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Achieving Excellence in Product Engineering: Lessons Learned from a Beauty Conglomerate

April 28, 2023 | No related items found.

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INTRODUCTION

The Client in this project is one of the largest beauty franchises in the world. The company develops and manufacturers beauty products in two locations, and also sells its products online, through direct sales and in partnership with major retailers.

THE CHALLENGE

Renoir was invited to analyse processes and the management control system (MCS) in the Product Engineering and Support areas in order to understand how current levels of operational performance were impacting costs and results.

OPPORTUNITY ANALYSIS & PROJECT APPROACH

An initial three-week analysis was performed, which identified opportunities relating to:

  1. Planning and programming of tests and pilots of new products.
  2. Integration of interfaces for managing knowledge and experiences.
  3. Adequacy of the practices for recording lessons learned.
  4. Processes for launching new products and their timing.

The analysis also evaluated the organisational structure of Product Engineering, comparing it with world-class standards. This added additional clarification about which processes needed improvement, how the management system could be standardised and what best practice KPIs could be installed.

The main objective of the project was to redesign the product engineering management system of the Group with tools that provided managers with the necessary performance information and in a timely manner for decision making.

This objective was to be achieved by:

  1. Reviewing the flow of planning and execution of tests and project pilots with the implementation of management mechanisms for all the steps that precede and follow these events.
  2. Strengthening the flow of information to identify demands, interfaces, risks and important milestones in the process.
  3. Implementing and guaranteeing the system of capturing, using, and managing knowledge in the product development process.
  4. Engineering, increasing productivity and assertiveness in new ventures, through retention, qualification, traceability, application, and evolution of knowledge for the lessons learned.

To foster involvement and ownership, two Management Action Teams (MATs) were created with a focus on Process Management and Knowledge Management. A Steering Committee, composed of the Client’s Senior Management, met every two weeks to assess progress, provide guidance, formally approve proposals for changes in processes and systems and address any barriers to progress.

IMPLEMENTATION

The program followed the Renoir Focus Process. Part of this tasks was to validate and agree sources of operating data such that the positive impact on performance could be monitored throughout the engagement.

The eight weeks concluded with the Strategic Integration Meeting (SIM), where the two MATs presented the SIM Map to the Steering Committed and where the implementation plan was approved. Implementation started with the installation of the business process review methodology.

All new tools, flows and processes were built in a collaborative manner with the MATs. The installation of new routines, process adjustments and new procedures was carried out by the MAT members, creating a sense of ownership, and ensuring the sustainability of the solutions.

Training on the new practices was targeted at those with the scope of the changes and a RACI Matrix was established to provide clarity around roles and responsibilities within the new ways of working.

KEY RESULTS

Implementation of the Product Engineering Management System in two units.

23%

Productivity improvement in tests and pilots of new products

51% to 84%

Improved adherence to the Product Engineering Maturity Pyramid

CONCLUSION

The case study of the beauty franchise’s Product Engineering and Support areas highlights the importance of productivity and effectiveness in achieving operational performance and results.

Through a comprehensive analysis and implementation of a redesigned management system, the project aimed to provide managers with timely and relevant performance information for decision making. The involvement and ownership of Management Action Teams (MATs) and the support of a Steering Committee were key factors in driving successful implementation.

This case study underscores the importance of continuously evaluating and optimizing processes, and the capturing and using of insights gained. A collaborative approach, involving key stakeholders and providing clarity around roles and responsibilities, contributes to the success and sustainability of the changes made.

Importantly, the systems and process put in place, together with the knowledge gained, will hold this Client in good stead to make continuous improvement for years to come.

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