The aim of this document is to showcase the final year student’s industrial engineering knowledge and
skills gained throughout the course of her studies. This document contains a literature review, problem
investigation, conceptual design, solution selection and the solution construct as well as the
implementation and evaluation thereof.
Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd was formed in 1994 and has its headquarters at Grand Central
Airport (Gauteng). AHZA operates as an accredited maintenance repair organization (MRO) to maintain and
repair the aircraft of key customers in Southern Africa, but also assemble and test new aircraft and supply
spare parts to other customers. AHZA implemented one of the most widely used ERP Software systems SAP
in 1996 to integrate business functions. The CS order process captures the activity steps required to
perform a maintenance inspection on an aircraft, from forecasting, planning the maintenance inspection,
compiling the work-pack, issuing the work-pack and performing the aircraft runs, invoicing the customer,
releasing the aircraft, to closing the aircraft maintenance inspection. Documented detailed workflows or
business process procedures and guidelines of the CS order process do not exist at AHZA which means
there are no instructions or guidelines in place for employees to use when executing their day-to-day tasks.
This project aims to address the inefficiencies, lack of documented and standardized processes and
recurring problems of the process and setting a baseline for process improvement and standardization.
An initial investigation was conducted to understand the AHZA environment, the CS order process and the
key concepts of process improvement. Research indicated that the concept of business process
improvement (BPI) was an appropriate approach to use to drive and structure the project. The BPI
methodology emphasizes the importance of mapping processes, measuring performance and facilitating
the implementation of the new process by means of a change management plan. The as-is process
documentation success depended on the support and buy-in from the business process owners, various
joint application design (JAD) sessions established that the current CS order process had numerous
inefficiencies and communication gaps. All problem statements were analyzed and the problems that fell
within the scope of the project provided as key inputs to defining all functional and non-functional
requirements of the conceptual design.
Documentation was developed for the to-be CS order process including detailed hierarchical models of all
the relevant sub-processes and detailed design documents (DDD) per activity. These to-be process maps
were created with Microsoft Visio which was selected as the best software alternative after careful
consideration and weighing of all options available by means of software comparison. Process performance
measures were defined to enable managers to monitor the performance of the new processes and a KPI
performance tracking spreadsheet was created to help quantify the KPI’s results.
An informal implementation strategy including a change management plan was formulated to guide AHZA
through the final phases of the project. The next step of the project was to validate the final solution
against the functional and non-functional requirements initially formulated while also ensuring that AHZA
management and key-users were satisfied with the project outcome. The latter was done by quantifying
and qualifying the opinions and recommendations of all relevant employees by means of stakeholder
interviews and short questionnaires focused on the new CS order process.
Addressing the gaps and challenges identified helped achieve the project goals of having documented
processes, defined employee roles and responsibilities and performance measures for the CS order process
ultimately resulting in an effective and transparent process.
Mini Dissertation (BEng)--University of Pretoria, 2017.