PAST RESULTS COUNT...
The case descriptions below show a glimpse of the challenges and results of the past:
During a period of 18 months the merger process was prepared and executed, starting with the definition of a common strategy based on the two distinct company cultures. Integration of product families, restructuring of the organisation, establishing a market strategy, installing a new ERP system and the introduction of lean six sigma principles have been key issues in this process.
Within a limited timeframe large innovative steps have been introduced over the complete product line by initiating and managing an integral program with international Tier-1 keypartners. New organisational structures and processes have been developed and implemented during this period. Through the use of appropriate NPV analyses investment decisions have been taken with a longterm positive impact on company profits.
The production organisation as a whole was involved in the transition process including aspects such as technology, planning, purchasing and logistics. The logistics and automation of the assembly line was one of the focal areas during this process which resulted in a modular setup, using the power of teamwork. By addressing the design and manufacturability during the definition of subassemblies the quality and cost price of the final product improved significantly, while preserving the required flexibility with respect to customer requirements.
An extensive migration plan was defined and executed following an analysis of core competencies, market drivers, employees and various stakeholders. The organisational model has been adapted to the predominant customer-groups and the know how focus has been narrowed down, resulting in a leap in the external audit score. The initial financial loss at the start of the process has been transformed towards a break-even situation.
After performing a Value Stream Mapping analysis various shortcomings in planning and production control surfaced. These shortcomings resulted in the existing quality problems, high levels of work in process and low output. Significant improvements have been realised by improving the production planning (optimisation of batch-sizes and improved communication) combined with the implementation of lean principles. Finally higher productivity, higher quality and lower inventories have been measured.
A new product line has been introduced to the market with low investments by taking a critical view to the market segmentation and the key customer values. These insights have been combined in a smart way with the available, proven components in the assembly setup and in the supply-chain. The resulting growth of the gross margin of this product line has increased the financial results of the company over a long period of time.
The majority of the standardised high-volume products have been outsourced to the Far East; At the same time investment focus has shifted towards development and production of complex shaped high end fastener products. This product-market change and the implemented process improvement has resulted in doubling the revenues and turning the financial loss into healthy profits. The production plant transformed into one of the best performing units of the group.
Based on the recently revised vision and strategy documents from the board of management the market segments, product-market combinations and operational key indicators were thoroughly analysed. These findings have been assessed during various interviews with leading managers and visualised for clear communication. As a result the previous strategy has been re-assessed by the management and adapted on crucial issues, resulting in an improved starting point for the roadmap.
All dispersed know how and capacity was concentrated in one single plant in Helmond, Netherlands. The plants in Birmingham and Istanbul were sold to local partners. This consolidation effort resulted in improved product quality, flexibility and service levels for the customer. Market position and profitability of the group as a whole improved significantly.
The orderintake process and the engineering process have been completely revised after analysing the existing situation and the overall process. A product configurator, CAD, PLM and ERP tools and various interfaces have been implemented. With a vast growing number of international dealers currently the double amount of orders are being processed at a much higher quality level, up to programming of the welding robots in production. Product portfolio management based on data driven analysis leads to higher profitability.