The Arntz Optibelt Group brings products to market up to 5 months faster

With eight production facilities in six countries, the Arntz Optibelt Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-performance belt drives for vehicles, heavy machinery, oil refineries, agriculture, fans and compressors. A rubber processing and belt manufacturer that opened in Germany in 1872, the company’s market share has steadily grown for nearly 150 years. Today, it is a major global presence.

Optibelt has an extensive manufacturing process with more than 180,000 standard or customized belts in production at any given time. Each design adheres to a precise set of steps before production begins. The company is constantly improving and adapting existing products as well as bringing new products online, each of which requires a separate set of protocols from multiple employees across several countries.

The Arntz Optibelt Group wanted to modernize their product review process to cut the time-to-market and create an agile, auditable workflow, without compromising quality. Their existing—but inefficient—review process involved scanning and emailing paper forms, which was consuming a huge amount of bandwidth and preventing team members from viewing the status of any given project.

5

months saved in every new product’s production time

38

days saved in every existing products modification production

89%

faster signatures on approvals by eliminated scanned forms

Company
The Arntz Optibelt Group
Website
Industry
Manufacturing
Country
Capabilities Used
K2 Software

Who they are

The Arntz Optibelt Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-performance belt drives for vehicles, heavy machinery, oil refineries, agriculture, fans and compressors.

What they needed

The manufacturer wanted to modernize its product review process to cut the time-to-market and create an agile, auditable workflow, without compromising quality.

How they did it

Using K2 Software, Arntz Optibelt Group streamlined is product review and approval process accelerating speed-to-market by up to five months.

Fast approvals, faster time-to-market

Challenge: Manual workflow slowed business

Approving new or modified products had been a lengthy process. Production managers relied on manual printed forms which had to be signed, scanned and sent to the next person in the approval chain.

It was impossible for managers to know the status of the approval process for each item or whether the processes were followed consistently and correctly every time.

The company knew it needed an automated solution to manage approvals while providing managers the visibility they needed to keep production on schedule.

Solution: A more efficient workflow

A pivotal new Nintex K2 Cloud workflow dramatically reduced the time to market for Optibelt’s products, provided new project visibility and opened up profit streams that had been idling.

There are two major categories of product approvals: new products and modifications of existing products. New product designs previously took 200 days to approve, at a significant cost of employee time and profitability. Nintex K2 Cloud helped compress that time by 75 percent and allowed production managers to target their approvals to within 50 days.

The process of modifying existing products had previously taken up to 100 days to approve. K2 Software streamlined that workflow to 18 steps and enabled fast, accurate and consistent approvals across all employees and locations. The result is a transformation, accelerating speed-to-market by up to five months. Additionally, managers can easily and instantly access the status of each product review to pinpoint its place is in the pipeline.

With K2 Software, approving changes to existing products has been cut from an average of 100 days to 62 days, accelerating production line improvements by over five weeks.
Stephan Oebbeke, Intranet Team Leader, Optibelt
Small changes create big savings

Challenge: An end to scanning and emailing forms

Before K2 Software, Optibelt managers used to take 15 minutes to print approvals. They had to sign it, scan and rename it, and then send it on to the next person.

Not only was this time consuming, but the quality of the signatures was also reduced with each time the document was scanned with the18 approvals required. Oftentimes, signatures became impossible to read.

Solution: A clean, modern workflow

What previously took 15 minutes now takes as little as 30 seconds. This 89 percent improvement generated minutes, hours, weeks and ultimately months of newfound efficiency.

On average, Optibelt saves 4.5 hours in each and every approval process, just from eliminating printing and scanning alone. Employees are no longer wasting time on tedious, repetitive tasks and can focus their time on higher-value activities.

Quality control is also enhanced by clearer, more legible signatures. Optibelt’s new digital workstream, built on Nintex K2 Cloud, is standardized, auditable and clearly shows who gave approval and when.

Additionally, they used K2 Software to build a process to manage the expiration dates for batches of rubber – a tool that is utilized approximately 160 times in a typical 10-week period.

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