Germain’s (part of Associated British Foods) is a worldwide seed enhancement company, coating and treating agricultural seeds for improved performance. With plants in the UK, Poland, Holland, Spain and North America, Germain’s faces global competition and needs to maintain and extend its position. Seed is an irreplaceable natural commodity, so the consequences of error or underperformance are huge.
As part of this drive, the management of Germain’s was keen to redouble its efforts by further reducing the risk and improving quality, consistency and delivery to customers. Appreciating that people were the key to delivering these objectives, they turned to WLP’s Steve Palmer to help plan and implement a company-wide training programme that would deliver the required level of competitive excellence.
Training and Planning
Using the Lean Six Sigma toolkit, Germains’ staff have learned to map business and manufacturing processes and to plan for continuous improvement. Training has involved staff from charge hand to board level, a company-wide commitment being critical to success.
Steve is working with Germain’s to develop a quantifiable measurement process for the programme, which is now in its second year. However, the results are evident in the style and performance of the company. Greater insight and more informed staff mean that the whole company speaks a language of improvement and has the skills to solve complex problems. Methodical problem solving and a factual approach has replaced some conventional wisdom about what was and was not possible.
With WLP’s help and a company wide commitment to improvement, Germain’s is developing as an organization that can compete successfully on a world stage long into the future.
For more information on Lean Six Sigma, click here: Lean Six Sigma – Improve Your Operation