This year’s Customer Excellence Award for Best Business Transformation goes to Ultra Clean Holdings, Inc. (UCT), a leading developer and supplier of critical subsystems, ultra-high purity cleaning and analytical services primarily for the semiconductor industry.
Joe Williams, President of Semiconductor Products & Solutions at UCT, took the stage at Pulse 2019 to share UCT’s unique transformation journey. He gave the audience a glimpse into UCT’s operational landscape in an industry he described as one of “constant chaos and change.”
Williams spoke of cost pressures and process inefficiencies that drove UCT’s need for business transformation. “We had to look within. We had to look at our costs and how we execute our business,” he said, noting that the decision to undergo a transformation was not taken lightly.
The transformation is rooted in four strategic pillars:
- Enabling Growth
- Operational Excellence
- Customer Experience
- One Company, “OneUCT”
UCT needed an ERP system to drive multiple disparate systems into a single system capable of standardizing processes on a global scale, delivering metrics that fuel good decision-making, ensuring governance, mitigating risk and scaling to support an aggressive acquisition strategy.
SAP S/4HANA was that system.
Williams described the many problems UCT faced as a result of its disconnected systems and manual workarounds including, at times, unintentionally housing millions of dollars in excess inventory. And he explained how the business transformation is enabling UCT to leverage its supply chain in a more efficient manner to streamline costs and accelerate time-to-market.
“In some cases, we removed 70% of touch and transactions in our business processes,” said Williams. “To be able to reduce or eliminate 70% is a big wow factor for us.”
But getting to that point wasn’t easy – and transformation didn’t come from technology alone.
SAP S/4HANA did everything UCT wanted it to do, yet what Williams describes as a “culture of human glue and duct tape” continued post-deployment. It wasn’t until UCT invited Bristlecone in to truly critique and challenge its processes that transformation really began to take shape.
To Williams, transformation is “as much about leadership and culture as it is about technology.”
Bristlecone worked closely with a variety of UCT stakeholders, from SMEs and process owners to leadership, to develop the guiding principles of business transformation. Together they ensured all touchpoints, especially the human ones, either added value or were eliminated.
Business transformation at UCT continues today. “We have a long road ahead of us, and there are so many layers we need to go through before we hit our end goal,” said Williams, “but with the help of Bristlecone and the complete redesign of our processes, we’re on the right path.”
Congratulations to UCT, this year’s award winner for Best Business Transformation!