Tiffany & Co. is an American luxury jewelry and specialty retailer, known for its jewelry, sterling silver, china, fragrances, watches, and leather goods. Founded in 1837, Tiffany & Co. has established itself as a jewelry design innovator and craftsmanship expert and expanded to open 326 stores worldwide.
A testament to its long history of innovation - Tiffany & Co. has over 10,000 active SKUs with unique work instructions for each design at any given casting facility. These frontline operations require high attention to detail for variables such as pour duration, temperature, and timing. Maintaining precise execution of these operations while scaling their labor and machine centers posed a challenge, so Tiffany & Co. turned to Tulip to identify bottlenecks, error-proof their workflows, and ultimately increase productivity.
Low visibility breeds inconsistent manufacturing practices
Like many in their industry who desire to expand quickly, Tiffany & Co. implemented standardized training classes and work instructions, conducted industrial time studies, and cascaded best practices across their workforce of over 2,500 team members, however, the impact fell short of their vision.
“Everyone kept their own version of the work instruction. They learned from their friends that sat from their left or right and it was hard to manage which version of the process they were supposed to be following.”
Director of Operations
Due to the lack of visibility over their operations and inaccurate performance data, Tiffany & Co. could not confirm if operators were following their best practices at each of their sites. They quickly learned that each site used their own versions of the work instructions, leading to variations in batches and batch quality.
Agile Manufacturing with Tulip
Daniel Stein, Director of Operations at Tiffany & CO., says that Tulip enables them to have a more agile way of working. Tulip provides a library of apps that serve as a framework for companies to quickly configure and adapt the apps for their specific use cases. This enabled engineers to build apps and collect data within the same day.
Unlike other MES platforms with rigid data structures, Tulip apps enable engineers to define their own data structures and give flexibility to what is being tracked. This capability produced a wealth of information on how each batch was made, who made it, and how long each step took to complete. Most importantly, Tulip error-proofed their data capturing process and removed their dependence on paper documentation, which proved valuable for their time-based studies. Tiffany & Co. now had complete visibility over their processes which they did not have before.
In addition to data collection, Tulip’s version control feature ensured each site was using the same work instruction and that their casting procedures were consistent across multiple locations.
Building solutions around operators, not systems, increased productivity
Tiffany & Co. increased productivity by 18% using Tulip apps to inform their decisions, standardize operations, and ensure right-the-first-time builds with digital work instructions. They planned to build upon their success by expanding their use of Tulip into multiple sites and hiring engineers dedicated to applying the Tulip platform within the organization.
“The best advice is get started and you’ll realize you’ll learn more about your operation than you ever thought would be possible.”
Director of Operations
Dan is excited to iterate Tulip applications across the Tiffany & Co. network. He says that Tulip enabled him to think about leading operations differently. Often, processes are built around systems due to their rigid data structures or limited connectivity. With Tulip’s no-code platform, edge connectivity, and flexible data structures, Dan and his team built tools around his operators. His operators actively gave feedback on how to improve the apps through each iteration and Dan saw how collaborating with his operators on Tulip empowered them to solve problems in their facilities.
For anyone who wants to get started with Tulip, Dan recommends the most important step is to get started: “Tulip provides a frictionless platform that makes standardizing work instructions and data collection effortless, and enables companies to discover the unknown unknowns in their frontline operations.” said Dan, “With all the data, leaders are able to make informed decisions to improve productivity and quality, and quickly get a return on investment.”