Introducing a Performance Improvement programme in factories around the world for ESAB

The challenge

This leading manufacturer of welding products was facing increasing global competition.

The challenge for us was to help them design and implement a Performance Improvement Programme across more than ten factories in six countries around the world

How we helped

Our own experience, in our own company, has shown that a high level of employee engagement is the only way to sustain a new way of working.

The most difficult aspect of this challenge was to find a way of quickly engaging the operational people on the shop floor who had no previous experience of Unipart’s approach to performance improvement and whose first language was not English.

A key task was to design a way of introducing the new way of working into every factory within twelve months. These tools included: the visual monitoring of performance within teams; identifying and prioritising problems and issues and then solving them within the team in a structured way in order to deliver clear benefits and results.

The solution was to deliver, in all ten factories, minute by minute, day by day coaching to Production Managers and Team Leaders. Within two weeks Unipart were able to construct a highly skilled practical team of coaches drawn from the Operations Managers and Team Leaders within our own businesses. This group of Expert Practitioners were then each deployed into the various factories around the world for a period of four months.

During the four month period in each location, over fifty people were trained in Problem Solving, Communication Cells and Workplace Audits. Over one hundred problems were identified with over fifty of these being solved at root cause and subsequent changes implemented. Forty problem solving circles were completed and over twenty local facilitators were trained to enable this approach to continue.

The results

In the areas of focused effort the following results were achieved:

  • 80% reduction in inventory
  • 80% reduction in change over times
  • 70% reduction in lead time
  • 20% improvement in quality
  • 10% increase in productivity