PTI QCS was co-founded in 2003 by Andonix CEO, David Salazar Yanez, and grew rapidly in the early 2000s, fighting through the sharp downward impact of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, and scaling rapidly. By 2014, PTI QCS had outlasted many of its competitors and was positioned as a premier provider of products and supply chain services in the automotive industry.
However, that kind of growth came with its own challenges. While the factories that PTI QCS operated in were increasingly automated, the processes by which front-line workers were managed remained largely the same as they had been for close to 100 years. Paper drove processes from management to training to production for workers in 21 locations across several countries. In fact, it took between six and twelve weeks to train new front-line workers, often with paper-based forms and instructions. And coordination between these workers and their supervisors, if it existed at all, was done almost entirely verbally.
These inefficiencies represented a major challenge for PTI QCS, which encouraged Yanez to start developing a technology solution. By 2015, PTI QCS had launched an in-house tool to digitize labor-intensive tasks for front-line workers, and the impact was so substantial that it quickly became evident that the technology could provide value to PTI’s suppliers and customers. By 2018, the tool had migrated to a cloud-based platform and the demand was such that Yanez launched Andonix as a new SaaS company devoted to connecting people, processes, and places through its flagship product, Smart Work Station.
How Andonix Smart Work Station Helped PTI QCS Succeed
Within PTI QCS, the tools that would become Andonix Smart Work Station were put to the test in reducing the inefficiencies of paper-based processes and training. Through careful leadership during the Economic Crisis, PTI QCS was able to grow rapidly and by 2014, was assembling and processing components for 4 million vehicles in Mexico. All this growth uncovered internal challenges related to quality and training. A single mistake could potentially cost PTI QCS millions of dollars, and yet the company still relied almost entirely on paper-based training for its most valuable asset – its frontline workers.
A major factor in the birth of Smart Work Station, was PTI QCS’ reliance and commitment to frontline workers. To get through the Economic Crisis, the company empowered its frontline workers to improve productivity and quality by working collaboratively. To enhance this and ensure it became a core part of the company’s culture, technology tools were implemented. The initial result of this endeavor was a software application that digitized training, work instructions, checklists, surveys, and communications within all of PTI’s facilities.
In the following three years, the platform that would become Smart Work Station was refined and scaled within PTI QCS. PTI was able to move from being entirely paper and Excel-based, using spreadsheets and printed work instructions for most stations, to fully digitized, ensuring connection across departmental silos and improving all areas of the business.
Paper made it difficult to coordinate the communication needed between teams that didn’t have physical interactions otherwise. It was also difficult to update work instructions in real-time ensuring all employees had the most up-to-date solutions for problems or questions they had about their efforts. Solutions implemented at PTI QCS that formed the foundation of what Andonix would become, included:
- Digital Training – PTI QCS replaced its paper-based training methods with digital work instructions that can be globally updated whenever needed. They are more efficient, match cycle times more effectively, and can show exactly how a task should be completed.
- Job Pairing – PTI QCS is now better able to manage rotations with Smart Work Station, ensuring the right employees are given optimal roles and then identifying when additional training is needed for employees on the floor.
- Digital Andon Cord – Digital Andon Cord provides escalation solutions if there are issues or questions on the floor. This allows the team to study problems to avoid repeat issues, solve issues faster, and reduce the risk of downtime while keeping all employees connected, wherever they are working.
- Connected Worker Platform – Once supervisors and frontline workers are connected, they have immediate access to all the data from machines, sensors, and processors. They can be sent to the right person via Smart Work Station, empowering decision-makers to act in real-time.
By implementing a powerful new digital solution for PTI QCS, Yanez addressed one of the biggest challenges facing all industrial companies, and Andonix was born soon after.
PTI QCS has experienced double-digit growth in profitability, sales, and headcount since implementing Smart Work Station. The time and cost of onboarding new workers were reduced in half, supporting high growth in many regions. Quality performance soared to a world-class level of fewer than nine problems per every million shipped parts globally. Safety has also improved exponentially with zero days with accidents in more than seven years. Customer satisfaction is at its highest level to date with zero churn and all long-term customer contracts continue to be renewed.
How Andonix Solves for Front-Line Challenges in Industrial Companies
With decades of experience in the industrial and automotive industry, Andonix’s leadership team is fully aware of the challenges faced across the front line. PTI QCS has been able to not just maintain the growth experienced after the Economic Crisis but has accelerated and continued to be a leader in its segment to provide products and supply chain services for manufacturing companies throughout North America.
Andonix’s story was recently published in a Business Case by Harvard Business School, evaluating how Smart Work Station launched in a turbulent time to address a major pain point for modern industrial companies. Learn more about the difference Andonix Smart Work Station makes for PTI QCS and our industrial customers throughout North America here.