The following are examples of the types of results our clients have achieved. While we developed and facilitated the process, these results were designed and generated by the employees of their respective organizations; therefore the commitment was extremely high, the gains were fast, and sustainable.
- Community Hospital (270 beds) was looking for ways to improve their overall effectiveness in the community and to their patients. They elected to embark on a three year improvement plan that started with the development of a strategy, followed by implementation of a management development process to improve the skills and attitudes of management, core processes were revised, and waste was eliminated. This resulted in improved financial performance, improved patient, and employee satisfaction, decreased ALOS, and improved environmental impact by decreasing waste and costs. The organization was recognized in the community and state by receiving numerous awards.
- A small manufacturing company increased their capacity within one week by participating in a tailored cycle time reduction process, saving $1.2 million. They redesigned their production scheduling and work-in-processes to better utilize their existing resources.
- A family owned business reduced the amount of time it took them to produce approved kitchen designs by 56%, while reducing their scrap by 34% after participating in a custom designed sustainability process.
- Medium sized family owned manufacturing company reduced rework, scrap, and waste in the production of pre-stressed concrete beams by creating a more efficient process for producing and communicating changes in specification drawings between sales, engineering, and production. In one week their implemented solutions generated millions of dollars in annualized savings. As importantly, because the employees were involved in creating the new process, their loyalty to the company increased resulting in fewer grievances.
- A mid-sized manufacturing company eliminated 100% of their scrap metal by aligning with their suppliers to provide metal that fits their parts exactly rather than having to cut the parts from larger sheets of metal.
- A manufacturing company specializing in high stress fastening application products specifically reduced work-in-progress inventory in half, reduced monthly order expedites from over 20% to below 10% and eliminated a backlog while continuing 90+% on time deliveries. Real cash was produced and the operating improvements have now given them the game changing customer growth opportunity that was identified at the time.
- A mid-sized energy company turned an expensive problem into a profit center by redesigning how they operated their electrical repair department. By taking their excess capacity and performing repairs and services for outside companies they created a new profit center that generated over 1mm in revenue its first year. A customized cycle time reduction process was implemented over one week to create this solution.
- Small manufacturer of electronic motors developed a strategy to implement a program to reduce operating cost and waste. They identified several core processes that were generating the greatest amount of waste and cost and a cross-functional team (operations, finance, procurement, engineering, and a supplier) successfully identified and implemented in one week a new process with their supply chain that reduced waste in one operation by 60% and generated less landfill waste.
Sustainability has the greatest chance of success when a proven implementation model is used. “You cannot implement these kinds of programs bottom-up, it’s impossible. It’s always top-down ... Always. Because it’s such a cultural change, you cannot do it organically.” Georges Kern, CEO of International Watch Co. Often improvements go across departmental lines and this requires top management’s involvement.
In our experience when sustainability is strategically based, management driven, employee supported, and stakeholder/customer focused, it’s a winner. However, without management’s focus, a change of this magnitude simply becomes relegated to another “program-of-the-month.” Its power is lost and the employees become disillusioned with their management.
Where are you now?
Complete this short assessment to ascertain where your organization is as it relates to sustainability.