The Ventilator Challenge: An Agile Approach to Manufacturing

The Ventilator Challenge: An Agile Approach to Manufacturing

To learn more about this incredible initiative, watch the webinar: Rethink how to build supply chain resilience at speed: 3 ways to improve efficiencies while meeting demand.

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that the UK was not producing enough ventilators to meet the demand as the virus spread and more people were hospitalised. Previously, just 150 ventilators were being produced in the UK per month, which needed to increase to thousands per week to keep up with demand that the normal supply chain normally could not meet. That is why the UK Government created the Ventilator Challenge, a request from the industry to turn factories into ventilator manufacturers.

Companies that had never worked together formed a consortium of manufacturers, including big names like Smiths Industries, GKN, Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Ford, Williams, McClaren. Avanade, which has recently acquired Altius, came together with Microsoft and Accenture to kick this initiative into motion from a tech perspective.

 

The two brands of ventilators approved and produced

 

Within just two weeks, Avanade set up the vendor management system by implementing Dynamics 365 ERP for the supply chain. They also set up a “control tower” using Power BI for management reporting. This gave a 360-degree view of all operations in various layers of granularity as a single source of the truth. It allowed for drilling down into the 5 key areas: sub assembly, final assembly, testing, storage and delivery. With Power BI, everyone could see things like production to plan, production to delivery and if there were any bottlenecks.

 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announces the initiative on LinkedIn

 

The agile approach of this initiative meant that a project that normally would have taken 6 months was up and running within weeks, which is remarkable! It just goes to show what can be accomplished when there is a single, clear goal in mind and a global pandemic putting excessive strain on our health care systems.

Yes, digital transformation takes years. But by adapting an agile mindset and getting your team on board with a shared vision, you can see results in weeks.

To learn more about this incredible initiative and how you can adopt a similar approach in your business, don’t miss Avanade’s webinar: Rethink how to build supply chain resilience at speed: 3 ways to improve efficiencies while meeting demand. Watch it here