How Red Level helped Steelcase drive efficiency, quality, and savings through custom mobile apps
As the world’s leading manufacturer of office furniture and work environments, Steelcase has a tremendous impact upon workplaces – and how work is done – around the globe.
Steelcase manages a complex worldwide network of 11,000 employees, multiple manufacturing facilities, dozens of external contractors and suppliers, and the complex inbound and outbound global logistics matrix needed to get materials in and furniture out. Besides managing marketplace demands and changing trends, the company faces challenges common to almost all manufacturers of premium high-volume products: The struggle to maintain quality, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.
Steelcase turned to Red Level to develop a series of custom mobile apps intended to improve reporting, quality control, and efficiency in specific areas of its business. Sensing that existing processes could be improved upon, the company determined that empowering employees and suppliers with tailored process-specific apps would enable them to execute essential tasks with greater speed, security, and uniformity. At the same time, the company stood to realize substantial savings in specific costs thanks to shortened processing times and the reduced need to deploy personnel to remote sites for inspections.
A long and positive history of successful collaboration between Steelcase and Red Level personnel provided the foundation for the engagement. Red Level developers had begun working with the manufacturer in the customization of its SharePoint site approximately eight years earlier and had successfully completed a series of projects since. The company chose to begin its mobile app initiative with a single project. As a result of that project’s considerable success, Steelcase chose to proceed with the development of three additional apps with more to come.
Steelcase Supplier Assessment
The leading global manufacturer of office furniture and environments is necessarily dependent upon a wide network of third-party manufacturers for parts and products, which must be closely monitored to ensure adherence to quality standards. The Steelcase Supplier Assessment (SSA) mobile application developed by Red Level enables evidence-based self-assessment by suppliers, quickly providing the manufacturer with essential information while reducing the frequency and expense of on-site visits by the manufacturer’s personnel.
Steelcase Issue Resolution
As the world’s leading supplier of premium office fixtures and furniture, this manufacturer’s commitment to quality necessarily requires a prompt, attentive response to customer issues such as manufacturing defects and damage incurred during shipment. The Issue Resolution mobile app, developed by Red Level, permits technicians to quickly document issues and report them to appropriate departments for prompt resolution.
Quality Manufacturing Notification
As for other high-volume manufacturers, production delays due to equipment malfunction can be extremely costly to the leading global manufacturer of office furniture and environments. When equipment fails, it is imperative that it be repaired and brought back online as swiftly as possible. The manufacturer found that their existing initial process for reporting malfunctions introduced unnecessary delay and opportunity for error into the repair process, and sought Red Level’s assistance in developing a fast, efficient mobile reporting tool.
Weld Process Assessment
As a substantial proportion of Steelcase products are fabricated from metal and are produced in multiple facilities – both the company’s and suppliers’ – the quality and durability of welded joints and the efficacy of welding processes is of paramount importance in the company’s efforts to ensure product quality and reduce wastage. The Weld Process Assessment application provides a convenient means for both owned facilities and suppliers to quickly and accurately provide Steelcase management with detailed reporting on welding processes and weld quality, permitting accelerated remediation efforts in the event of any problems.
By working in close collaboration with Steelcase’s stakeholders throughout the conceptualization, planning, and testing phases of the projects and using an adaptive Agile development methodology, Red Level succeeded in delivering a series of finished applications whose performance and efficacy met all of the manufacturer’s requirements. Individually and as a whole, they have proved successful in delivering demonstrable benefits to both users and the business. By virtue of being secure, effective, easy to use, and carefully aligned with both corporate needs and those of end-users, the initial suite of four apps has succeeded in helping the manufacturer transform the way it handles quality control, supplier vetting, and reporting processes.