Case Studies

Building ownership and commitment in team members to work ‘together’ on real and meaningful issues requires using basic practices and is fundamental to success. We all succeed or fail together. The key elements in the formula for building a successful team are:

 

  • Shared and meaningful purpose (to the business and the individuals on the team)
  • Specific and challenging goals
  • Clear roles and responsibilities
  • Common collaborative approach to achieve the goals/objectives
  • Team members possess the necessary skills (soft and hard)

CASE STUDY 1: Implemented Training System and Supporting Resources

KNOWLEDGE

A manufacturing company in the U.S. with about 65 manufacturing sites needed to improve the training and development processes for site personnel (involved about 30k people). The operating costs was exceeding the budget by 30%. The number of qualified people to serve as training resources had diminished by 20% across the region. The existing training and development processes and resources were inadequate to support the training and development function.
The project was to be completed with the following goals:

  • Refrain from additional costs to the sites.
  • Maintain and improve skills for operators and mechanics.
  • Improve quality of training, cycle time, and skill level had to improve.
  • Reduce overall costs.

All components of the training system were to be examined. This was a corporate initiative and the manager assigned us as the project lead. We delivered a 50% reduction in variable costs (~$1.75mm) by standardizing how training was created, managed, delivered, and applied. This also eliminated the need to hire additional people to support the training function at the sites.

CASE STUDY 3: Established Corporate Strategic Performance Goals

MANAGEMENT

A U.S. chemical corporation consisting of about 65 manufacturing sites needed a standardized process to develop a strategic plan with clear priorities on competitive strategies, a set of supporting performance metrics / goals, and a roll-out process to include all levels and functions within each site. Segments, within the site organization, had to define metrics and implementation plans and ensure their contributions were aligned with and contributed to the site strategic plan. Every site used a different process to create their strategic plan and metrics did not always make a solid connection and/or contribution to the profit objectives of the corporation.

The corporation was struggling with how to ensure the sites were all contributing in the right way to ensure their efforts positively impacted the corporate performance goals. Several businesses, within the corporation, had failed to meet their profit objectives for the previous 2 years. This was unacceptable to the CEO and board of directors. We led a project team responsible for creating:

  • A standardized process for creating strategic objectives and supporting performance metrics for all sites to follow.
  • A communication and execution plan.
  • A training module customized for 3 levels of a site organization – site staff, middle managers and their teams, and for the first line managers and their direct reports.
  • Facilitate learning sessions to train site people to facilitate the training of others and implementation of the solution.

Results included a 75% increase in site alignment and performance with corporate goals and expectations, including successfully achieving performance metrics. The corporate profit objectives for the following year were achieved.

CASE STUDY 5: Improve Training & Development System

KNOWLEDGE

A 65 site manufacturing corporation needed to streamline costs and processes for developing, delivering, and maintaining functional skill development for about 25,000 operating and maintenance technicians. Overall training cost had to be reduced by 25%. To achieve this goal we:

  • Standardized job descriptions.
  • Generated a set of standardized competencies to support the roles.
  • Created a curriculum to support development.
  • Searched and evaluated providers.
  • Identified preferred vendors and negotiated costs and supporting leverageable solutions for all phases of development.
  • Created and implementation plan.
  • Validated impact and quality of the solution.

We reduced cost of course development, delivery, and maintenance of course material by negotiating for reduced cost with providers primarily based upon volume and leverageability. In addition, we were able to leverage our existing internal training resources, reducing cost of material, and using a blended learning approach that required less classroom time. Overall costs were reduced by 35%.

Common to all projects:

The KLM Group at times will recruit a project team to represent various organizational functions, levels, and manufacturing sites. Our team works collaboratively to identify and analyze the problems, solutions, and an implementation plan. Highlights of building blocks for these type of projects include:

 

  • Creating a ‘charter’-project definition / scope of work (objectives, products, metrics, timeline, etc.)
  • Following a team selection criteria and recruiting process
  • Clarifying a decision making processes
  • Defining roles and responsibilities
  • Coaching and mentoring within a team and across stakeholders
  • Creating a set of team operating principles
  • Developing team skills:
    – leadership development, coaching, mentoring
    – team behaviors
    – project related tools and processes
    – meeting effectiveness
  • Collaborative problem solving – problem solving tools and processes (i.e. six sigma)
  • Accountability with RACI
  • Analysis of stakeholders
  • Risk analysis with actions to reconcile
  • Strategic planning:
    – communication plan
    – education plan
    – implementation plan

CASE STUDY 2: Developed Site Leadership

KNOWLEDGE and LEADERSHIP

Developed a standardized approach to assess, develop, and validate leadership skills for managers at a 2,500 people manufacturing site. The managers included a full range of levels from first line supervisor to the plant manager. The solution needed to address a lack of performance by managers across a set of defined competencies. This was initiated because of a 25% decrease in employee morale, engagement, and the inability of all managers to coach and mentor their people adequately on performance and engagement issues. The project team discovered a 15% gap in supervisor ability across 8 competencies needed to positively influence performance, coaching, and engagement of employees. Accomplishments included:

  • All levels and functions of supervision were identified as the target audience.
  • A set of competencies and related skills were defined to support their job description.
  • Created a curriculum, delivery methods, and tools/assessments to verify growth in ability.
  • A sustainability plan was put in place with a system and owner to manage the solution long term.

Our solution increased skills and abilities across 8 competencies by 20% across 175 managers.

CASE STUDY 4: Developed Mandated Safety Training

MANAGEMENT

The North American region had 65 manufacturing sites which had responsibility to ensure all appropriate personnel had satisfied the requirements for safety mandated training. These requirements resided at a national and state level. Each site created their own version of the required training for about 50 courses and each site had to develop, deliver, maintain, document, and keep records for all employees. Each course had to be reviewed and upgraded on a set frequency with the help of a subject matter expert (SME) and required additional support from a training resource to complete remaining responsibilities. The time, resources, and cost were approximately 65 times what should have been required to satisfy the requirements.
The project team:

  • Assessed the requirements and reduced the number of mandated courses from 50 to 25.
  • Created a standardized ‘best practice’ solution that was leveraged across all sites and eliminated the need for each site to create and manage each training topic.
  • Identified a training resource and SME to manage and sustain the integrity of the training solution for the whole region.
  • Created an overall managing and tracking system to verify compliance with state and federal regulations.

Our team’s solution brought about a savings of $4.8 mm within the first year of implementation.

CASE STUDY 6: Improve Manufacturing Operating Practices

MANAGEMENT

Business directors over 7 manufacturing sites across 3 global regions initiated work for a project team to standardize operating best practices for equipment that existed in all of the sites. Operating practices varied across each site and translated to a significant gap in cycle time to perform work and/or operate the equipment across sites and shifts (work schedules). This disparity brought about a significant loss in performance of the operating unit and created higher cost and poor product quality. A team representing multiple functions and sites:

  • Identified all potential equipment that could be targeted for standardized operating practices.
  • Evaluated level of performance and factors impacting cost, cycle time, etc.
  • Identified optimum process guidelines, conditions, and processes for operation.
  • Created a standardized operating best practice for each piece of equipment within the scope of our project.
  • Created an implementation and communication plan.

We established 15 new standardized operating best practices at a savings of $10mm / year.

CASE STUDY 1: Implemented Training System and Supporting Resources

KNOWLEDGE

A manufacturing company in the U.S. with about 65 manufacturing sites needed to improve the training and development processes for site personnel (involved about 30k people). The operating costs was exceeding the budget by 30%. The number of qualified people to serve as training resources had diminished by 20% across the region. The existing training and development processes and resources were inadequate to support the training and development function.
The project was to be completed with the following goals:

  • Refrain from additional costs to the sites.
  • Maintain and improve skills for operators and mechanics.
  • Improve quality of training, cycle time, and skill level had to improve.
  • Reduce overall costs.

All components of the training system were to be examined. This was a corporate initiative and the manager assigned us as the project lead. We delivered a 50% reduction in variable costs (~$1.75mm) by standardizing how training was created, managed, delivered, and applied. This also eliminated the need to hire additional people to support the training function at the sites.

CASE STUDY 2: Developed Site Leadership

KNOWLEDGE and LEADERSHIP

Developed a standardized approach to assess, develop, and validate leadership skills for managers at a 2,500 people manufacturing site. The managers included a full range of levels from first line supervisor to the plant manager. The solution needed to address a lack of performance by managers across a set of defined competencies. This was initiated because of a 25% decrease in employee morale, engagement, and the inability of all managers to coach and mentor their people adequately on performance and engagement issues. The project team discovered a 15% gap in supervisor ability across 8 competencies needed to positively influence performance, coaching, and engagement of employees. Accomplishments included:

  • All levels and functions of supervision were identified as the target audience.
  • A set of competencies and related skills were defined to support their job description.
  • Created a curriculum, delivery methods, and tools/assessments to verify growth in ability.
  • A sustainability plan was put in place with a system and owner to manage the solution long term.

Our solution increased skills and abilities across 8 competencies by 20% across 175 managers.

CASE STUDY 3: Established Corporate Strategic Performance Goals

MANAGEMENT

A U.S. chemical corporation consisting of about 65 manufacturing sites needed a standardized process to develop a strategic plan with clear priorities on competitive strategies, a set of supporting performance metrics / goals, and a roll-out process to include all levels and functions within each site. Segments, within the site organization, had to define metrics and implementation plans and ensure their contributions were aligned with and contributed to the site strategic plan. Every site used a different process to create their strategic plan and metrics did not always make a solid connection and/or contribution to the profit objectives of the corporation.

The corporation was struggling with how to ensure the sites were all contributing in the right way to ensure their efforts positively impacted the corporate performance goals. Several businesses, within the corporation, had failed to meet their profit objectives for the previous 2 years. This was unacceptable to the CEO and board of directors. We led a project team responsible for creating:

  • A standardized process for creating strategic objectives and supporting performance metrics for all sites to follow.
  • A communication and execution plan.
  • A training module customized for 3 levels of a site organization – site staff, middle managers and their teams, and for the first line managers and their direct reports.
  • Facilitate learning sessions to train site people to facilitate the training of others and implementation of the solution.

Results included a 75% increase in site alignment and performance with corporate goals and expectations, including successfully achieving performance metrics. The corporate profit objectives for the following year were achieved.

CASE STUDY 4: Developed Mandated Safety Training

MANAGEMENT

The North American region had 65 manufacturing sites which had responsibility to ensure all appropriate personnel had satisfied the requirements for safety mandated training. These requirements resided at a national and state level. Each site created their own version of the required training for about 50 courses and each site had to develop, deliver, maintain, document, and keep records for all employees. Each course had to be reviewed and upgraded on a set frequency with the help of a subject matter expert (SME) and required additional support from a training resource to complete remaining responsibilities. The time, resources, and cost were approximately 65 times what should have been required to satisfy the requirements.
The project team:

  • Assessed the requirements and reduced the number of mandated courses from 50 to 25.
  • Created a standardized ‘best practice’ solution that was leveraged across all sites and eliminated the need for each site to create and manage each training topic.
  • Identified a training resource and SME to manage and sustain the integrity of the training solution for the whole region.
  • Created an overall managing and tracking system to verify compliance with state and federal regulations.

Our team’s solution brought about a savings of $4.8 mm within the first year of implementation.

CASE STUDY 5: Improve Training & Development System

KNOWLEDGE

A 65 site manufacturing corporation needed to streamline costs and processes for developing, delivering, and maintaining functional skill development for about 25,000 operating and maintenance technicians. Overall training cost had to be reduced by 25%. To achieve this goal we:

  • Standardized job descriptions.
  • Generated a set of standardized competencies to support the roles.
  • Created a curriculum to support development.
  • Searched and evaluated providers.
  • Identified preferred vendors and negotiated costs and supporting leverageable solutions for all phases of development.
  • Created and implementation plan.
  • Validated impact and quality of the solution.

We reduced cost of course development, delivery, and maintenance of course material by negotiating for reduced cost with providers primarily based upon volume and leverageability. In addition, we were able to leverage our existing internal training resources, reducing cost of material, and using a blended learning approach that required less classroom time. Overall costs were reduced by 35%.

CASE STUDY 6: Improve Manufacturing Operating Practices

MANAGEMENT

Business directors over 7 manufacturing sites across 3 global regions initiated work for a project team to standardize operating best practices for equipment that existed in all of the sites. Operating practices varied across each site and translated to a significant gap in cycle time to perform work and/or operate the equipment across sites and shifts (work schedules). This disparity brought about a significant loss in performance of the operating unit and created higher cost and poor product quality. A team representing multiple functions and sites:

  • Identified all potential equipment that could be targeted for standardized operating practices.
  • Evaluated level of performance and factors impacting cost, cycle time, etc.
  • Identified optimum process guidelines, conditions, and processes for operation.
  • Created a standardized operating best practice for each piece of equipment within the scope of our project.
  • Created an implementation and communication plan.

We established 15 new standardized operating best practices at a savings of $10mm / year.

Common to all projects:

The KLM Group at times will recruit a project team to represent various organizational functions, levels, and manufacturing sites. Our team works collaboratively to identify and analyze the problems, solutions, and an implementation plan. Highlights of building blocks for these type of projects include:

 

  • Creating a ‘charter’-project definition / scope of work (objectives, products, metrics, timeline, etc.)
  • Following a team selection criteria and recruiting process
  • Clarifying a decision making processes
  • Defining roles and responsibilities
  • Coaching and mentoring within a team and across stakeholders
  • Creating a set of team operating principles
  • Developing team skills:
    – leadership development, coaching, mentoring
    – team behaviors
    – project related tools and processes
    – meeting effectiveness
  • Collaborative problem solving – problem solving tools and processes (i.e. six sigma)
  • Accountability with RACI
  • Analysis of stakeholders
  • Risk analysis with actions to reconcile
  • Strategic planning:
    – communication plan
    – education plan
    – implementation plan

Educate. Engage. Embrace.

About

The KLM Group exists to improve the way the world of business learns, grows, and evolves through a platform for improving Knowledge (Education), Leadership (Engagement), and Management (Embracing).

Contact

The KLM Group
Phone: 804.314.1088
mmarshall@theklmgrp.com
1401 Roseneath Rd Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23230