Todd Bennington, Vice President – Operations,
BorgWarner Seneca, South Carolina
Todd Bennington, Vice President – Operations, BorgWarner Torque Transfer Systems:
The Drivetrain Group primarily comprises the Torque Transfer Systems facilities, which are part of this division – the Seneca facility itself. And then you have the other Drivetrain operations that are located globally that service primarily DualTronic clutch transmissions. In this environment here, we service both domestic OEs and the International transplants that have come to the US base. We export about 40 percent of our product out of Seneca to the Asian market. Our customers include Honda, a company called Sang Yung, Hyundai, and Kia – and of course, we have got the domestics located and serviced out of this facility – being GM Ford and Chrysler.
When you think about the challenges for BorgWarner, you think about the compounded annual growth rate of about 12 percent over the last 14 years. That is significantly better than what the industry average is even on a global basis, which is just barely over three percent. So here we are, we had a lot of internal growth and we had a lot of growth for acquisitions. And in doing that, we picked up a lot of different ERP operating systems that were not consistent and not able to integrate with each other. And that created a lot of issues around timeliness of not just our financial data, but the way we ran our plants from an inventory standpoint and overall operation side.
I think the biggest single issue that was out there for us was real-time reporting. We are the largest facility within Torque Transfer Systems. Real-time is absolutely imperative for us to be going forward. The way we manage our inventory, the way we manage our scheduling and the way we manage our financials. I think Jack Welsh said it best, "If you are not fast you are dead." And you have got to be fast not just to market, but in the way you run your operation, and in doing so, you have to have those tools available to you to make that happen. Through Infosys and the success we had with the SAP installation, we now have those tools, and those tools are proving beneficial for us.
Randy Stephens, Controller, BorgWarner Seneca, South Carolina:
Our closing time on an average has been reduced by about 50 percent. We went from about three days of closing to about a day-and-a-half now. And most of that is made available by SAP by allowing us to book entries throughout the month instead of having to rely on one-time batch processing.
Todd Bennington: We were very impressed with the Infosys team that was on-site. You know, we really set this up as a partnership. It was not like the Infosys team was off to their side doing a specific function for us. They were in effect BorgWarner employees at the time. I mean, we were actually connected at the hip, okay? We had to be in order to make the timing and to make this a successful process.
TThey not only understood SAP as the expectation would be, but they understood what our business was all about also. And that is very important, because when you are talking about the automotive business there are very specific nuances of that business that you have got to be able to comprehend in order to make SAP work going forward. They had that ability, and they understood that business.
Randy Stephens: I have never seen a more dedicated group of people than the Infosys group. They were here every minute we were here. They were available by phone 24/7. They know the product. They understand what business is all about, and they provided all the support that we needed to meet our timeline.
The senior management at BorgWarner, when I would talk to them about how SAP was going, they seemed surprised that we were doing so well. And there was one key executive that during one call had not even realized that we had launched SAP. He knew when we started the project, and he just assumed it would take a lot longer than it would. And when I told him that we were on SAP live here in Seneca, he was surprised and very pleased about that.
Todd Bennington: I think the biggest benefit when you talk about that relationship is the fact that as we were manning the operation, we were going through the blueprint process, and then we started actually doing the testing going forward. The ability to have Infosys test at night from the previous day's work and be able to come in the next morning and move from there, I think, really compressed the timing for this process. And I think that is just one of the absolute – the best opportunities that we had through this collaboration.
You know, you are only as good as your partner in this process. This is my third installation. We were fortunate to have Infosys as a partner in having a successful SAP implementation. They understood the product; their people were professional; they were hard working. We had the ability to do things overnight to see what the results were there of that the following day. Frankly, I was surprised how well it went having experienced this two times previously.
And it has really set a new benchmark. The expectation is not 12 to 18 months. The expectation now in BorgWarner is, "get this process in nine months, and get it done right”. So I really see it as a total success, and we are anxious to expand the SAP implementation corporate-wide.