Jacobsen Taps NexPrise for ECO App

Maintenance equipment manufacturer implements engineering change order solution in support of Six Sigma initiative

Carlsbad, CA — June 18, 2003 — Jacobsen, a manufacturer of turf maintenance and other golf course equipment, has deployed an engineering change management application from software company NexPrise to support its parent company's corporate-wide Six Sigma initiative.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Jacobsen is a division of Textron, a $12 billion company that provides products and services in aircraft, fastening systems, industrial products, industrial components and finance. Jacobsen manufactures a range of turf maintenance equipment, as well as personnel and burden carriers for the golf course, professional lawn care, sports field and general grounds maintenance markets.

The company has deployed NexPrise's Engineering Change Manager application to support Textron's corporate-wide Six Sigma initiative for consistently delivering high-quality products and services to its customers, which include some of the world's top golf courses and sports arenas.

The application automates Jacobsen's engineering change processes, with the goal of improving operating efficiency and increasing the company's responsiveness to customers. Jacobsen is anticipating that the increased efficiency enabled by NexPrise will reduce annual costs by more than $100,000. Initially, Jacobsen's engineering group is using the NexPrise software, but the company plans to extend use of the application to other departments, including safety engineering, sales and marketing, purchasing, planning, field service and service parts.

"The size and complexity of our products, coupled with the number of supplier relationships we have, present many challenges in achieving our Six Sigma objectives, from ensuring quality to on-time delivery" said Carlos Bellot, a design and development engineer at Jacobsen and a Six Sigma Greenbelt. "NexPrise helps us meet these challenges with a fully customized application that replicates and automates our existing engineering change process and provides a mechanism for timely, continuous improvement that ultimately results in superior products and services for our customers."

Jacobsen's objective to achieve a Six Sigma level of quality through its engineering change process is part of Textron's corporate-wide commitment to the Six Sigma quality improvement methodology. Textron embraced Six Sigma as a means to deliver superior products and services that meet its customers' needs while reducing process inefficiencies that impact the bottom line.

Using NexPrise's Engineering Change Manager to automate its process, Jacobsen expects to reduce the 26-day current average cycle time for engineering changes to 10 days while eliminating the cost and errors associated with manual activities. The application allows Jacobsen to communicate engineering change information earlier and more clearly to other departments and suppliers, according to NexPrise. This helps the company to provide more accurate information to customers about their orders while reducing inventories and avoiding costly scrap and rework.

NexPrise said that the application also provides Jacobsen with the metrics it needs to measure various aspects of its automated process for Six Sigma analysis, reporting and continuous improvement.