Training Within Industry

What is training whitin industry

TWI is a way for the company to activate and sustain over time a process of continuous improvement through the enhancement of the skills of its employees.

It started in the United States during World War II to help turn the American industry into a war industry and increase production capacity at a time when  most of the workforce has left factories to fight at the front.

Referring to its origins, rather than a training program, it is correct to conceive it as a “change” program that, through the creation of method and process standards, allows to transform in a rigorous and structured way the mindset of people.

Developing managerial skills

Often in companies embarking on a Lean Transformation path, the main criticality which is encountered, after an initial start-up period of targeted pilot projects, is to broadly promote the culture of continuous improvement so that at all levels people make it their own.

Top Management usually has a high-level view, but is unaware of the operational details of the processes that form the basis of the organization. With the operators, on the contrary, resides a specific and vertical know-how but it may lack an overview including aspects related to the entire organization.

In this sense, the key figures who serve as a “hinge” between strategy and operations are the “supervisors”, i.e. shift managers, department heads, line managers, room managers, middle managers and therefore anyone who coordinates the activities of other people and must also instruct them on the jobs they must perform.

The method is built on 3 pillars that, in a synergistic way, go to enhance 3 skills that any “intermediate manager” should possess:

  • ability to educate their employees, that is, to enable them to quickly learn how to do a certain operation in a correct, safe and conscientious way;
  • ability to manage relationships with employees in the workplace, in order to induce them to get involved in improvement activities, without needing to be pushed by their boss to do so;
  • ability to improve the methodology to do a determined work, asking oneself a number of questions on the tasks and their chronology to be followed.

The standard kit

The 3 pillars mentioned above are matched by 3 programs:

  • Job Instructions– This element is critical to the standardization of each elementary unit that the person is called to perform within an operation. The program provides a training method structured on 4 specific steps, designed to ensure effectiveness in teaching;
  • Job Relations: obtaining genuine relationships at work and the resolution of relational problems is the goal of this program, structured on 4 fundamentals: feedback, rewards, anticipation of information and the enhancement of skills;
  • Job Methods: The goal of this program is to optimize processes by making the best use of the people, equipment and materials currently available. Breaking down a process into individual operations defines what to delete, reorganize, put together, or simplify.

Organizational Improvement and HR Systems

Improving the organization means intervening at different levels:

  • Understand the alignment between strategic priorities and structures, processes, people and management tools;
  • Define the organizational structure by clarifying articulation, objectives, responsibilities, reference processes for each function and defining the coordination mechanisms between the different units;
  • Map the operational or support processes (As-Is) and reconfigure them (To-Be) to ensure efficiency, that is, ability to maximize output while minimizing committed resources and adapting their effectiveness, that is, adequacy of results to the needs of the external (or internal customer);
  • Size structures correctly both quantitatively and qualitatively;
  • Provide the organization of personnel management systems to guarantee that the new structure produces results over time (job description, performance assessment systems, skills assessment systems, position weighing, remuneration systems,  employee  satisfaction surveys).

What we offer

NoE offer an integrated approach that blends general management skills, specific methodologies such as “lean office” and “organizational network analysis” that are proprietary software for organizational analysis and performance management.

How do we work: The project phases

  • Step 4. Design the macro structure and coordination systems

    Objective: Redefine the organizational structure to align it with the strategy. In the design phase of the organizational units, we follow some key principles such as the allocation of responsibilities on consistent and coherent working areas, the adequate span of control, the description of the interrelations and coordination mechanisms with other units.

  • Step 5. Lean Process Reconfiguration
    Objective: Redesign processes to improve performance. This phase, consistent with the Lean approach, typically results in a series of actions aimed at eliminating waste and focusing the organization on value-added activities. Examples of actions to be implemented are:

    • Eliminate permissions and/or redundant controls;
    • activity automation;
    • centralisation of responsibilities on specific operational areas;
    • outsourcing of tasks;
    • rationalization of reporting;
    • standardization of procedures;
    • definition of Service Level Agreement;

  • Step 6. Structure dimensioning
    Objective: to properly size the structures according to the real resource needs. Our approach to dimensioning is based on a model that integrates data on:

    • workloads on different processes;
    • historical productivity;
    • ongoing operational improvement programs (automation, outsourcing, etc.) and is supported by a proprietary tool.

  • Step 7. Implementation of personnel management system
    Objective: Equip the organization with tools to ensure that the alignment between strategy, organization, and people is maintained over time. The effectiveness of personnel management systems is measured by the ability to reward results, skills and behaviors in line with business expectations.

  • Step 8. Accompanying the implementation of change plans
    Objective: support companies in the implementation of the improvement proposals developed in the previous phases, through our technical assistance structure for both the management part of the change plan (PMO), and for the part directly related to the technical aspects of the improvement plan (streamline).

6 Sigma

What 6Sigma is

Among the various methodologies for organizational improvement developed in the second half of the 20th Century, one was particularly successful in large companies such as Motorola and General Electric. This methodology is called “6Sigma”.

The name originates from the conspicuous use of statistics with this methodology, especially with its applications in the area of process control.
Along with this, people’s ways of solving problems in dealing with process change and improvement are analysed. To complete its contents, there are organisational models regarding hierarchies and training processes.

Utilization of 6Sigma

Although traditionally adopted by large companies, the principles underlying this approach can also be applied in small and medium-sized enterprises wishing to make the leap towards excellence.

Supply Chain management

In globalized markets, the competitiveness of companies very much depends on the ability to govern all production and distribution (Supply Chain) by effectively integrating their processes with those of suppliers and customers.

The NoE experts are able to support companies in optimizing the Supply Chain throughout the cycle that starts from the reception of the customer’s order and ends with the delivery of the final product or service. The main areas of intervention are:

  • Production planning and control
  • Procurement management models
  • Optimization of vendors
  • Definition of quantity of stocks
  • Internal and external production capacity management, bottlenecks and prioritizing
  • Restructuring of the production model according to the Lean
  • Manufacturing and Theory of constraints (TOC) methodologies
  • Staff size
  • Production localization choices
  • Monitoring and improvement of production efficiency and service level

Theory of constraints

To exploit the limiting factors of the organization to generate value

The Theory of Constraints, a result of the ingenuity and practical applications experimented with in many companies all over the world by the Israeli physicist Eli Goldratt, is a real business philosophy that has its main objective in the identification of the limiting factor for the organization, the constraint.

The Constraints

Each organization can be considered as a chain whose links are the processes that interact to achieve the ultimate goal.
If we pull a chain again and again, it will sooner or later break.
At its weakest link. Using the analogy of the chain then, we can see how the weakest link represents the constraint that determines its global strength.
More specifically, the constraint (bottleneck) is the element that determines the rate at which the company produces value in a unit of time.
The innovation in Goldratt’s thinking compared to other management theories, lies in having shown that trying to remove the constraint means we must patiently suffer it, while we strategically decide where it should be placed and manage it to the best of our ability. This is a winning action both from the point of view of profit and control of the system.

To apply a process of continuous improvement in the company: Is it possible?

Yes! By following the steps suggested by Goldratt in his book, The Goal, for optimal constraint management:

  1. Identify the constraint
  2. Exploit the constraint as much as possible
  3. Subordinate the system to the constraint
  4. Check, starting from the first step once again

To give you a clear idea of the results achievable with the application of the TOC we invite you to see this video made by Project Group Srl (Project Group, Ltd.), specialized in the application of the Theory of Constraints.

TPM – Total Productive Management

What TPM is

TPM stands for Total Productive Maintenance and is a production system that aims to achieve the highest business efficiency.

  • Total: means through the active involvement of all staff.
    Productive: stands for the objective of improving plant productivity
  • Maintenance: indicates activity aimed at maintaining the efficiency of the equipment over time

TPM: Where and how does it apply?

The application of TPM brings the greatest advantage in process or capital intensive industries, where equipment and machinery contribute decisively to the production process, and improvement activities are often associated with large investments and the use of external expertise, or are carried out sporadically.
The activities to achieve high efficiency in each company area are based on methodological paths, called pillars, which guide the various activities in a structured and systematic way.

TPM: the methodological approach

  • The development steps

    The steps for the development of the methodology are as follows:

    • Policy Deployment and master plan development
    • Introduction and extension of the pillars:
      • Focused Improvement: continuous improvement of production processes based on kaizen and on OEE performance indicator
      • Autonomous maintenance: the proper management of equipment done by operators
      • Planned maintenance: the proper management of equipment by maintenance technicians
      • Quality Maintenance: continuous improvement and zero defects with the prevention of equipment deterioration
      • Education & Training: management of corporate skills and involvement of people
      • Initial Phase Control (Early Management): improvement of the industrialization process of new products and equipment
      • TPM Office: efficiency and improvement applied in staff offices
      • Safety & Environment: management of safety and energy waste
      • Follow-up of the activities and support to the working teams
    • Alignment and auditing (alignment with the methodology?)
    • Training on methodologies and improvement tools

    The pillars can be introduced either individually to address a specific area or company issue or all together in a multi-year improvement project that may have as an aim the Certification by a third party institute.
    The Certification will reward the commitment to follow the method, the growth of employees and the undeniable results in terms of OEE, cost reduction and increase of profitability.

Operations management

What Operations Management is

Operations Management refers to the systematic design, implementation and continuous improvement of all the company’s processes intended to create and distribute products and services.

The effective logistic-production system:

  • is strategically oriented and has an integrated design. It optimizes logistics flows, spaces, organizational structures and effectively integrates all indirect functions. How? By systematically eliminating waste in every area and activity of the company.
  • is in sync with customer. Customer requirements and specifications are the reference point for all of the company’s processes and for suppliers.
  • creates value for the customer and is clear to everyone. The entire value creation chain is focused on customer needs: processing times are shortened, waste becomes more evident and continuously combatted, and improvements become understandable and measurable.

For years, using innovative methods and a joint work approach, NoE has supported the client company in the implementation of operational excellence by systematically developing and implementing solutions, efficiently changing organizational structures and processes, and successfully motivating employees.

What we offer

A systematic and integrated approach to continuous improvement.

Operational excellence depends on the effectiveness of the underlying production system.

Many local optimization initiatives give rise to isolated, though sometimes significant, victories over production waste, which however often do not lead to an improvement of the system as a whole.

At the end, a cost reduction or a timely improvement of the service offered to the customer will not produce resounding successes that are consistently reflected in a better quality and service. These weaknesses can be overcome through a systematic and integrated approach to improvement, which is based on an analysis and an integral re-design of the flow of value whose DNA can be summarized in the following principles:

  • Listen to customers’ needs and translate them into your business goals
  • Make the recommended improvements
  • Achieve performance that exceeds your customers’ expectations

How we work

Our experience shows us that to succeed in change we must always consider three elements.

  1. Shop Floor Management:
    • Things are done on site
    • Things are done together
    • The results achieved and the deviations (problems) are evaluated
    • Every deviation (problem) is followed by a corrective action
    • 2. Standardization of processes
  2. People Values:
    • We involve all people
    • We make people grow
    • We make people autonomous

Project Steps

  • Step 1 - Listen to client needs and translate them into business goals

    We always encourage the companies we work with to put themselves in the customer’s shoes, learning to see the product/service in a different way.

    Measuring the customer experience is the key to understanding the difficulties the customer faces, identifying them, ordering them by importance and dealing with each of them.

    Nevertheless, the company needs clear objectives, which make it possible to measure the results obtained and trigger the process of problem solving (improvement actions)

    It must be done in a systematic, concise, efficient and realistic way. (op. It must be done systematically, concisely, efficiently and in a way that is aligned with real needs)
    Everyone must participate in this process. We call it Hoshin Kanri:

    • Definition and application of strategic objectives
    • Definition of the activities, interventions and priorities in line with the objectives
    • Creation of KPIs and of an aligned measurement system

  • Step 2 - Standardize and stabilize upwards performance

    Value is the result of a process that must be studied and defined. Any activity that does not generate value from the customer’s perspective is “MUDA”; therefore it must be reduced or eliminated.
    All value-generating activities must be industrialized (definition of standards) so that they can be successfully performed by properly trained people every single day. This is the only way to obtain standardized and waste-free processes, that are the least costly.
  • Step 3 - Support the results and continuously improve them

    In excellent companies, continuous change is the business process that creates the competitive advantage. The absence of this process opens the door to deterioration and progressive worsening, ultimately creating a competitive disadvantage.
    The key resource in the improvement process is the staff, so it is necessary to implement a managerial system that pays great attention to people, constantly stimulating them to grow and always challenging them with new and ambitious goals.

NoE will be at your people’s side every day. Our goal is to transmit to your employees all our competences with continuous “on the job” training so that your staff becomes autonomous and effective in the shortest possible time, providing them with innovative methods and experiences that make this path of improvement autonomously sustainable over time.

Planning, control and financial flows

The need for careful, informed and preventive management

The crisis that has troubled world economies for years has had major repercussions for companies, which in many cases were thrown into an operating context profoundly changed from the past. The market difficulties added to the difficulties of financially supporting the company and of ensuring staff levels.

The availability of always up-to-date and well-structured managerial, economic and financial information, together with the ability to simulate the evolution of possible operating scenarios, is crucial to enable companies to consciously make decisions, take appropriate and timely corrective actions, react and withstand difficulties encountered, and even to seize new development opportunities.

Paying particular attention to realization costs and the time required for activation, NoE aims to help companies set up and start personalized, simple and pragmatic models intended to process the most appropriate and suitable information to support and guide the strategic and operational management of the company, as well as manage the related economic, financial and assets-related aspects.

Industrial plans for restructuring and/or reorganization, systems and models for administration and management control, planning of financial flows and treasury management, feasibility of investments and sizing of working capital, budgeting and reporting systems, monitoring of the structure and sustainability of debt, are all tools that enable the company to facilitate the interaction between the various functions, to make management analysis and operational decision more efficient and effective, to set strategic decisions by simulating their effects in different scenarios and contexts, to make communication processes with external entities – primarily the banking system and investors in general – more effective.

What we offer

NoE intervention is carried out following a typically “managerial” protocol, with a direct presence “on site” to support the company’s operating structure, by combining consulting methodology with management skills, to give clear, immediate and practical responses to client needs. NoE professionals operate directly “on site” during all the phases of the assignment: design, implementation, consolidation.
In specific cases, upon client request, they can also take on real management roles within the corporate structure to better oversee the most sensitive and delicate areas in order to achieve objectives and project results.

How we work

The process that leads the company to finalize its own planning and control model, together with its own cash flow forecasting and treasury management system, is based on 4 macro operational steps.

  • Step 1 - Critical analysis of the current situation

    In the first step, NoE professionals support the client in identifying the operational and organizational problems related to the commercial, production and financial objectives that the client intend to pursue.
  • Step 2 - Development of guidelines for information management

    In this second step, the intervention of NoE focuses on identifying the “sets” of information that, in relation to the problems identified with the client, can better guide its strategy and operation, as well as finding the tools and ways of processing and using this information, always with an eye to limiting time expended and costs to the client.
  • Step 3 – Implementation of solutions

    In the third step, Noe professionals guide and test the implementation of the information tools defined and previously agreed to with the client, to lead and improve the management and the “performance” of the corporate functions involved in the project that are administration-finance-control, operations and supply chain, human resources, commercial, etc.
  • Step 4 - Consolidation

    In the final step, NOE ensures the effectiveness of the information tools, by verifying their assimilation by the corporate team, so that it can guarantee the maintenance of achieved results..

Restructuring and corporate reorganization

State of crisis and need for change

The need to devise a new organization and new business model, as well as new markets and products, is often perceived by the companies when the symptoms of a crisis that negatively affects the company’s economic and financial performance are significantly evident. The ability to promptly identify the causes, define an effective recovery plan and promptly implement the necessary interventions are key factors in the management and success of change within any company.

NoE aims to help companies to identify their critical issues, redefine their objectives and implement solutions. Internationalization processes, development of new markets, repositioning of your business, reorganization of management and operational processes, evaluation of investments, models for financial planning, acquisitions and integrations, as well as generational transfers are all quite complex and delicate challenges for any company.

Therefore, they must be evaluated and managed with the utmost care and competence, even making use of specialised professionals who can guarantee the necessary support and interaction with staff who are more suited to the governance of the company in periods and situations of stability.

What we offer

In a restructuring plan (Turnaround), NoE undertakes directly primary roles in management and coordination in order to implement the action plans defined and agreed upon with the stakeholders.
In a reorganization (“Transition”), NoE provides the company with “transition” managers that will help the company in revising business models, redefining organizational structure, as well as in the management and operational reset of the company.

How we work

The process that leads the company through a restructuring or reorganization plan is based on 5 macro operational steps:

  • Step 1 – Critical analysis of the current situation

    During this first step, NoE’s professionals work alongside the client to analyse strategies, business areas and models, to assess sales, industrial and assets structure, as well as to identify operational and organizational issues, with regard to the sales, production and financial objectives that the client intends or needs to pursue.
  • Step 2 - Development of guidelines and targets of the change

    This second step is the focus of the intervention of NoE. Our professionals define and share the guidelines for the restructuring or reorganization plan with the client, by identifying specific objectives, actions and timelines for each profile in sales, industrial, financial, and organizational activities.
  • Step 3 – Analysis of financial sustainability

    In the third step, NoE focuses on the evaluation of the financial resources necessary to support the intervention plan by drawing up the business plan, forecasting cash flow, developing the financial and capital structure and evaluating the working capital. In this step, NoE’s professionals also act as a “negotiating” interface between the client and its main financial-related external parties: banks, suppliers and customers.
  • Step 4 – Implementation of solutions

    In this step, NoE’s professionals guide the implementation of the procedures above to steer the change of the company organization according to the set objectives. At this stage, they also proceed to work out correct staff sizing, as well as rationalization of structural, general and administrative costs, and to finalise any extraordinary transaction identified as additional elements of the intervention plan, such as sale of branches of the company and/or of financial stakes, split-offs or capital injections.
  • Step 5 – Consolidation

    In the final step, NoE ensures the effectiveness of the action plan by verifying its assimilation by the company team, so that it can guarantee the maintaining of the achieved results.