Lean Leadership & Line Performance Improvement

Background

Our client is one of Europe’s leading food producing companies who produces and processes high-quality beef, pork, bacon and chicken, as well as a wide range of convenience products and added value cooked meats, for leading retailers across the UK and internationally.

Its UK operation has extensive facilities, located across the country – from farms and hatcheries to primary production, processing and packaging factories. The organisation supplies its products in response to customer and market demands, primarily focusing on the UK retail market, while also encompassing major foodservice and wholesale clients within its portfolio.

“Before the LLA I felt I didn’t deal with problems well; I didn’t get listened to and felt undervalued. The biggest difference after this course is people start listening to you. They respect your input. Now I have so much more self-esteem and I get a lot more satisfaction in what I’m doing – I’m able to get the whole team involved with what I believe in. I enjoy the challenges and the change. The course has completely transformed my mind-set, work ethic, and general attitude to life” Line Leader – Suffolk Site

Challenges

While positioning our client as the head of operational excellence for the UK, an analysis of facilities across the UK revealed that the company were facing several major problems concerning operations and performance; resulting in a significant loss of money across sites. The initial application site sliced cooked meats plant, in particular, was enduring a weekly loss of approximately £195k.

Upon observation, the skillset of both operational and functional managers required vital improvements; in order to be able to effectively identify waste levels within existing processes.

The layout of the factory floors was also proving inefficient – with a high level of raw waste materials, and a lack of visual controls in place to help monitor movement of materials and priority settings. Further problems included suspect quality standards and a high number of customer complaints.

Although the company had previously attempted to resolve elements of these challenges through the implementation of lean foundation toolsets; low engagement between operations and cross-functional teams, combined with a lack of ownership, meant attempts at performance improvements had proven unsustainable. This was due to the directive style of management and ideas not being encouraged at shop-floor level, signi cantly impacting on delivery of important cost metrics.

Identification and removal of waste, development of employees and robust operational processes were urgently required in order to drastically reduce costs and enhance line performance.

Solutions

With these challenges driving the project, Project7 intervened to design, develop and evaluate an effective pilot Lean Leadership Programme – initial application within one of the major operating sites, and progressively expanding across the majority of UK sites:

  • Design, delivery and evaluation of a Lean Leadership Training Programme
  • The development of the facility layout plan and speci cation for a Lean Leadership Academyat the sliced cooked meats plant [initially]
  • Execution of Line Performance Improvement projects at initial application sites
  • The strategic deployment of the company operating system model
  • Full coaching of the operating system central team, to co-deliver all of the above

The Lean Leadership Academy programme [LLA] was deployed and completed over a three-week period; addressing 52 operational leaders, covering technical, engineering, logistics and HR fields – enabling Line Performance Improvements [LPI] across a total of seven sites.

A sustainable timing, resource and investment plan was carefully developed, and incorporated into routinely review meetings – occurring at daily, weekly and monthly intervals. Milestones were established with flexibility, in line with our clients’ requirements, and project process reports were formulated on a weekly basis to detail budget delivery across project timelines.

Together with P7’s implementations, our client invested in forming their own continuous improvement team – allowing relationships between teams to form quickly and be easily maintained.

Impact on Performance