The Client's Challenge
The client had just completed a nine-months exercise with PWC to rationalize and improve its processes prior to installing selected software. However, we demonstrated that we could further simplify the (improved) processes when we took a 21-step ‘improved’ process and reduced it down to 5 steps.
We were asked to help the team quickly simplify all of the processes before systems design and implementation planning commenced.
The areas that Olex Cables simplified included:
- Sales order processing
- Production planning
- Manufacturing control
- Inventory management
- Cash collection
- Order dispatch/Distribution
- Complaints management
This represented nine concurrent process streams
Due to time constraints, the process was run intensively over six weeks across all of the processes with a full-time team of 16 Olex staff
All Olex sites in Australia and New Zealand were covered
We assigned 2 consultants to lead the assignment
The team that had completed the nine-months re-engineering study was successfully convinced to now do it again, faster and to question their previous results.
The identification of a common “Vision” for the project highlighted previously unknown misunderstandings as to the business goals to be achieved and the meaning of ‘success’
The number of processes were reduced by 46% and the number of process steps overall was reduced by 38% (from the already ‘improved’ processes)
The principles underlying the manufacturing planning process were revised to make them customer-driven
Manufacturing/purchasing flexibility was increased through common process design
Issues with the already purchased solution software were identified (well before implementation) allowing work-arounds to be designed and optimized as part of the project
Sixteen Olex staff were educated, coached and trained in Business Simplification techniques.
Concepts such as cross-docking, account management and proactive credit management were introduced and adopted
The resultant process and information flows were used to evaluate, at a detail level, the software products already purchased and highlighted gaps and deficiencies for remedial action
Problems previously unresolved (sometimes never even raised) were identified, addressed and resolved.