Defence manufacturing can include everything from weapons and ammunition to vehicles, aircraft, and communication systems. Companies in this sector require specialised expertise and strict adherence to quality control and safety standards, as the products produced can have a significant impact on national security and the safety of military personnel. The industry is often heavily regulated and subject to government oversight.
Our client is a fast-growing South Asian defence-themed supplier founded in 1963. Since its inception, the client has evolved from a modest small-scale setup to an internationally acclaimed foundry and a forerunner in absorbing and developing new technologies.
Over the years, the client has grown to become a major supplier of castings solutions, machined components and fabricated parts to many of the world’s most famous brands.
As a result of tremendous organic growth over the past decade, the client realised the urgent need for better management systems to exercise tighter control over the business. They needed a partner that could understand the intricacies of its operations and implement the most suitable management control system (MCS) for the organisation.
Practices were different from site to site, and knowledge was confined to a select group of employees within the organisation. Accountabilities and responsibilities were limited and left out the most important layer, i.e. shop-floor supervisors.
We were selected for our experience in the region, as well as our deep understanding of the client’s specific sector. Based on discussions with the client, we outlined a 20-week engagement that would address key work areas in operations, material flow, production planning, maintenance, and quality.
We also designed and implemented an MCS to instil reviews at daily, weekly and monthly planning horizons. Supervisors were responsible for identifying performance shortfalls and taking continuous improvement measures to drive efficiency and effectiveness.
We began by setting up a taskforce made up of client-side experts and forming two Management Action Teams (MATs) to manage the various initiatives and ensure participation from all key process owners. Our consultants supported both the taskforce and MATs.
The results of various studies and testing methods (DILOs, MCS critique, as-is assessments, issue Trees, and more) gave us an idea of areas that needed improving. The results also informed the development and verification of a fit-for-purpose MCS. Multiple design and development workshops were carried out to foster ownership by the wider team.
A time-bound implementation roadmap was approved to resolve any prevailing issues that might pop up in a sustainable way while establishing a long-term culture of continuous improvement. MCS elements were installed to improve production performance through KPIs and performance reviews.
Multiple training sessions were provided to supervisors and managers to enhance their leadership skills. We also improved the flow of information so that there was timely resolution of issues relating to shop-floor performance.
Other solutions that were implemented during this 20-week project include:
- Setting up a central planning process with melting and pouring as the pacemaker that, in turn, would drive down work-in-progress levels.
- Implementing a Lean manufacturing approach.
- Training supervisors in conducting analyses of frequent problems through the ‘5 Whys’ methodology. Corrective and preventive actions were verified by managers and presented to top management.
- Identifying KPIs that can be used to capture production performance. Dashboards and reports were circulated to managers to improve the decision-making process.
- Implementing dashboards and KPI-based review methodologies with time-bound action logs.
- Creating and training a business excellence team to ensure sustainability, by carrying out further improvements once our team had concluded the work.
“Renoir’s focused and committed approach has led to a remarkable improvement in our operations. They followed an extremely methodical and systematic approach for identification of key areas for implementation of new processes and systems.”
Chairman & Managing Director
Not only did we help the client establish new MCS across all business units within the scope of the project, but it also laid the foundation for further operational excellence initiatives. More importantly, it motivated the entire team to achieve better results.
As a result, the client is now much better placed to meet the challenges of this highly competitive and dynamic market.