In the dynamic and fast-paced world of automotive manufacturing, precision and efficiency are paramount. Behind the scenes of every successful vehicle production is a complex process to ensure that technical changes are smoothly incorporated into the ongoing production process.
Brad is our Team Leader on a project for one of our automotive manufacturing clients. His job is to coordinate and manage those engineering changes, both for series production and during the launch of new models. As a fully embedded Implementation Consultant, Brad and his team work on-site at the OEM’s plant in the Unites States.
Each change2target consultant in this project manages a different section of the vehicles. “This allows our group to provide the client with extensive knowledge of the physical parts and the contacts whose feedback we gather when implementing an engineering change” Brad says with pride.
A Spectrum of Responsibilities
The first thing that strikes you about Brad’s job is the diversity of tasks he manages daily. From overseeing his own change content to hiring new team members, the entire workstream of the project falls under his responsibility.
Beyond the Daily Grind
When it comes to managing engineering changes, Brad handles an array of tasks that may be different from day-to-day. Investigating part consumption issues, validating build lists for test car production, correcting part steering for precise vehicle assembly and coordinating engineering change timing with logistics and suppliers are just a few of the items on his list. He also manages the approval and tracking of deviations, ensuring compliance with industry standards.
Hands-on Quality Assurance
As a key contact for engineering changes, Brad frequently finds himself on the production line. Here, he rigorously tests new parts to ensure they fit and function as intended by the Engineering Group that initiated the change. This hands-on approach is crucial in maintaining the high standards of quality and performance that clients expect from an implementation consultant. “If we make mistakes, it can have a significant impact on the production process”, Brad points out.
He is also responsible for closely monitoring the project’s KPIs and providing monthly reports to both the client and the change2target Pull-out Manager – an experienced coach outside the project. Reporting is essential for assessing the project’s progress, making adjustments, and ensuring it aligns with client expectations.
“One of the most intriguing aspects is the global nature of the automotive industry”, Brad elaborates. “My work often involves coordinating with the client’s global headquarters, which operates in a different time zone”. This necessitates morning meetings and constant email communication to bridge the six-hour time gap. These discussions range from future planning to addressing urgent production issues, emphasizing the real-time nature of his responsibilities.
Leadership and Development
Brad’s role extends beyond his technical expertise. As the leader of the team he conducts one-on-one sessions with team members to address concerns, identify risks, and provide guidance. These coaching opportunities not only ensure a well-trained team but also allow consultants to allocate some of their time to improvement projects. There’s a dedicated weekly meeting for brainstorming creative ideas centered around client improvements. That is, what the very nature of Hybrid Consulting brings with it.
In conclusion, a day in the life of a change2target Implementation Consultant in the automotive industry is multifaceted and demanding. It involves not only technical prowess, but also effective leadership, global collaboration and an unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest standards of quality and efficiency. Brad’s role exemplifies the dedication and expertise required to contribute to a smooth automotive change process.