Driving transformation through outside expertise
Interim management solution in manufacturing
Tangible impact & greater Interim ROI
ESG is a leading Essex-based glass processing company, which by Summer 2016 had recently been through an MBO process with Connection Capital. We provided the interim management solution for delivering transformational change and major operational efficiencies.
- Interim transformation specialists deployed to support incumbent leaders
- New shift patterns and internal project methodology introduced, focused on minimising waste
- Output increased across three factories, waste reduced, front-end processes improved
Following the Brexit vote, ECG decided against implementing the expansion plan at the heart of its original growth strategy. Consequently, they were looking for a way to boost performance from existing business units to meet owner and investor expectations. Transformational business change was the aspiration. But none of the senior team had experience of significant transformation projects. It was clear that external expertise was required to move them forward.
Business transformation is a widely-adopted approach to boosting productivity and performance. But, delivering a successful change is rarely a simple task – especially when an organisation lacks relevant transformation experience at board and senior level. It makes no business sense to throw incumbent leaders in at the deep end to see if they sink or swim. The smart approach is to bring in external specialists on an interim basis – not just to harness their change management experience, but to help build up sustainable capability within the existing senior team. We showed the value a talented interim manager can unlock, when we supported a glass-processing business with their transformation.
We rapidly identified the specialists in our network best equipped for the situation – and then placed a high calibre, experienced leader.
The advantage was the willingness of incumbent leaders to be part of the solution. They wanted to create a great place to work that employed great people. This was a good place to start – making it easier to secure a positive result. The approach was founded on three principles:
- Establish exactly what needs to be fixed. No misunderstandings.
- Make sure that all key stakeholders with different priorities are all brought into the problem.
- Work with the owners of each area to establish a robust project methodology to resolve the issues.
The assignment began with a two-week assessment phase, followed by a presentation to the board to gain high level buy in. This was followed by a further two weeks of working with key individuals in the business to establish what was likely to work best in terms of creative problem solving and its application. This was followed by a series of communications to all staff to get validation of the goals. Finally, a full roll-out plan brought everyone into the solution.
Results & outcomes
The transformation involved restructuring shift patterns across three facilities and implementing target management in all key areas. A benchmark was set for glass waste in the initial optimising phase of the order processing system. This was used to set targets for waste reduction for that team. The front-end, order-entry process was reviewed, and new metrics introduced to boost the production team’s order capacity.
The difference to performance has been eye-catching:
- The main factory improved furnace output from an average of 768M2 per day to 916M2 per day over a 5-month period
- The planning team reduced glass waste by £11,200 per month over the same time frame
- The front-end team were able to improve order entry of standard orders from 60% within 6 hours to 98% in 6 hours
All of these enhancements had a very positive effect on the business. At the same time, a robust Asana-based project improvement methodology was introduced for the company to harness going forward.