Case Study

Trane Technologies improves supply chain visibility, collaboration, and execution

Trane Technologies wanted better visibility and control over its supply chain operations to help reduce excess inventory costs and improve collaboration with its partners.

Industry: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Location: Manufacturing plants in Tyler, Texas, Vidalia, Georgia, Columbia, South Caroline, and Trenton, New Jersey

Size: 50,000+ employees

Key outcomes

  • Streamlined raw material supply chain
  • Improved collaboration with supply chain partners
  • Reduced inventory
  • Established lean supply chain operations and manufacturing processes
  • Enhanced end-to-end supply chain visibility
  • Improved order fill and on-time delivery rates

Summary

Trane Technologies wanted better visibility and control over supply chain processes, and wanted to improve collaboration and communication with its supply chain partners. With Upland Ultriva, Trane Technologies improved visibility, collaboration, and execution between material planners, buyers, and suppliers. Over the course of a phased roll-out, Trane streamlined its raw material supply chain, transitioned from build to forecast to lean production, and aligned production planning and scheduling based on actual customer demand.

Upland’s Ultriva Lean Execution Suite applications have played a large role in helping Trane Technologies achieve world-class lean supply, lean distribution, and lean factory capabilities across our division.
-Robert Rivers, Director Supply & S&IOP, Residential HVAC & Supply, Trane Technologies

Phase 1: Streamlining the raw material supply chain with Ultriva’s Collaborative Supply Portal

The first phase of the project focused on improving Trane’s raw material supply chain, which started with the deployment of Upland’s Ultriva Collaborative Supply Portal (CSP) with external eKanban.

This phase included onboarding suppliers and items to CSP, optimally sizing eKanban loops, implementing supplier order acknowledgment, coordinating and managing changes in demand, and measuring supplier performance.

Using CSP as its single source for material status, Trane was able to improve visibility, collaboration, and execution between material planners, buyers, and suppliers.

Trane also gained valuable, actionable business intelligence to help improve decision-making when it came to material replenishment. Overall, Trane managed over $750 million in annual material spend through CSP.

Phase 2: Transitioning from build to forecast to lean pull production model

The second phase of the strategic initiative was focused on lean distribution by transitioning from Trane’s Build to Forecast primary production model to Lean Pull. This was achieved using Upland’s Ultriva internal eKanban module, which releases demand signals to upstream work cells based on finished goods shipments.

By transitioning to a Lean Pull production model, Trane was able to reduce inventory by producing goods based on real-time demand instead of forecasts, which often don’t coincide with actual demand. This leaner production model gave Trane the opportunity to reduce unnecessary inventory, which helps reduce overhead while optimizing storage costs.

Phase 3: Optimizing factory management by analyzing and adjusting processes

The third phase of the initiative focused on creating leaner factory processes by expanding the deployment of Ultriva’s Lean Factory Management (LFM) module with its internal eKanban.

LFM is currently being used to optimize the sequencing of production orders, analyze production cycle time, adjust production operations based on capacity constraints, and expand internal pull.

With LFM, Trane is able to align production resources with customer demand while continuously monitoring production operations with real-time feedback. In addition to gaining greater visibility over the entire production process, Trane can now dynamically manage production planning and scheduling, optimizing the flow of information and materials.

Achieving lean supply, lean distribution, and lean factory processes

After all three phases of the project were complete, 100 percent of Trane’s direct material suppliers were using Upland’s Ultriva for demand and supply to all Trane manufacturing plants.

Over 20,000 PO requisition and receipt transactions and over 10,000 inventory transfers took place between Upland’s Ultriva and Oracle.

With Upland’s Ultriva solutions in place, Trane also achieved a 98 percent RFID scan success rate with automated Poke Yoke process covering missed RFID label scans.

Overall, Trane has benefited from creating more streamlined supply, distribution, and factory processes, resulting in a reduction in inventory by over 25 percent, which has been sustained to this day.

Key results:

  • Trane Technologies reduced more than 25 percent in inventory
  • Achieved 98 percent RFID success rate with automated Poke Yoke process covering missed RFID label scans
  • Managed over $750 million in annual material spend in Upland Ultriva’s Collaborative Supply Portal
  • Completed over 20,000 PO requisition and PO receipt transactions between Upland Ultriva and Oracle
  • Completed over 10,000 inventory transfers between Ultriva and Oracle