Victaulic Uses LiquidPlanner to Maintain Their Competitive Advantage

victaulic team member
“LiquidPlanner uniquely uses effort and resource prioritization to drive expected dates that ultimately addressed our issue of shared, constrained resources.  Other software highlighted potential issues, but no other solution showed the impact and gave information on how to resolve the conflict.”
Lindsay Hamlin
NPD Manager at Victaulic

Victaulic + LiquidPlanner

BACKGROUND

Victaulic is the global leading producer of mechanical pipe joining, flow control & fire protection solutions. Since 1919, their innovative technologies and engineering services have optimized construction productivity and reduced risk, ensuring projects are completed safely, on time and within budget. 

Driven by a spirit of continuous innovation, Victaulic’s portfolio of 100,000+ products and patented technologies promote freedom of design, as well as simplified inspection and maintenance for the life of any system. From the tallest buildings to the deepest mines, customers trust their products to increase overall system durability in the most demanding construction projects and operating conditions. 

CHALLENGES

Victaulic maintains a competitive advantage in the mechanical pipe industry by bringing new, value-add solutions to their customers.  Having a tool to prioritize new product development initiatives and identify potential roadblocks is critical to their success. 

With many ongoing simultaneous projects, understanding resource needs and constraints was a challenge. Teams supported multiple projects at once and targeted launch dates were routinely missed, with project taking 1.5 to 2 times longer or more than originally planned. All projects were treated with equal priority, so teams couldn’t build realistic schedules across their portfolio and productivity was undermined with frequent shifts in focus.

New product development teams started to feel overloaded, frustrated and burned out. Managers struggled to juggle the constantly switching priorities and the ‘everything is a priority’ mentality. Without being able to identify bottlenecks or justify adding people, work in progress was high and cycle times were long. Obtaining data to create and measure key performance indicators was next to  impossible.  They needed a better way.

SOLUTION

FINDING THE BEST OPTION.  Victaulic tested several project management software options and chose LiquidPlanner. While assessing LiquidPlanner, their true ‘aha moment’ were insights revealed with the software that were counter to the team’s intuition. The long standing belief was that Victaulic was short in design and drafting resources and that delays were frequently caused by these teams being maxed out. But data showed a different story:  the bigger issue was significant waiting times for engineers to approve drawings. With access to robust analytics, Victaulic was finally able to thoughtfully prioritize tasks, reallocate some of their engineers’ tasks, and establish meaningful KPIs.

 DRIVING ADOPTION OF A SINGLE SOURCE.  Initially, LiquidPlanner was casually circulated across their engineering project teams but not broadly utilized. Over time, the software’s value became evident, prompting 100% adoption across Victaulic including the development of transaction-based workflows and unambiguous instructions for creating and managing projects within LiquidPlanner. LiquidPlanner’s Professional Services team was engaged to deliver structured training sessions, customized to Victaulic’s needs.

Early wins – such as improving cycle time for development of new product prototypes by more than 50% and reducing inventories via optimization of component purchasing processes – quickly demonstrated the value of LiquidPlanner.

SCALING PROCESSES AND BEST PRACTICES.  As the variety of activities and departments using LiquidPlanner grew, it became clear Victaulic needed to standardize large scale development initiatives to manage and report on work.  A consistent project management workflow was established, so every product development initiative looked and felt similar within LiquidPlanner.  The more their teams engaged within LiquidPlanner, the more accurate their project schedules became.

A LiquidPlanner Best Practice Committee, with representation from key areas of the business, was formulated to optimize a cross-company project playbook.  The team worked together to address issues and hosted LiquidPlanner training and development opportunities for the organization to extend and sustain productivity gains.

RESULTS

 Victaulic continues to experience several key, measurable benefits of using LiquidPlanner:

  • VISIBILITY:  Accurate insights inform critical conversations about strategic priorities to enable confident prioritization and resourcing decisions.
  • TRANSPARENCY:  Teams know how the plan was put together, can see the data underpinning next steps, and feel more confident in managing the daily work across the project portfolio.
  • STANDARDIZED WORK:  Creating standard work with repeatable processes saves time and provides baseline metrics for key performance indicators.

LiquidPlanner helps Victaulic to efficiently and effectively launch new products and maintain their competitive advantage within their industry.  Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Victaulic has maintained their spirit of innovation without missing a beat. 

ABOUT LIQUIDPLANNER

LiquidPlanner is a transformative project management solution that uses predictive scheduling to dynamically adapt to change and manage uncertainty.  It helps teams prioritize, predict and perform with confidence.

Rated the best software for complex projects by PC Magazine, smarter planning is a click away.  Get your free account today at liquidplanner.com.