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Logistic at the heart of the information systems
By Etienne, Amaris Consultant
The TPS (Toyota Production System) has revolutionized the automotive industry. Its organization of the supply chain "just-in-time" has become a model for worldwide industries.
The principle is to "pull" the finished product from the beginning to the end of the production chain. Spare parts are brought at the right place, at the right time and in sufficient amounts, without waste. Based on this model, industries are nowadays developing their own production system by recasting their logistic...
Can you explain what the CORAIL project is?
The CORAIL project is a strategic program with international scope. It involves the transformation of the business of upstream logistics and the related information systems.The redesign of logistic must:
- replace the currents small applications with a single integrated application, endowed with a central, unique and progressive repository; that is to say, capable of managing the gradual integration of data from legacy systems and the scalability of a plant.
- streamline processes to reduce inventories. Indeed, before CORAIL, there were several security stocks to manage different risks (related to transport, strikes, etc.). These stocks may be removed by smoothing of calculating supply’s methods and by the mixing of various supplies between several suppliers (local and remote).
The project also involves an international organization with two near-shore services centers and one offshore development platform in China.
- The first near-shore services center is a new development platform, dedicated to the technical architecture team,
- The 2nd center is also a new platform, in charge of the analysis of the 1.5 project version,
- Finally, the offshore services center is the development platform of New Touch in Shanghai. It is responsible of supporting the developments which is not requiring important functional skills (the most complex developments are made locally). Though this platform is older than the two others, it represents nonetheless a real challenge because of the importance of its involvement, the scope of the project, but also because the teams on site are working on new developments.
When did this project start and for how long?
The CORAIL project is the largest project for 25 years for our client. It started 3 years ago and must go on between 3 and 10 years (temporary versions are being developed every 6 months).
What are the context and the issues?
There are 3 issues: target a global supply chain, contribute to the Lean deployment throughout the Program of Operational Excellence and finally, take the new patterns of logistics into account. Thus, the CORAIL project carries some important issues for the Group Supply Chain, including reduction of transportation costs, reduction of inventory (lead time) and associated surfaces, and improvement of the exchanges with suppliers.
What are your role and the contribution of Amaris in the project?
Amaris is involved in the project with a team of around ten consultants specialized in the areas of technical architecture as well as various functional modules. I think Amaris is the 2nd consulting company in number of consultants. The roles vary from UML conception to J2EE developments.
The project solicits the most advanced technologies in Java and UML: UML 2, Enterprise Architect, J2EE, Spring, Struts 2, Hibernate, Maven, Eclipse, Oracle 11, Jboss, Glassfish, ActiveMQ...
Personally, I am involved as a Designer UML/Java. I get into the following phases of the first stage of the project: analysis, global and detailed design. This step, which is also called step 0 or version 1.0, is entirely dedicated to starting the new plant in Kaluga in Russia. On functional aspect, it is a version on a small scale, which is undergoing integration tests. Other versions are already underway to respond to equipment’s in a dozen factories in Europe, such as 1.5 version which is under analysis or 2.0 version which is in the phase of needs’ expression.
I also work on the detailed design of services and integration tests under the management of the offshore platform in China. In this case, it is important to establish a good organization and to do a regular follow up because many difficulties can appear in managing international teams (jet lag, distance team management, cultural differences, high turnover ...). Knowing these problems, I shared my experience with our client and thus I could participate in the follow-up meetings.
What do you get from this experience?
First, it is a fantastic opportunity to work on a project of such scope within an international company. It is an extraordinary experience which marks undeniably a career. This allows me to grasp the most advanced technologies, and toughen on numerous issues: Technical, organizational and cultural. As we are at the beginning of the project, we’ve got the opportunity to participate in developing standards. Finally, and personally, I found an attractive domain: logistics.