GE Aviation -
Dockworkers wanted to know what contained the most critical parts within a shipment and be able to receive, kit, process, and run those critical parts from the dock to the floor. This was my first project with GE Aviation so my objective was to understand the overall process of building engines and where this new feature would fit into that process.
I needed to find out who my target audience is and those affected by this new feature.
I had 5 weeks to conduct research, go through a design refinement process, present each iteration to stakeholders and end-users, and deliver a spec to the development team.
- Contextual Research
- Research Analysis
- High-Fidelity Mockups + Prototypes using the Predix Design System
- Facilitate meetings with stakeholders
- Gather feature requirements
- Account for user needs and problems, technical constraints, and business objectives
- Review Spec with the Stakeholders, Development Team, and Quality Assurance Testers
- Introduce the UX Process to the team.
- 1 – Product Owner
- 3 – Front-End Developers
- 2 – Back-end Developers
- 1 – QA Testers
- 4 – Stakeholders
Holding fast to the “form follows function,” I didn’t want to look at the application until I could meet the users and see their process and how they currently used the app. The first step was to understand the original user story.
The first question to answer was where the new feature should live within the application. I presented my decision to the development team and stakeholders and created more user stories from my research.
I worked with the product owner and the team to create a new development process that would include the Ux process, which would allow me to work ahead of the development team.
The product owner scheduled some time for us to visit a few sites to conduct Contextual Research. I then compared the differences in process between the sites to make sure whatever I designed would work for multiple locations.
I presented my final design spec to both the development team and stakeholders giving them time to provide feedback for adjustments and concerns. I went through six revisions. Once I finalized the design, I worked with the development team to add user stories to the scrum board with corresponding design specs.
I continued to support the development team with anything they needed as they built the new feature, including new design captures and taking questions back to the users.
After the first release, I met with the stakeholders about the next steps, any changes, and the additions they needed. Within the first week, we settled on a new addition for the feature.
They wanted me to figure out where the consolidated receipt should live within the application. So I sketched out some quick ideas and presented it to Andy & the stakeholders
That meeting generated so many questions that the Product Owner agreed that it would be good for me to visit a site to conduct research.
I had several chats with my stakeholders to understand what problem/current process the consolidated receipt was supposed to solve/digitally represent prior to the site visit so I had a high level understanding of what I should look for.
What my stakeholders were referring to as “mixed kits” where actually “one dropbox” that contained “multiple license plates”. The constant mixing of terminology caused so many issues for me before my trip to Lafayette trying to wrap my head around what exactly a kit was and how it related to license plates, order IDs, and picklists. The terminology and definitions of the stakeholders are currently reflected within the application but don’t reflect the real terminology in the dock.
I had to explain to everyone: users, stakeholders, the product owner, and the development team about what was a “license plate”, “kit”, “mixed kit”, etc. So that we were all the same page.
Everyone still uses the term "kit" loosely to refer to something that isn't actually a kit.
Due to the nature of the project and the application I cannot share screenshots of my designs.
I created annotated specs to be reviewed and approved by users and stakeholders. Those same annotated specs were also reviewed by the development team to identify gaps and ask more questions about the functionality, how the information would be shared, and notify me of how these changes would affect the rest of the application.
I went through six rapid prototyping sessions between feedback from the product owner, the stakeholders, and the development team before any screenshots were added to user stories for development
mvp - minimal viable product
The first roll out of the feature didn’t include the capablity to manually enter a package by it’s part number. It was launched in the second release
A few days after the MVP (Minimal Viable Product) was launched the Material Leaders confirmed that they wanted to extend the Consolidated Receipt feature to work for direct shipments. The first rollout only accounted for shipments from Erlanger.
Here is the new functionality I introduced to the application:
- Dockworkers can see what license plates have been picked up by RFID scanners
- Any packages that aren’t picked up by the RFID scanner can be manually entered by License Plate or Module & ESN
- If a dock worker accidentally hits a license plate has received, they and only they can move it back into the “not received” column
- The license plates are ordered by criticality so the most critical license plate is at the top.
- Kitters can now see which license plates they need to kit first and run to the floor
- The received column doubles as a working list for the user currently logged in and to see what other dockworkers and the scanners have marked as received so there is no double entry
- The kitters have the option of moving from mixed license plate to the next taking care of the red shortage tags first
- Kitters now have the power to close out shortage tags
- Mark parts that are said to be in a mixed kit as missing
- Add parts to the supermarket
- Although a part was ordered for one particular ESN it can be given to another ESN shortage card based on the criticality
- To fulfill a shortage card they can take only what they need from the license plate and/or pull from the supermarket as well
The second release allowed for manually entered part numbers.
Most direct shipments are parts. They don’t have a license plate, module, or engine number on the packaging so the dock workers need to be able to manually enter these shipments by part number.
They were provided with the same type-ahead functionality currently in the picklist screen so that they didn’t have to tap/type in the whole part number and prevent incorrect part numbers from being inputted.
There were some changes made to the Received column. Order Id amount changed to Details and the timestamp evolved to include the date and time.
The Consolidated Receipt Column now has a dropdown for license plates and part numbers listed in order of criticality. The ones at the top could fulfill the most critical shortages.
The user receives feedback if the part has been successfully received so that they don’t have to scroll up and down to find it in the received column.
If a part has already been designated somewhere when the dock worker goes to place a part in the supermarket the user can’t change the location. If there is no designated space they can enter where they placed the part. Today each site has their own storage system. So it will remain a text box/input field.
within the first three months
- Productivity Boost giving Material Leaders an hour or more a day back from running around the shop tracking parts
- Cost Avoidance preventing build delays and penalties saving LEAP engines $3k a day, GENx engines $5.5k a day, and GE90 engines $15k a day per shop
- The amount of time it takes to roll a received parts to the floor has decreased from 4 hours to 50 minutes per shop
- 100 hours saved monthly searching for parts per shop
- $18k annual labor savings by eliminating handwritten tags and paper transfer when taking from another kit per shop
- Visibility to shortages supports team scheduling and reduced duplicative communications
- Accessibility to data supports technician decisions when filing shortages, reducing loss of assembly engine time