Essentra Components, a leading multinational manufacturer and distributor of small, essential components, such as protective plastic caps, fasteners, handles & knobs and PCB hardware.
WBS was asked to provide Process Minimalism® training for 12 middle management staff from a variety of departments and disciplines at Esssentra Ltd in Kidlington UK. This was to enable key staff to be fully competent in Process Improvement across the Kidlington Site and beyond. Essentra chose our very interactive Process Minimalism® methodology because they wanted to involve key staff and believed the interactive workshops would provide a common understanding of the organisation’s processes helping to start a programme of process improvement.
“A very enjoyable course delivered in such a way that encourages you to look at your processes rather than to patronise you, something I have experienced all too often in management training”.
The Training - Workshops on site
The training consisted of 4 modules. Each module is a workshop with theory and fun exercises to reinforce the learning followed by practical sessions based on the company processes.
Module 1 – Process Identification
The first of 2-day module took place in late October and worked around two key business processes identified by the teams as particularly troublesome. During the two days, the teams mapped these processes in detail and then identified the key wastes of time, money and effort within their process maps. The first module finished with the identified wastes listed as problems on an action plan.
Fig.1 Working in groups during Module 1, Process Identification, the team discuss and identify process issues, which resulted in 2 processes being chosen to carry forward throughout the training programme.
After a couple of weeks’ break during which the team continued adding detail into their process maps, the next 3 modules were delivered one day a week over 3 weeks.
Module 2 – Process Indicators
The second module covers the theory of process indicators, the need, design and use of these indicators. The day ended with practical work to design indicators for the processes mapped in the first module.
Fig. 2 The results of those initial discussions identified many more improvement opportunities for future improvement projects.
The teams spent the week between modules 2 and 3 designing more indicators for the process and devising how to implement these.
Module 3 – Process Improvement
Module 3 covers action plans, problem solving and managing improvements. The team finally got to finding solutions to some of the waste identified in module 1, and the action plans began to take their final shape.
Fig. 3 In Module 3, Process Improvement, the group worked on problem solving
to eliminate waste identified in the processes mapped.
Module 4 – People and Process
Finally in Module 4 the team learnt about People and Process, how to involve people, motivate and understand their needs. A very important element when transforming organisations.
Fig 4. The team put together a plan of action for the team to lead site process improvement into the future. This included a presentation that will be given to staff, colleagues and managers on site to explain what had been learnt.
All modules involve some theory interleaved with exercises and practical teamwork in breakout sessions. The whole programme concluded by putting together a presentation suitable for all levels of the organisation to demonstrate what had been learnt and how this was going to be used by the newly qualified Process Minimalists to make improvements to the current business processes.
The key elements of Process Mapping, Waste Identification, Key Process Indicator design and Implementation, Action Planning and Improvement Management and involving people in Process Improvement provide the basis of a method to carry forward by the team.
Improvement work at Essentra is ongoing. The Process Minimalism programme includes a day revisit which took place in early May. This day can be tailored to the requirements of the group and Essentra opted to have the team look together at one problem process together following the Process Minimalism® stages. After a refresh of the principles and methodology the team addressed the problem process that had been identified prior to this revisit. The trainer guided the team through all 4 stages which identified some obvious wastes to be eliminated and issues to be solved. After a full day of work on this problem process including mapping, waste identification, looking at the key indicators for factual input and then using problem solving techniques to identify improvements, the team put together an Action Plan and a simple way forward with this process. This included owners of actions who were not on the team, so some actions included ways of involving these people in the improvement activity.
WBS are also happy to report that improvements are well under way because of this training programme and are looking forward to working further on processes with this team and future potential Process Minimalists at Essentra.
The latest successfully qualified Process Minimalists and what they thought about the training
Fig 5. Newly qualified Process Minimalists at Essentra
Team Leader – Emma Sherlock
“Part of my new role at Essentra is to seek opportunities for improvements in our processes, and it was important for me to facilitate this by upskilling the team to take us on the journey of delivering the changes. As it was going to be a new area for many members of the team, I was looking for training that covered the basics, and involved application on our processes as part of it.
I discovered the Process Minimalist training by WBS, and appreciated the time the trainer took to understand our requirements and the people involved, to tailor the training. In particular, enabling a member of our team who is based in Germany to attend 2 modules, and be part of the remaining modules remotely.
Appreciated that the training was delivered at our site, to enable the teams to go talk to the wider teams on the processes and juggle with their busy day jobs. The four training modules guided us through the stages over a number of weeks, with a bit of fun, and was great to close with the People module. I felt it was really important to understand ourselves, how we fit as a team, and gain the insight to how other people operate to best engage with them.
I look forward to continuing to have the support of WBS, with the trainer returning for a follow up day to help move forward our action plans that will be key to maintaining the momentum.”
And some comments from candidates:
“A good mix of teaching styles between theory and practicals”
“Interactive and good fun learning”
“Enjoyed the group discussion as it provoked some good discussions and provoked thinking”
“Easy to understand – with good examples”
“It related to processes in our own workplace”
To find out more about Process Minimalism® and how our Supply Chain Specialist Consultants can help you contact us today.