The book "WCOM™: why you need more than Lean" captures the reasons why 5 global enterprises (St. Gobain, L’Oréal, Groupe Bel, Tetra Pak and Bemis), with combined revenues of over 100B€, have adopted World Class Operations Management (WCOM™) in more than 1000 plants across the world.
The book details WCOM™ principles, methods and organisation, and the results that this approach can bring about. Utilising real-world case studies illustrated by Senior Executives of the 5 companies, it describes common patterns drawn from decades of hands-on experience, so as to present a theoretical approach together with the concrete application of its principles. In the next articles we will summarize the 5 key drivers to start the program as they have been indicated by the panel of Executives featured in the book and later in a round table event in Paris. They were:
- The need to recover from declining results. In some cases the WCOM™ programme is directly connected to the survival of the business. The WCOM™ PROGRESSION APPROACH involving everybody to multiply the actions ensures the delivery of results today as well as it secures the results for tomorrow transferring the knowledge and building the capabilities.
- The need to unify the stratification of different improvement programmes implemented over the years into a Single Harmonised Management Model. This Management model is underpinned by building a Common Language as the vehicle for creating a common understanding around the new practices the programme implements. The idea is also to share experiences, best practices and knowledge in such a way that everyone can benefit. It is also underpinned by development of a leadership team that is continuously educated to improvement, flexible in response to the organisation’s changing needs and with sufficient standing required to lead the entire organisation towards the progression objectives set with the transformation programme. The WCOM™ SISTEMIC APPROACH delivers results and capabilities working at 3 levels, first at strategic level to anticipate and deploy, second at systemic level to connect the organisation and build the winning routines in terms of capabilities, leadership, engagement and behaviours and, third, at function level to involve everybody in properly and successfully executing the actions orchestrated in the plan.
- The need to achieve improved cost competitiveness. In today’s VUCA world the major question is how fast you can progress and what are the ways you can progress better and faster than your competitors. After all, “It is not the best who survive; it is the ones who adapt faster”. None of the companies described in the book wanted to just implement a mere cost cutting exercise. They found in WCOM™ an approach that is very deep in attacking all losses at their roots, but in a collaborative way as it simultaneously addresses all 3 Dynamics that characterise a successful WCOM™ deployment delivering results at speed and as expected:
- Value Dynamics to keep a clear link between strategy and actions, asking all the time which value WCOM™ programmes and projects bring to the shareholders
- Asset & Flow Dynamics to develop tools, methodologies and systems to improve the performance of the key value chain processes in terms of flow effectiveness and resource efficiency.
- Human Dynamics to develop the organisation in the adoption, anchoring and collaborative implementation of new values, processes and behaviours in line with the progression path.
- The need to improve customer compliance and customer intimacy. These are becoming ever more important key success factors. Implementation of the WCOM™ approach has been a strong lever to “introduce the client in the factory”, making management and operators alike understand the urge of paying closer attention to the client’s needs. The WCOM™ ECOSYSTEM APPROACH is the driver that addresses the relation with client and suppliers in a collaborative way.
- The need to use the organisation’s latent capacity to support growth. Efficient use of capital employed releases resources to address strategic initiatives. We know that in many sectors the available production capacity is not fully exploited, but opportunities are often hidden. The WCOM™ approach, creating clear visibility of the losses and therefore the opportunities for improvement, is key to exploit all the possible levers to fully utilize the company resources and release the potential for progression. The WCOM™ STRATEGIC PROSPECTIVE ensures that the loop between targets and execution is continuously closed to ensure “first time right” implementation.