WBS were working locally and we invited them in to Waterford Crystal because we had various internal programmes running on lean manufacturing, cost reduction and change management.
WBS Group came to visit the Waterford Crystal factory, at that time we were aware our situation was in need of improvement in certain key areas and were actively engaged in a cost reduction/downsizing project.
The WBS consultant was given open access to our organization for a few days. This wasn’t an official assessment, as such, but more an informal review of our current situation to see if we could work together. I’ve worked with a lot of consultants who have been very polished and reliant on textbooks and soundbites but what is important to me is to get a consultant who has a good ‘fit’ with our organization. WBS Group worked extremely well with our company at all levels, blending in seamlessly and becoming part of the team. There was, naturally, a lot of resistance to change internally, but the informal, down-to-earth and practical approach meant that they could act as a catalyst for change, confront and challenge people and still be accepted.
Our internal programme of change was reviewed. We ran scoping sessions and between us we agreed what we wanted WBS to do and what they felt we really needed to do. There were challenges on both sides; compromises were reached, an agreed programme was born and priorities agreed.
Initially, WBS Group came to understand the cultural, philosophical and environmental aspects of the business at its most basic level. WBS have all the tools in the toolkit but at the start, the softer side of influencing was important in our organization.
It was an evolving process and after buy-in throughout the organisation, we could then move to the next level of introducing the classical tools and expertise – the basics of lean manufacturing, improved workflow, process control systems - sensible practices with just a little science. Once we had a more consistent and stable working environment, WBS Group then introduced more sophisticated procedures.
Their style is to encourage, being supportive and non-threatening whilst securing the changes required. They instilled in the management a high belief in their abilities and in the shopfloor staff, a level of trust that this wasn’t just a management con.
Finally, WBS trained our own in-house champion. He shadowed the consultant and WBS shared skills and systems with him. We are now continuing the journey and implementing our own internal change programmes.
‘There are many consultants who have the expertise, read the books and can talk the talk – it’s how you apply the skills and make it happen, in a real life situation, that really matters.‘
What I really like about WBS is their flexible, tailored approach to consulting and the gravitas they bring to an organization based on their ‘been there and done that’ experience.
"There are many consultants who have the expertise, read the books and can talk the talk – it’s how you apply the skills and make it happen, in a real life situation, that really matters.
What I really like about WBS is their flexible, tailored approach to consulting and the gravitas they bring to an organization based on their ‘been there and done that’ experience."