International power transmission business wanted to improve processes to reduce costs while improving quality

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The business

We worked with an £1 billion supplier of power transmission components, drives and conveying equipment in numerous plants in USA, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands and Brazil.

Their needs

The company wanted to improve its processes so production costs could be reduced and product quality increased. They also wanted to acquire companies with strategic product fit and ensure those new acquisitions operated with the same high process capabilities.
In addition, the company planned to improve sales by developing a range of lower cost products to deliver suitable return on investment for its venture capital owner.

How we helped

The first step was for to agree an approach with the client to build internal capability in improvement methodologies. Buy-in for the approach from all plant managers and their first line staff had to be achieved. A series of workshops were conducted by us to provide the various management teams in Europe and America with an overview of the Lean and Six Sigma improvement methodologies to be used. We then assisted with project and candidate selection and carried out the large-scale knowledge transfer by training and coaching almost 100 staff to Six Sigma Black Belt level. 

After building capability in the workforce, the next step was to achieve internal sustainability. To this end, internal leaders were equipped with the skills and provided with guidance to continue training and mentoring colleagues in future. We also developed the Design for Six Sigma methodology to be deployed in the design community to enable a new range of products to be delivered. 
To assist in the future success of the continuous improvement Paloma's consultants advised on the development of a web-based project tracking system and co-produced bespoke training material for use internally, and in the newly acquired companies and their supply chains. Paloma's involvement spanned a five year period until self-sufficiency was achieved in the newly acquired companies.

Benefits achieved

Following our involvement the company was able to improve cash flow, lower inventories, reduce scrap, improve throughput time, fund new acquisitions and new product development and grow significantly. The company now has the internal capability to continue driving improvements throughout the organisation.
During the time of our involvement, 94 training projects were completed providing a 28 fold return on investment in areas including:

• Yield improvement
• Improved productivity in bearing manufacture
• Defect reduction in injection moulding 
• Reduced machine downtime
• Improved on-time deliveries
• Set-up time reduction
• Design of new brake and bearing products
• Bearing and plastic scrap and rework reduction

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