Ensuring operational excellence is crucial to manage growth. This enables manufacturers to effectively navigate the complexities that come with expanding product lines, machinery, workforce and market reach. Manufacturers need to establish and standardise systems, so that capacity utilization, worker productivity, and equipment efficiency are optimised.
This approach drives a culture of continuous improvement, supports better decision-making, and leads to sustainable growth. In highly competitive markets, efficient growth management helps manufacturers stay ahead, better meet customer demands, and maintain their position as industry leaders.
The Client started manufacturing bicycle tyres and tubes some 50 years ago. With time, the company grew to become one of India’s leading players in the bicycle tyre industry and expanded into the manufacturing of automobile tyre. Today, the company is one of the top 5 industry leaders globally.
During the last few decades, the organisation grew exponentially, and many product lines were introduced to capture the market. However, this multidimensional growth in terms of machinery, SKUs, employees, markets and service areas created challenges at ground level. The company had limited dependable systems to bank upon. Management observed that there were opportunities to improve overall business performance by ensuring establishment and standardization of systems to achieve operational excellence.
Given its sectoral and regional experience, Renoir was asked to undertake an analysis for this potential Operational Excellence opportunity. The purpose of the analysis was to understand where performance could be improved and by how much.
ANALYSIS & PROJECT APPROACH
The analysis determined that there were indeed significant opportunities for improvement. Fundamental for the sustainability of the changes was the need to develop effective management control systems within Planning, Production, and Maintenance and Yield areas.
“The Renoir team put extra efforts and left no stone unturned in delivering operational excellence. They even ventured into areas such as Sales & Exports which were out of scope. Their efforts ensured productivity improvement of more than 10% across all our units.”
The focus of the approach was to improve plant’s capacity utilisation by establishing and improving planning systems, improving worker productivity by reducing plant downtime and product rejections with the help of improved production systems and employee training, improvement in maintenance planning & execution, reduction in repairs and equipment breakdowns with the help of improved Maintenance Systems.
The project commenced with the selection of a Task Force team consisting of company employees who were dedicated full-time to the project. To manage the various initiatives and ensure participation from all key process owners, two Management Action Teams (MATs) were formed, involving participants from all key functions. Full time Renoir consultants along with a Project Leader supported both the Task Force and MATs.
To help achieve operational excellence, among others, the following activities were conducted:
- Establishment of Sales, Inventory, Operations Planning (SIOP) Processes to reduce information asymmetry in high level planning and improve interdepartmental coordination
- Initiation of Daily meetings, preparation of a production planning tool and formalization of manpower planning using tools for effective implementation of monthly SIOP process
- Improving and standardizing the logbooks at machine and operator levels along with the enhancement of production systems through short interval control, shift handover systems etc.
- Introduction of an MIS system – a Dashboard that captures data from all the areas on daily basis and provides output in the comparison of KPIs
- Further process enhancements in Breakdown memo, Preventive Maintenance Plan, CLITA line walk etc.
- Regular reviews of system performance using dashboards on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to discuss performance, insights gained, and actions to improve.
- Review of employee skill sets using skill matrices and introducing training plans and modules to train multi-skill employees
At week 10 of the project, a time bound implementation roadmap was approved that would not only resolve the prevailing issues in a sustainable way but also establish a culture of continuous improvement.
Consequently, management system elements were installed to improve processes, KPIs along with targets were set. The review mechanism to monitor performance and progress for all levels was formalized. The flow of information from source to decision makers was improved, so that there was timely resolution of issues related to production.
“Thanks to Project Pragati, we have seen an improvement in our processes, systems and culture. The established systems are acting as enablers in improving our overall performance.”
One key focus area was the implementation of management control systems, so that performance gaps and more effective mechanisms could be identified to address issues. Given there would be changes to working practices, it was essential that all impacted staff were given the necessary training and coaching to ensure the sustainability of benefits.
This case study exemplifies the importance of growth management strategies for rapidly expanding companies. As the Client experienced multidimensional growth, challenges emerged that emphasised the need for operational excellence. Through the implementation of management control systems, improved planning processes, and employee training, the company successfully increased of annual productivity of cycle tyres by 16%.
These growth management strategies not only enhanced performance and productivity but also fostered a culture of continuous improvement, which is the real foundation needed for any business to stay competitive.