Aeronautics – A Corporate Approach Design To Cost

Deployment of a standard design-to-cost approach in an international group
Case study

Context and challenges

A leading global aeronautics equipment manufacturer had initiated a major performance program for its Research, Technology Development and Industrialization (RTDI) functions.
The aim of the program was to cut project costs, increase the operational efficiency of programs under development, and share good practices with a visible impact on the Profit and Loss (P&L) of the group’s companies.

One of the areas of work was Design to Cost. In an increasingly challenging environment of cost cutting, shorter program cycles and the need to conquer new markets, the Design to Cost approach held significant potential for all 11 of the group’s companies.

After introducing a method and tools into the pilot cases being conducted in each of the group’s companies, the Design to Cost approach was used to implement a shared repository of good practices and a network of mentors for sharing expertise and feedback.
The aim was to improve the group’s Research Technology Development and Industrialization (RTDI) organization through key designtocost principles and then to train managers and operational project managers to deploy the design-to-cost methodology in the company’s flagship programs.

Approach and methodology

The project was organized in two phases:
An initial analysis phase to develop a threeyear roadmap and ensure the adoption of a Research, Development and Industrialization (RDI) Business Case by stakeholders and an implementation phase, which initially involved defining the objectives of the 12 projects identified and onboarding the operational teams, then subsequently implementing and securing the achievement of those objectives.

The approach was organized into various areas of work:
• Reduction of waiting times and acceleration of cycles: analysis of Research, Development and Industrialization (RDI) activities through Gantt types, for each product line with the simulation of
optimization hypotheses (reduction of cycles, elimination of activities, re-scheduling/milestones, implementation of highlights/rites, management of supply chain Research, Development and
Industrialization (RDI), etc.)
• Reduction of the number of cycles and “reworks”: anticipation through developments in larger, more robust product/process technologies, structuring based on strategic segments and worldwide management of a bank of parts
• Control of demand vs available resources: allocation of experts to higher-value projects, reduction of number of tests/approvals
• Working method changes: management in project mode, timeboxing logic, implementation of a Research, Development and Industrialization (RDI) back office.


− A recognized designtocost method, deployed and applied on a daytoday basis by hundreds of stakeholders from a range of functions, including Engineering, Program, Procurement, Manufacturing, AfterSales Support, Quality and Management Control
− A program management repository, integrating designtocost criteria
− More than 400 personnel trained and certified in Design to Cost throughout the group’s companies
− A network of active designtocost «mentors», who track companies’ designtocost maturity, identify and propose areas for improvement and implement new tools (costing, supplier relations, etc.)
− Several dozen designtocost projects implemented in the group, which have generated millions of euros of savings in the programs involved