LRI was asked to guide the reorganization of a 3,000-colleague manufacturing division that was struggling with issues of productivity and product quality. Demand was growing, inventories were shrinking, and the number of products and manufacturing sites was about to increase.
An assessment was performed by collecting manufacturing data and quality metrics while leaders and managers representing three tiers of management were interviewed to determine the causes. The results were reviewed by Senior Leadership along with a proposed structure designed to create greater focus and accountability. LRI provided a unique combination of strategic and operations planning, HR and Staffing skills, teambuilding and facilitation, change management, and executive coaching in this engagement.
Each new manufacturing “unit” required a new management team that was to be selected by the Senior Leadership Team. LRI partnered with internal HR to design and conduct an expedited selection process. Once the teams were selected, each intact team underwent a teambuilding process to create the structure for their area along with a vision, success factors, and detailed operational metrics. Once each of the teams was established as a unique unit; processes, communications, and mechanisms for improving cross-functional collaboration were created. Groups that supported all of the manufacturing units were organized into shared services in order to maximize efficiency and utilization of resources and expertise.
During the planning and design of the new organization, there was an emphasis on communication and transparency with the 3,000 colleagues who would be impacted by the change. A communication plan was created that detailed the information and updates that were regularly communicated in writing and messages were cascaded in team meetings. Those employees who were changing assignments or managers were assigned to a leader who was responsible for their successful transition. Simple and straightforward Service Level Agreements were created with customers and suppliers. An information response line was created to answer questions before, during, and after the change.
The change was designed and implemented successfully without ever having to shut down the manufacturing operation. An assessment of manufacturing employees was conducted two weeks after the change was implemented and employees were overwhelmingly positive about the change. An assessment of customers and suppliers was done three-months after the change and those results were also overwhelmingly positive. One-year after the change, product quality had reached its highest levels, inventory was at target levels, and there were significant increases in accountability and teamwork at all levels.