Relentless process improvement

Productivity improvement

Applying lean and six sigma principles to business processes to reduce waste and maximize productivity.

Recent productivity improvement work


Problem

A large process industry company had over time built a complex production footprint. Due to market changes, this setup was no longer optimal. The various production units were interconnected in terms of the overall process. The precise value contribution of different units was not well understood, and the management lacked the fact-base to decide on how to simplify the footprint.

Solution

The management requested a Reddal team to orchestrate the problem-solving process. This implied involving over 20 industry experts from various parts of the company, as well as leveraging external experts. Dozens of alternative configurations were assessed during the process by using production optimization tools and business case modeling in order to find an optimal configuration. Having a neutral party orchestrating the effort helped to keep political drivers at bay in the process.

Result

A target state configuration was found for best improvements in productivity and return on capital employed. A change program was developed for conducting plant closures and new investments. The overall production approach optimized company value instead of securing the role of individual units. The result was fact-based and supported by solid analysis. Solid buy-in among management was further strengthened given difficult political considerations had been addressed objectively.


Problem

A large equipment manufacturer provided implementation service for their equipment. This task requires specialized skills and comes with a large variable cost effect. With thousands of employees across the world involved in implementation service, this part of the business had a big effect on the company's overall profit. The management felt there was a clear improvement potential in this area.

Solution

To align top management expectations and front line potential, a business case for the effort was built leveraging insights from real projects. Once broad based commitment was ensured, improvement efforts started. Implementation proceeded quickly, as the original business case already included concrete pragmatic actions. Throughout the process simple tools and implementation guidelines were applied for effective roll-out across a large number of projects.

Result

The expected potential for improvement was realized in practice, to the satisfaction of both management and front line staff. By connecting people from various levels in the organization from the start, the decision to take on this large development effort was supported by a solid fact base. In addition, once decision was made, implementation proceeded quickly since the initial plan already had concrete steps built in, that had been aligned with front line staff.


Problem

A global industrial goods manufacturer had started a lean transformation in one of it's vast factories in order to improve production efficiency. In the initial phase, the production environment needed decluttering in order to ensure efficient working. However, recent orders caused personnel shortage and the effort failed to gain momentum due to lack of resources.

Solution

The Reddal team temporarily took on the lead role in the implementation of 5S methodology used to make workspaces visual and orderly. In parallel, personnel training was started, taking into account the load peak and fluctuations in it. Progress was tracked and communicated to management. Over time, as orders returned to normal level, company was able to mobilize internal staff to lead the effort.

Result

The work provided immediate impact in terms of a more visual and clutter-free working environment, which improved productivity and reduced staff pressure. It also made process control easier, enabled production foremen to spot problems quickly and helped to keep production on schedule. This helped the management to deal with the order surge, while ensuring momentum on lean work was kept and personnel skill building continued.


Contact our productivity improvement experts

Roland Morath

Roland Morath Helsinki

Business Developer with expertise in project management and financial process development. Currently working on a post-merger integration effort in Germany.

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Ville Kylmänen

Ville Kylmänen Helsinki

Business developer experienced in program management, M&A and private equity. Currently improving management processes for a major European industrial goods manufacturer.

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Ngoc-Tram Nguyen

Ngoc-Tram Nguyen Helsinki

Business Developer with experience in sales performance and operational efficiency improvement. Currently developing sales performance program in a global part manufacturer.

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The untapped business opportunity in Southeast Asia – productivity improvement

30 March 2016
Samppa Sipilä

Low productivity is the main challenge facing Southeast Asian economies. There is a macroeconomic imperative to boost productivity but implementation is difficult. In this article, we address automation, efficiency and human capital development as key new business development areas in the region.

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Pushing innovation and cost effectiveness through Design-to-Cost

5 April 2012
Per Stenius

In industries such as automotive, IT and telecom the drive for continuous innovation while reducing costs have long been the norm. The same trend has spread to other areas as well, touching both products and services; customers want more, but they want it for less. There is an increased demand for simultaneous innovation and cost reduction

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