Harnessing The Power Of Human Capital To Drive Business Transformation
Employee engagement is not an end in itself. Businesses can take advantage of this simple and effective opportunity to tap into the true potential of the collective employee intellect, and positively impact business results.
Most businesses focus on cost reduction and waste elimination only in times of business stress. Our Client believed in using the institutionalised employee engagement process for continuous improvement to bring out the necessity of integrating cost reduction and waste elimination into the way team members engaged in the ‘Think, Plan & Do’ in their operations while the business was growing faster than the market. The Human Resources team approached us, to tap into our business transformation and process improvement expertise.
We worked closely with the HR team and conceptualised an event called, ‘Open Spaces’ that required the participation of every employee - from the General Manager to the delivery team in the logistics function. After the ice breaker and energizer session, each participant was asked to contribute a list of ideas that improved the business while eliminating waste and/or reducing costs. Once all ideas had been captured, the participants voted to identify ideas that would have the maximum impact on business results. Having arrived at a shortlist of 10, each was assigned to a team comprising members who were its most passionate votaries or felt their contribution would be vital. The teams were democratised through the caveat that no team leader could be from management – this drove energetic participation from the rank and file. After a three-hour session, each team presented detailed proposals to implement and measure the impact of their idea on delivering cost reduction and/or waste elimination, including staff structures, implementation process, resource and/or investment requirement, and the business benefits so a cost-benefit analysis could be arrived at and ROI calculated. The proposals included initiatives on business process improvement, ultimately designed to deliver against the business transformation agenda.
Two of the most significant improvements that flowed out of the ‘Open Spaces’ event had a direct impact on logistics management. The first involved a realignment of the work-week basis the job role to ensure that team members in the logistics function worked 5-1/2 days (instead of the earlier 6 days) with zero impact on the productivity and throughput. This allowed the logistics team sufficient down-time to attend to personal requirements and come back each week well rested. The second impact came through a business process realignment that addressed the fact that ~10% of the items sent out were returned undelivered due to discrepancies in paperwork at the customer end. These occurrences put a strain on the logistics process as the team was involved in unproductive tasks in re-stocking and re-processing the order. The new process involved the customer key account team who would be engaged in times of documentation issues and tasked with resolving them at the customer premises to enable completion of the delivery. This vastly improved the efficiency of the logistics team and ensured that sales were no longer lost or cancelled because of process issues. The business realised significant cost reduction, while enhancing process efficiency. Most importantly, the attitude and mindset created through this initiative was critical in the business achieving its long term growth & transformation agenda.
- Multinational Corporations; Regional Businesses; Family Owned Groups; Government & Quasi Government Organisations; Banking & Financial Services
- Cost Reduction, Human Capital Solutions, Growth & Transformation, Business Process Improvements
- Leon Mendonsa