Sustainable Performance Improvement across a widespread network

The challenge

This leading supplier of car parts was facing a number of barriers to its ongoing success.

A series of mergers and acquisitions had resulted in a range of different IT systems, processes and cultures within their nationwide branch network.

We were tasked with helping introduce a single culture focused on service quality, customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.

How we helped

Our experience, in our own company, has shown that creating a high level of employee engagement is central to changing culture and sustaining new processes.

It was plain from the outset that the effective transformation of a multisite operation would require a radical new approach, as the lengthy deployment by our consultants to each branch would not be cost effective.

Creating ‘One Best Way’

We started by working with the client’s most experienced and able front-line teams to identify best practice and seek areas of further improvement. This was followed by creating a pilot site where solutions could be trialled and perfected and where employees could be introduced to new ways of working.

The outcome was the definition of a new set of standardised processes. These introduced, for the first time, both KPIs and visual management to all the key areas of branch operations that directly affected service quality.

The new procedures were all made available online and 60 internal champions were trained to assist our consultants with the introduction, thus allowing a rapid roll-out of this new way of working.

Introducing online coaching to support sustainment

To meet the challenge of sustaining engagement across the network and to improve visibility of individual branch performance, an online coaching programme was created that allowed branch personnel to access our consultants on demand.

To further support engagement, a learning and development programme was introduced that identified the different levels of Lean skills to which the branch personnel could aspire.

The results

The roll-out of this new and consistent way of working has resulted in the following achievements:

  • £750,000 in costs were saved while customer satisfaction improved by 89%
  • A new culture has emerged where the fulfilment of Service Level Agreements with customers improved by 25% and stock errors reduced by 85%
  • The average sales transaction has also increased by 31%
  • The online coaching programme resulted in 20 of the internal champions being able to continue to review the entire network’s performance “in person” on a weekly basis to help share best practice, target any areas of concern and ensure that the performance improvement is sustained.