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Case Study

Meet­ing the chal­lenges of a com­pet­i­tive future by build­ing on the foun­da­tions of suc­cess­ful change



Thanks to the ear­ly suc­cess record­ed from the results in our pre­vi­ous col­lab­o­ra­tion with the client, they record­ed a reduc­tion in over­all annu­al oper­at­ing costs. Addi­tion­al­ly, our projects also helped ease the pres­sure in the prof­it mar­gin that comes from the ris­ing costs of raw mate­ri­als, an industry-wide short­age, and new envi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions by the government.

To extend the effects of these results to more areas in the organ­i­sa­tion, the client decid­ed to extend our col­lab­o­ra­tive part­ner­ship for anoth­er 20 weeks.

Project Approach

Based on the results we achieved in the first project, we iden­ti­fied three work­streams with the fol­low­ing objectives:

  1. Plant pro­duc­tion and plan­ning
    To improve pro­duc­tion effi­cien­cy while reduc­ing the cost of production.
  2. Research & Devel­op­ment
    Improve the process and lead time of prod­uct devel­op­ment while enhanc­ing the qual­i­ty of the formula.
  3. BPR (Busi­ness Process Reengi­neer­ing) and Orga­ni­za­tion Redesign
    To opti­mise the orga­ni­za­tion­al struc­ture while improv­ing effi­cien­cy in the busi­ness processes.

Project Imple­men­ta­tion

The project was split into three work­streams. After 20 weeks, this is what was achieved:

Work­stream I: Plant pro­duc­tion and planning

  • Improved and fine-tuned the cur­rent man­age­ment con­trol sys­tem (MCS) to low­er the in-process inven­to­ry lev­el, reduce pro­duc­tion cycle time, and reflect more accu­rate effi­cien­cy mea­sures. This allowed stake­hold­ers to iden­ti­fy the root caus­es of prob­lems faster and more accu­rate­ly, assess staff skillsets, address per­for­mance gaps, and encour­age a bottom-up cul­ture of improve­ment in the company.
  • Month­ly inven­to­ry of exces­sive paints gen­er­at­ed has been put in con­trol has been reduced over­all thanks to the imple­men­ta­tion of the MCS.
  • Sim­pli­fied the stock­ing process by stream­lin­ing unnec­es­sary inter­me­di­ate materials.
  • Merged two shifts into one, result­ing in reduc­tion of ener­gy con­sump­tion as well as the staff over­time costs.
  • Intro­duced a more cost-conscious mod­el to recruit and train tem­po­rary staff dur­ing the peak sea­son. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly need­ed in the indus­try with sig­nif­i­cant peak (tight resources) and low sea­son (exces­sive resources) with­out sup­ply­ing full per­ma­nent manpower.
  • Designed a by-product man­u­fac­tur­ing base selec­tion mod­el which allows for a more sci­en­tif­ic assess­ment on where the prod­uct should be made.
  • Built a pro­ce­dure to bet­ter man­age sub­stan­dard goods, with clear roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties, and a peri­od­i­cal review system.

Work­stream II: Research & Development

  • Designed and imple­ment­ed and MCS that focus­es on prod­uct devel­op­ment, qual­i­ty, and cost. The sys­tem allows stake­hold­ers to improve vis­i­bil­i­ty and progress track­ing, result­ing in a more effec­tive prod­uct devel­op­ment man­age­ment and a reduc­tion of lead time in prod­uct development.
  • Improv­ing the qual­i­ty and effi­cien­cy of sample-making through a bet­ter allo­ca­tion of sam­pling tasks by indi­vid­ual staff.
  • Estab­lished and imple­ment­ed the project (prod­uct) launch­ing process, with clear­ly defined cri­te­ria to improve effi­cien­cies in devel­op­ment, avoid unnec­es­sary resources deploy­ment, and increase the accu­ra­cy of data entry.
  • Estab­lished a plat­form to ini­ti­ate inter­nal knowl­edge shar­ing and trans­fer, which will lead to less tri­al and errors and improve efficiencies.

Work­stream III: BPR and Orga­ni­za­tion Redesign

  • Iden­ti­fied new busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties through site obser­va­tion, activ­i­ty list­ing, analy­sis in workload-related data, util­i­sa­tion mea­sure­ments, and ‘span of con­trol’ review in the cur­rent organisation.
  • Stream­lined oper­a­tions in over 10 depart­ments by up to 26%.
  • Pro­posed an inte­gra­tion mod­el for a wood coat­ings chan­nel (with­in the same region) which will avoid the dupli­ca­tion of efforts in approach­ing same prospects via dif­fer­ent channels.
  • Intro­duced a cus­tomer service-oriented approach with an improved inte­gra­tion of cus­tomer ser­vice func­tions between sales and sup­ply chain to sim­pli­fy the com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels with customers.
  • Pro­posed a review mech­a­nism to judge the need of cur­rent phys­i­cal region­al sales offices. Most of the small sales offices would be inte­grat­ed into the four major region­al offices unless there is a spe­cif­ic need regionally.
  • Pro­posed a strate­gic struc­ture cus­tomised to the need of mar­ket­ing depart­ment that will help increase front-line efforts and region­al pro­mo­tion, while mar­ket­ing team can con­cen­trate bet­ter on brand­ing activities.

“These projects have brought us a new way of think­ing, and we have tru­ly ben­e­fit­ed from them.”

Plant Pro­duc­tion Manager


Every depart­ment involved in this project achieved a sig­nif­i­cant and mea­sur­able improve­ment in performance.


Qual­i­ty in formula/sample mak­ing improved 


Pro­duc­tion effi­cien­cy increased 




Prod­uct devel­op­ment lead time reduced 


Labour and util­i­ty costs reduced 

The clien­t’s goal was to lay the foun­da­tions for future gains through robust man­age­ment con­trol sys­tems and devel­op­ing a cul­ture of con­tin­u­ous improve­ment. Thanks to our input, they are now in a bet­ter posi­tion to meet the chal­lenges of an extreme­ly com­pet­i­tive market.

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