CHALLENGE
The success rates of Turn Arounds (TAs) within a global oil and chemical company have continued to deteriorate over the years in terms of safety, time and budget overruns.
The last TA in the Netherlands had been difficult and had delivered, among other things, a number of people suffering from burnout.
Axisto was invited to help to turn the tide and to support the TA team to make this TA an international showcase.

APPROACH
Together with all key people we developed a crisp and clear vision on ‘The Best Ever Turn Around’. It was built on their collective knowledge and experience.
In a coordinated process the vision was shared with next levels of the organisation. It was carefully explained and everyone was invited to contribute. This resulted in a vision that was owned by everyone involved, including the contractors.
The vision was combined with a simple but effective performance board as part of the overall visual management approach. Together with some light-touch coaching on-the-job, this resulted in a great teamwork not seen before in previous TAs.
Both production plants are back in operation and the results are impressive. The final evaluation showed additional improvement opportunities in Preparation and dealing with the schedule during execution. Good input for an even better next TA!

CHALLENGE
The site had created an appealing vision, and its realisation was seen as crucial for the site’s long-term viability.
However, a year and a half later, little had been achieved and the management team had lost control.
Axisto was hired to help put the realisation of the vision back on track and prevent it from derailing again.

APPROACH

The existing vision and strategic drivers had been relevant and appealing. However, the translation of the vision into strategic goals and targets had been missing. Furthermore, the composition of the Site Management Team (SMT) had changed considerably over the past year.
The first step was to allow a careful onboarding of the new site management team (SMT) members and to strengthen relationships within the SMT. Next, the first step of the Hoshin Policy Deployment process was done, setting level 0 strategy and targets. In a series of consecutive sessions next organisation levels were involved until the shop floor was reached. We followed the ‘catch ball’ process carefully.
Now, threequarters of the year onwards the results are what the SMT was looking for.

 

CHALLENGE

An automotive OEM had experienced a major shift in demand towards new types of product. Demand for established products declined dramatically.

The company reacted to these changes by shifting production to low cost countries. In the remaining high-cost site productivity improvement for direct labour was consistently being addressed, but little attention was paid to the indirect labour. Thus the situation became out of balance, and Axisto was invited to explore indirect cost-cutting opportunities

APPROACH

There are two basic ways to approach cost cutting: targeted and zero-based. As our client was facing major, and quite disruptive, change, they needed a comprehensive approach. Our Zero-Based Alignment (ZBA) provides the better way to radically redesign the cost structure of a business, and this was the chosen approach.

Together with the client team, we turned their deep understanding of the market into a sharp new vision and aimed high with a cost reduction target of € 10 million. After sufficiently understanding the current activities and cost structure, we designed an ideal state from a blank sheet of paper; fully aligned with the vision. Activities were consolidated, the organisation was delayered and built along the end-to-end process. Even after applying the practical boundaries and business risks, the vast majority of the ideal-state design survived the final approval.

CHALLENGE

A large global manufacturing company had over the years experienced a decline in performance at one of its sites – in production reliability, technical integrity of the equipment, efficiency and morale.

The site had recently made some improvements, but top management wanted things to change at a much faster rate. Because of its reputation to deliver fast and sustainable operational performance improvements, Axisto was invited on site to support the turnaround.

APPROACH

Our first task was to conduct a series of interviews with a cross-section of the organisation to get an initial feel for the culture and an insight into the issues the business faced. We found a lack of definition around the business processes and insufficient clarity of roles and responsibilities. As a consequence, performance management was inadequate.

Axisto and the client team worked together, first to develop a compelling vision, and then to create a well-aligned operating model with clear process flows, key performance indicators, roles and responsibilities, and an appropriate meeting and reporting structure.

By concurrently designing and implementing the improved operating model, things started to improve rapidly. People now had more clarity on what was expected from them – and also what they could expect from others. Quite quickly more effective behaviours started to develop, and with these came the desired improvements in operational performance.

CHALLENGE

A young chain of affordable luxury hotels, with a history of strong growth, had recently received an injection of fresh capital to encourage even faster expansion.

The challenge was to scale up the internal processes and grow the organisation. The IT Director had experience of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) with his previous employer and wanted to explore the opportunities here.

APPROACH

Ideally we wanted to compare 3 RPA platforms to test the best fit. However, because there was no opportunity to do so in a test environment, and conducting the tests in the real-time production environment was not practical, we looked for another solution.

As our client had previous experience with UiPath, we decided to test the applicability of the platform in this environment.

Working together with people throughout the organisation, we identified a total of 16 potential use cases, including applications in the contact centre, various financial processes, handling “no shows”, and supporting the IT crew that flew out to test all the IT systems in a newly built hotel.

CHALLENGE

A firm specialising in electrical and mechanical engineering had decided to introduce process mining in the organisation, and wanted to develop the skills “in-house”.
Before finalising the details, the firm wanted to gain more insight in three areas: the degree of suitability in its own business process environment, the actual possibilities of process mining and what a well-fitting package would be.

The firm decided to undertake a proof of concept (PoC) for this purpose, and asked Axisto to carry it out.

APPROACH

The initiative was driven by the ICT department. They provided a two-person team for us to work with, and a project sponsor was quickly found. With the project team in place we decided to run the proof of concept on the auxiliary equipment management (AEM) process.
There were three questions to be answered:
Are the existing IT systems, their current setup and the data quality suitable?

Can the crucial questions related to performance issues be answered?
When compared with the current analysis tools available in-house, does Process Mining add value?
The firm was also interested in additional dashboarding functionality, so for the PoC we chose a process mining package that would provide this extra information. We also demonstrated a package that was more geared around pure project-based process analyses. Each package was deployed very differently in the organisation

CHALLENGE

An electronic components manufacturer wanted to integrate two manufacturing sites, improve product quality and refocus the demand generation.

APPROACH

  • Four-week Analysis & Design to align the management teams of both sites, design a process and structure to manage the sites in an integrated way, understand how to tackle the product quality issues, design the steps to refocus the demand generation and design the change programme.
  • en-month programme to implement the new management process, structure and team. Improved product quality by applying 6-Sigma tools. Installed TPM and improved both maintenance productivity and equipment availability. Moved most of the quality assurance to the operators and took out related quality resources. Changed sales from product push to market pull and aligned the innovation portfolio.

CHALLENGE

Our client, a global leader in the field of engineered capital goods for energy and telecoms, was facing a strongly increasing demand after an economic  downturn and was struggling with production reliability at all stages of the production process.

The unreliability led to falling output, less time for equipment maintenance and delivery unreliability to their clients.

Therefore, the situation had to be brought under control quickly.

APPROACH

As each of the supervisors had a very different vision of what he was trying to achieve, our starting point was to create a detailed, tangible, operational vision of production: what it would look like, how it should be run.

Together we turned this in well-designed production management system, a set of improvement targets and an implementation plan. This approach generated a lot of energy and a strong desire for change.

During the implementation the atmosphere in the factory changed quickly from finger-pointing to a more contructive one of cooperation and joint responsibility. The plant’s performance stabilised and halfway into the project, the annual production output was ahead of budget and payroll costs were below target.

CHALLENGE

Our client was a Europe-based company developing and manufacturing key electronic components for customers in the consumer electronics; based mainly in Asia.

They were in the ramp-up phase of a new product, and growth was explosive. However, they were suddenly confronted with catastrophic product failure affecting 40% – 60% of the production output.

APPROACH

With senior management we worked on strategic and operational alignment with global market conditions. Together with cross-functional / level teams, we set an aggressive 23-week action plan for bringing production under control.

In production, we focussed on solving the quality problems, increasing the availability of production equipment and improving delivery reliability.

Through collaboration and knowledge transfer, we ensured that employees were empowered and accountable for the delivery of their improvement areas. We helped them to apply the relevant tools they had been trained apply in a skilled manner.

Together with the teams we introduced a new Performance Management System to support their new ways of working. By involving employees in the design, they developed a strong co-ownership of the changes, their unit and its results.

CHALLENGE

A second tier supplier of metal components for the automotive industry  experienced great pressure upon its cost structure – and hence its prices. But a low price is not necessarily the decisive criterion. For many clients quality, speed and reliability are more important.

Meeting these criteria required not only a different approach to quality management, but also a simplification of the underlying processes. In fact, a “step change” was needed.

APPROACH

Our analysis was not about using a set of ratios to define the potential for improvement, we looked at the real details. We used a combined top-down and bottom-up approach.

Top-down goals were set that would determine the success of the business. Together with people involved in the business processes, we uncovered what was working well and needed to retained and what needed to be improved. Specific and measurable targets were set together with the managers involved; thus ensuring their buy-in.

In a joint team with client task-forces the implementation of required changes were addressed. Our distinctive approach ensured positive energy, local ownership and sustainability of results.