Situation

Our client was one of the last independent patio stone and interlocking brick production companies in Canada. The company is a 100% Canadian owned and operated company with over 40 years of success serving the wholesale, trade and retail markets. A previous engagement with this client identified areas and opportunities for improvement in their operations.

Requirements

Schroeder & Schroeder was commissioned to assist in improvement of the operations optimization by building on observations in an earlier productivity engagement by:

  • Providing assistance in determining and implementing a performance monitoring environment to drive activities and decisions
  • Providing instruction and support in the fundamentals of efficient supervision to supervisors and
    management
  • Assisting management and supervisors to create a constant-improvement environment
    Offering an external opinion on the organization’s efficiency and agility through two audit-and-review cycles

Challenges

The main challenges faced during the period of the engagement on this project included:

  • A very loose management/supervisory structure with substantial overlap and little definition of roles and responsibilities, with some management also performing supervisory roles
  • Current supervisors in roles for which they were untrained and perhaps unsuited by nature
  • Ongoing change resistance with some individuals at supervisor and management levels
  • A high-intensity reactive environment, making it difficult for management and supervisors to focus on changes to the existing methods
  • A third-generation family business, and much of the workforce being family members of the founders, with family dynamics spilling over into management committee behaviours

 

Actions

After analyzing the project requirements our consultants addressed the challenges presented and performed the following actions to deliver results to the client:

  1. Assisted in a creating production-monitoring environment for management and supervisors, including:
  • Helped management to determine the KPIs to include on a performance dashboard
  • Advised management on performance dashboard implementation
  • Coached management on use and understanding of the performance dashboard
  • Provided instruction and coaching to management and supervisors on conducting daily, weekly, and monthly production performance monitoring
  • Improved Management-Supervisor-Workforce communications
  1. Assisted in improving supervisory practices and efficiencies, including:
  • Provided instruction on supervisory best practices
  • Provided tools to support these best practices, including performance and production monitoring
  • Coached supervisors and management in groups and individually on supervisory techniques including daily performance and production monitoring routines, tools and techniques, human resource management and team building
  1. Assisted management and supervisors to build a constant-improvement environment, including:
  • Conduct of regular and ongoing performance management routines
  • Improved supervisory-management role definition
  • Improved delineation of supervisory-management tasks
  • Improved workforce-supervisor-management communications
  1. Conducted audits:
  • Determined the degree of uptake of the new methods,
  • Presented and reviewed with management
  • Recommended further actions

 

Upon conclusion of the project, progress had been made in all key success factors with a clear direction for further improvements. The client was satisfied with both the project deliverables and the value added by Schroeder & Schroeder Inc.