This Fortune 500 manufacturer has installed enough wind turbines in 46 countries, spanning four continents, to generate more than 30,000 megawatts (MW) of power. The annual equivalent of this production amounts to more than seven million tons of petroleum (TPE) per year and prevents the emission into the atmosphere of over 24 million tons of CO2 a year. With branches in 25 countries, this company is one of the world’s leaders in the promotion and development of renewable energy.
The company’s wind turbines are installed at over 600 wind farms worldwide with a rapidly growing number of those occurring in the U.S. When the U.S. operation was formed in 2006, the quality management group used paper forms as the means to generate non-conformity reports (NCRs), and service or repair requests, for specific wind turbines. There was no practical way for field representatives to access the company’s core ERP (SAP) to electronically generate NCRs. This paper-based process created several challenges:
• The information provided on the forms was inconsistent from one form to the next. Rarely was all the needed information provided, which required control center agents to contact field representatives and ask them for the missing data.
• Once an NCR was created properly, the process of notifying specific field representatives and contractors of the tasks and parts required for a particular request was time consuming.
• The status of NCRs was tracked manually through phone calls and emails, creating latencies.
These challenges prompted Tamara Baez, Control Center Supervisor, to search for a quality management software solution that would be simple to deploy and maintain, inexpensive to own, and easy for a nationwide, field-based team to share regardless of their location.
“I need to be able to track and run reports on my own in as little time as possible. As soon as I saw TrackVia’s quality management software, I immediately realized that it was the tool for me. I’m able to automatically broadcast alerts and non-conformity reports (NCRs) to specific groups of people. I no longer have to manually create messages in order to send NCRs to field representatives.” — Tamara Baez, Control Center Supervisor, Fortune 500 Wind Turbine Manufacturer
FORTUNE 500 WIND TURBINE MANUFACTURER’S SOLUTION
Baez knew that a technology-based quality management solution was required. It had to be powerful enough to meet operational requirements, but easy enough for her to deploy and maintain without IT support. She moved in the direction of an online quality control application, landing on TrackVia, which she found to be simple, powerful, and affordable–just what she was looking for. With TrackVia, Baez’s team was able to accomplish the following:
• Get up and running in three days–including configuration of the application, creation of forms, custom views, and import of existing data–without help from IT or external consultants
• Improve workflow automation–service representatives both at headquarters and in the field can create and track NCRs in TrackVia through a SSL-secure, browser-based interface.
• Once an NCR is created, automatic alerts are triggered to inform the responsible service representatives and contractors
• Synchronize data between TrackVia and SAP–TrackVia provides the NCR data to SAP; SAP provides an official tracking number to TrackVia
• Automatically track a service request through each stage in the workflow: assigned, in process, work completed and closed
• Quickly respond to ad hoc requests with an easy-to-use search box–representatives can search using any term in the application such as customer number, serial number, part number and issue type
• Easily run standard or ad hoc management reports on service performance and issue trends
“TrackVia has allowed our internal quality processes to run more smoothly. We now can place people and materials in the right place, at the right time to get critical jobs done.” — Tamara Baez, Control Center Supervisor, Fortune 500 Wind Turbine Manufacturer
Implementing TrackVia to manage the NCR workflow has paid off handsomely for the company’s U.S. operation. Although the quality management group’s workload has increased dramatically over the past three years, their team has actually grown more efficient due to the process automation enabled by TrackVia. According to Baez, “TrackVia has allowed our internal quality processes to run more smoothly. We’ll have people and materials in the right place at the right time to get the job done.”
The magnitude of these improvements has not gone unnoticed. Other groups now use TrackVia in new applications that include contractor certification tracking and tool maintenance alerts.
About this Fortune 500 Wind Turbine Manufacturer
As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of renewable energy technology, this company produces wind turbines and builds the wind farms they reside in.
To date, this firm has installed more than 30,000 megawatts (MW) of wind farms in 46 countries, displacing over 7M tons of petroleum and 24M tons of carbon dioxide per year.
The number of days it took this Baez and her team to implement TrackVia’s QMS application, custom forms and views, and import existing data.