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Oliver Wight's Business Improvement Programme Delivers Global Benefits for Chemical Giant DSM NeoResins

Published on 2006-08-09. Author : SpecialChem

LONDON -- A 14-year programme of business improvement has culminated in world-class performance at specialty chemical manufacturer, DSM NeoResins - the company has just been awarded the Oliver Wight 'Class A' standard.

Headquartered in Waalwijk in the Netherlands, DSM NeoResins employs 700 people and operates across five sites, including the USA, China and Spain. It produces waterborne technologies, such as acrylic emulsions and polyurethane dispersions for application in paints and coatings, printing inks, varnishes, adhesives and sealants. The company first started work with Oliver Wight on a programme of continuous business improvement 14 years ago, when it was part of the ICI group. Undeterred by a series of ownership and management changes, NeoResins has remained focused on reaching world class performance. In 2005 it was acquired by Dutch chemicals giant DSM and while integrating with its new owners, the drive towards business excellence continued. On July 1st 2006 NeoResins was awarded the Oliver Wight 'Class A' standard for business improvement.

'Class A' is awarded only to companies that meet a minimum performance standard of between 95 and 98 percent and NeoResins is one of only a handful of companies worldwide to achieve 'Class A' across all sectors of its business - performance is measured against the Oliver Wight Checklist (a recognised industry benchmarking tool) and NeoResins has achieved the required level in all five chapters of the Checklist's fifth edition: planning and control; innovation; continuous improvement; people; strategy.

Caroline Moon, finance and supply chain director, says the benefits of the 'Class A' programme have been widespread: "We work to one set of numbers right across the globe with a 24-month rolling forecast by customer, product, segment and plant. We've eliminated three layers of process and saved five man-days a month on the paperwork for sales and operations planning (S&OP), and there are no more endless debates on the accuracy of the figures. The working-capital-to-sales ratio has reduced from more than 18% to less than 11%; we've seen a substantial increase in stock turns, whilst increasing OTIF out to the customer."

Monika Riese-Martin, business unit director, says the process of business improvement has delivered real control and clarity within the business as well as improved communication, while the Oliver Wight 'journey' itself has had huge learning benefits for the management team. She stresses that whilst there are many quick wins along the way, sustainable improvement requires patience because it depends on cultural change. "Senior managers in most organisations aren't usually paid for their patience, but it's absolutely essential if you are to embed 'Class A' performance into the way the company operates."

NeoResins is now able to counteract the effects of inflation just through efficiencies resulting from the culture of continuous improvement that pervades the business and Monika Riese Martin says the cross-functional teamwork fostered by the Oliver Wight programme has been fundamental to its success: "As well as doing their own jobs, people work in teams on improvement activities. The teams are taken very seriously and people are now recognised by the company for their teamwork activities.

Peter Hill, Oliver Wight's lead consultant for the project says, "NeoResins has shown great commitment and tenacity in its drive for continuous business improvement. It's a pleasure to work with them and help them deliver real benefits both to the company's bottom line and to its business culture."

About Oliver Wight

Oliver Wight are leading business improvement specialists who educate, coach and mentor people to lead and sustain change on the journey to business excellence and outstanding business performance. The largest world-wide consultancy of our type, we have offices throughout Europe, in North and South America and the Asia/Pacific Region.

Oliver Wight have a history of working with 'blue chip' organisations and medium-sized businesses going back over three decades. Through a process of knowledge transfer, facilitated workshops and ongoing coaching and support, we help organisations adopt the correct sequence of business improvement techniques; recognise the linkages and transitions required on the journey to business excellence; and undertake the necessary repositioning of performance measures and organisational structure.

Source: Oliver Wight


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