Information technology is helping Lear Corp. reuse more than 10 percent of its parts.
"That's things like a bolt or perhaps some component of a seat frame where we're using it on more than one model," says John Crary, Lear's vice president of information technology.
"That means that 10 percent of those kinds of components weren't redesigned, did not take engineers' time to redesign, but were reused."
Lear achieved its savings with a product lifecycle management program. Product lifecycle management consists of software and business processes that give suppliers and automakers a single source of data. It can cover every point in a product's life - from design to maintenance.
Lear has 320 programs on its product lifecycle management program. Crary says that covers 61,000 parts.
In addition to reusing parts, Lear is seeing other benefits.
Engineering changes, for example, are done more quickly.
"When we started this project we had some engineering changes that were in the neighborhood of 200 days old," Crary says. "Today we brought that down in the neighborhood of 30 days. I think the worst one we had is 36 days today on the programs we have in the system."