Increase the productivity of two industrial sites after their takeover
A pastry production company in Belgium, comprising 2 industrial sites and 180 employees, was taken over by a larger group. In order to support the new General Manager, Lionel Goichon, interim manager, has been hired to lead the transition of the two sites and improve the profitability of the two industrial sites.
Lionel’s responsibilities included managing the site on several aspects:
- Increased production and productivity
- Cleanliness of the site in accordance with the requirements of the group and the IFS standard
- Appeasement of the social climate
Context at the arrival of the interim manager
- When he arrived, the social context in the company was complicated: communication between stakeholders and social partners was non-existent.
- On the industrial level, the situation was also difficult, because the processes were not mastered, the operators and the supervisors (hired very recently) did not have sufficient skills to ensure optimal production.
- The position of production manager was still vacant and local managers had to be put in place.
- The maintenance department needed to be reorganized and especially to recruit additional people.
- Scheduling and planning had to be completely reviewed.
The primary challenge of this transition management mission was to regain competitiveness, in particular by:
- The reduction of production costs thanks to the optimization of the workforce
- The reduction of work on overweight and the reduction of raw material losses
- Training and support for employees and supervisors so that they master the manufacturing processes
- Optimization of the maintenance workforce and implementation of preventive processes to reduce the breakdown rate
The second challenge given to Lionel was to restore a healthy social climate and establish a dialogue with the various social partners.
The last challenge entrusted to Lionel, in his capacity as interim manager, was to set up the various investments made on the production lines to the tune of 1.5 million euros.
Tasks performed to complete the mission
To succeed in this transition mission within the deadlines set by the company, Lionel set up regular meetings upon his arrival:
- A daily meeting at 9:30 a.m. to discuss with all employees the priorities of the day, safety, expected quality and production objectives
- A planning and scheduling meeting once a week
- A weekly meeting with the supply chain manager, the maintenance manager and the 2 newly hired production managers
These very short (approximately 15min) but very well prepared points helped to develop a better sense of quality and productivity, while creating local management. Lionel’s objective was to support everyone to help them grow and to help supervisors better manage their teams as soon as they join the company.
During the first 2 weeks, Lionel also worked on waste and overweight rates in order to reduce them, in particular by optimizing lines, rates and manpower.
For Lionel, a former manager in French companies, the main difficulty was getting to know the work culture and Belgian legislation. The management of the supervisors in particular required great adaptability, because the posture and the positions taken by managers in Belgium are very different from those of managers in France.
At the end of the 7 months of the transition mission, Lionel managed to generate positive results from his action:
- Productivity increased by 15%
- Labor costs are down 10%
- The waste rate has been reduced by 20%
- The breakdown rate has decreased significantly compared to its arrival
The success of this mission resided in particular in the technical skills of Lionel, a former industrial director, but also in his ability to adapt to integrate into a different cultural environment. His managerial skills have enabled him to train teams in the changes made in a more serene social climate.
“It was a complex mission, but by having united the team around common objectives, we managed to work in the same direction to achieve these objectives. My biggest achievement is to have brought together all the departments,” says Lionel.