Examples of assignments

Some executed missions:

  • Lean manufacturing transition  of an assembly plant

An assembly plant of complex machinery, part of a large manufacturer, was faced with significant delivery delays. The problem was adressed through a significant investment in an automatic warehouse and the implemention of a lean manufacturing philosophy. The results after one year: the assembly delivery leadtime was reduced from 25 to 7 days, the work-in-proces was reduced from 30 to 10 machines, shopfloor space was cleared by 50 %, the productivity increased by 20% as the number of employees was reduced by 10 % with improved quality. But the most important result was a change in culture, in the mindset of the employees as well as the plantmanagement, supporting a continuous improvement proces.

  • Crisis in the productiondepartment of a  bike accessory producer

The delivery time for a small family-owned manufacturer of top-design bicycle accessories, exploded in a few months. Over 45% of the client orderbook was overdue. The company had ended up in a deadly spiral of increasing delivery times, quality problems, personnel rotation, desperately stressed owners, dissatisfied customers. As a result, international bike manufacturers lost their confidence in this company and thretened to switch to the competition. Only their enthusiasm for the unique top design products kept them on board.

I had 80 days to get the job done and to reverse the situation. After 20 days we received an e-mail from one of the most critical customer - "I see noticeable positive changes, we're going through." By making choices, clear goals, stop fire-fighting, focusing on the bottlenecks, stabilizing processes, developing of reliable information by implementing a simple and powerful planning tool (Excel) and especially by supporting the staff and communicating transparently with customers, the order backlog decreased and at no time a turning point, a breakthrough was realized. Finally after 40 days one was able to start with the restructuring of the manufacturing organization in order to establish a new equilibrium.

  • Production reorganisation

This subsidiary of a BEL20 Group produces and distributes electronic equipment, and has doubled its sales in two years. However, production falls behind. Delivery times increase, as does inventory, labour conflicts emerge,. If nothing was done, the lovely sales growth would have stop, orders would have been cancelled and clients lost.

I took over for seven months. Through clear and firm action, I defused the tension with the trade unions. The planning was reorganised, control was regained over sub-contractors and supplies were secured. Open and reliable delivery information was given to the global sales force. Lastly, an operations manager was hired under an open-ended contract, and benefited from my presence to take over the management peacefully. When I left, delivery times were reduced to four weeks, the social atmosphere was peaceful and the production department was managed.

  • Development

This company, the subsidiary of a major international group, supplies automotive equipment, to car manufacturers. To maintain its growth, it also wanted to offer its products to end users, and wanted to invest in to new distribution channels: selective and supermarkets. Yet, the company was not familiar with these new sales channels, and would firstly wanted to test its chances of becoming a major player.

I set up a Mass Distribution department within the company, which was joined by five sales people from the company. Together, they determined and rolled out the distribution policy - listing, price lists, merchandising and point of sales advertising - and aimed at a high potential prospect type. In six months, the company was listed with two major chains as well as a specialized network. This made it possible for the company to fully invest in this new segment.

  • Sales boost

While this French cosmetic group held leading positions in most European countries, the Belgian subsidiary was not able to take off. Several solutions had been attempted, from promoting the best sales person to the position of sales manager, to managing the subsidiary by the Export department in Paris.

I took over the sales management of the Belgian subsidiary for six months, reorganized the sales force and started canvassing targets with higher potential. The subsidiary reached its sales objectives for the first time.

  • Subsidiary reorganisation

This Dutch information system service company, the subsidiary of a major American group, had ben losing significant amounts of money for five years. The company was already lead by several general managers  and was lately managed from London by the European Industrial Manager. The Group wanted to reorganize its business in the Netherlands, but first wanted its subsidiary to reach break-even. I took over the general management of the company, set up a cross-functional steering comitee. And I soon understood that the poor performance results found its origin in the technical department's inability to follow the commercial offer.

In eight months, I turned over the trend and changed the technical department to a Customer Service organisation, by lightening the structure and making it more productive and proactive. The company broke even the following year.