCruiser sterndrive and inboard packages; MotorGuide trolling motors; Mercury propellers; Mercury inflatable boats; Mercury SmartCraft electronics; Attwood marine parts; Land ‘N Sea marine parts distribution; and Mercury and Quicksilver parts and oils.
In 2005, Mercury Marine deployed Teamcenter® software from product lifecycle management (PLM) specialist Siemens PLM Software as its foundational solution to address challenges that included faster time-to-market and ongoing product innovation.
Today with Teamcenter, Mercury Marine has accelerated its business by achieving shorter lead times to get products to market faster, and increased part re-use by engineers and designers, reducing costs and providing more time for innovation.
In its engine business, Mercury Marine’s core competency is in design and assembly. When evaluating its product lifecycle processes, Mercury identified the need for a more efficient supplier sourcing and design exchange solution that would enable early supplier involvement in component manufacturing. The new solution would support innovative, global supplier co-design and co-development. Mercury’s main requirement for a supplier sourcing and design exchange solution was that it be tightly integrated with the engineering product development lifecycle. In addition, it was imperative that Mercury collaborate with its global supply base efficiently by eliminating email and verbal requests for quotes, while introducing traceability in the file transfer process.
Potential paths to achieve these goals included an enterprise resource planning (ERP) supplier solution with a more transactional focus, and a product lifecycle management (PLM) solution emphasizing collaborative design. With the PLM technology, Mercury found that with the Teamcenter software, it could achieve greater connectivity with suppliers to streamline the various processes that occur during the product lifecycle. Mercury Marine chose Teamcenter Supplier Collaboration with Direct Materials Sourcing and Design Data Exchange because it was the best-fit solution that met these requirements.
“Strategically, an integrated solution from the design to manufacturing elements, through our global operations and suppliers, using Teamcenter, is what made the difference in our selection process,” says Lateef Khan, General Manager, Mercury Digital Services, Mercury Marine.
Before establishing Teamcenter as its enterprise sourcing and design exchange solution, Mercury Marine used multiple, fragmented systems with no integration between them to manage its RFX processes and supplier data exchanges. With a continuous improvement framework, this approach was improved upon using the Teamcenter Supplier Collaboration solution.
In order to keep up with the competition and achieve shorter lead times for product introductions, Mercury Marine needed to find a more efficient method to address its supplier sourcing and design exchange requirements. The company also needed to ensure that all functional teams across the enterprise would have visibility into supplier processes and data.
“By eliminating custom quoting tools, email-based RFQs (requests for quotations) and integrating sourcing processes within the Mercury Marine Teamcenter system, we were able to unify data sources across multiple functional groups and increase the throughput of early supplier involvement events,” says Praveen Sreedhar, solutions architect at Mercury Digital Services, Mercury Marine.
“At Mercury Marine, where the pace of product introduction averages approximately one new product every six weeks, we need all hands on deck,” says Khan.
With Teamcenter, Mercury Marine is now able to streamline global sourcing processes, protect intellectual property, reduce errors and rework costs, and shorten supplier collaboration lead times.
Teamcenter capabilities employed to address Mercury Marine’s supplier sourcing and design exchange initiatives include simplified searching and reporting functions that provide transparency into supplier data, status and sourcing processes across functional teams; project award routing for cross-functional signoffs as part of process flow; and workflow configuration to alert users of key exceptions on quote packages. In addition, Teamcenter supports secure data exchange with suppliers, handling large files and version control, tracking and standard, repeatable processes.
To deploy the Teamcenter Supplier Collaboration solution, Mercury Marine relied on the expertise of Mercury Digital Services. Mercury Digital Services is a standalone business within the Mercury Marine family that provides product development system solutions to customers around the globe, including configurations and services that support product definition, project planning and team collaboration. Global customers rely upon the technical staff at Mercury Digital Services to continually evolve their system environments while coming up with creative solutions for today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities.