Increased competition and customer demands had led to unsatisfactory profitability and delivery precision. Through a range of activities both productivity and delivery precision greatly increased.
The company is a part of a large global industrial group which has about 22,000 employees and bases its operations on cutting-edge technology with polymer materials.
The operations of the company, focused on the automotive and oil and gas sectors, are a mix of unique short-term project-based contracts and long-term production contracts.
Years of increasing competition and tougher customer demands had led to increasingly unsatisfactory results in terms of profitability and delivery precision. The company was launching several actions to correct this negative trend, and Mantec was hired to assist in the improvement process.
Initially, Mantec carried out a three-week analysis to identify potential areas for improvement. Based on the results, Mantec and the client jointly entered a six-month project which focused on the following seven areas.
- Strategy and Goals: an improved structure of operational Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) relevant to the company’s strategy, together with performance goals, was designed and implemented.
- Operational Management Systems: an improved system of managing operations through meetings, plans, reports and the use of the KPIs was put in place.
- Organisation: organisational changes for better central coordination and local support of both production and planning were implemented.
- IT Support: changes in the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and other support systems were logged and implemented.
- Planning and Forecasting: an integral way of planning was designed and implemented. This included the whole production chain as well as the support functions, and gave stronger focus to delivery precision and moving human resources between departments according to needs. In addition, planning was instituted in areas where it had previously been lacking.
- Production and Support Processes: the production process was mapped in detail and linked to supports such as planning, quality, tools and people. As a result of the mapping, specific actions were carried out for example improving specific production tooling in specified ways; designing and putting in place a whiteboard on the factory floor for better production follow-up; designing and putting in place management tools on the production floor for better project control.
- Management Training: practical management training was instituted to support the changes being put in place both during and after the project.
Thanks to the structure of the project and very strong involvement of key managers, all involved parties consider the project a success. In particular:
- management at all levels is now much more in control of the complete delivery process;
- delivery precision has improved from a range of 60-80% to 95-100%;
- human resources are moved daily between departments according to production needs;
- during the project, total production volume increased by 16%, but the company was able, by relocating personnel between departments, to keep the overall personnel increase down to 2%;
- productivity has improved by 12% and the trend is up.
In addition, the company could still realise another 10% productivity improvement. The company’s management is now handling continuous improvement on its own, and is winning the battle with small victories every month.