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Continuous Improvement

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Continuous improvement is at the heart of everything Partners in Performance stands for. For us, it is more than just another service offering. It is part of our core purpose – unleashing potential and delivering lasting impact – both in our clients’ organisations and within our own.

To meet changing markets and customer needs, organisations need to constantly improve – to be restless with the status quo. This requires a culture that is clear about how it is performing, can pinpoint what is driving performance, and constantly works to deliver targeted improvements.

Most improvement programs fail to deliver their targeted results, let alone sustain year-on-year improvements. We find a few common and emerging business challenges contributing to the limited success of transformation efforts:

Remaining financially viable in a market that has suffered turbulence and changes

Future-proofing operations to meet fluctuating demand

Staying ahead of digital-savvy entrants into the market

Designing an organisation to deliver value can be difficult in the face of unknowable potential crises or dwindling resources. Failure to reduce cost today, and every day after, will jeopardise future success. Is your organisation prepared?

Changes that affect the financial viability of organisations come in many forms and can vary drastically in impact.

Change can come in the form of new entrants that disrupt the market, often through pure digital play, with cheaper technology and leaner working principles. This new competition can lead organisations to suddenly require a massive operating improvement to meet their debt-to-equity ratio targets and/or ensure their next expansion.

In some cases, one immediately affects another: a change in industry regulations can prompt a drop in the pricing of a resource, which can have the effect of a change in terms of new raw materials or the unfortunate consequence of a drop in employment levels.

Accountability and improvement

We partner with clients to quickly create the demand for improvement by holding the line organisation accountable for performance on their input KPIs.

We then tackle a very prioritised set of levers. Our approach is to not try to do everything at the same time and to build an improvement machine that can keep cranking out improvement, not as a once-off event, but as an ongoing process to ensure costs do not creep back in.

How can an organisation navigate a 180-degree turn to become proactive, and fully anticipate and meet fluctuations in customer demand?

Timing can be a blessing and curse for many organisations.

Some may have a limited asset base and need to sweat their assets to the maximum potential. Others may stand on the sidelines in a booming market, missing out on the temporary rewards because of deep-rooted inefficiencies within their structure. 

These are some of the stories that we have heard from clients, to which we have replied that their predicament is not about single-digit improvement but requires radical change. 

Structured improvements

A fundamental rethink of the business is required. Substantial improvement is only achieved by tackling the big levers and implementing them in a very structured way. 

Organisations must be able to work more efficiently with what they have and understand the factors inhibiting them from reaching their full potential.

We work closely with our clients to unlock the latent potential in their organisation – to find the ‘factory inside the factory.’ Our goal is to deliver benefits in a few key areas and then keep coming back for more, which most often is significantly more profitable than costly and drawn-out capital investments.

Digital transformation has quickly moved from a luxury to a necessity, particularly as digital-first competitors emerge to capture the loyalties of the next generation. Are you innovating at the rate and pace required to remain competitive?

Digital transformation is more than a buzzword. Either part of a long-term, future-proofed organisation journey or a quick-fix to budgetary concerns, the reality is that it is a necessity in environments best defined as ‘innovate or die’.

No matter the industry, new digital entrants are ‘eating the lunch’ of traditional leading organisations that are seen as bloated and reactive by comparison. Without the baggage of decades of processes and churn, new entrants are lightly staffed, adaptable and so far advanced that they pose an extinction-level event to even the most storied institutions.

End-to-end review

In the face of such competition, organisations cannot expect to just improve once; they need ongoing improvement delivered at pace: a complete transformation, not just tinkering at the edges.

Our role begins by conducting a review of a business, understanding where their priorities should be, what the roadmap for transformation could look like and what resources will be required to get first improvements quickly. We do not wait for a full digital redesign.

Instead, we focus on what will move the dial: process optimisation, holding individuals to account for performance and focused implementation of the right technology.

Wilhelm Schultz

Our approach to continuous improvement unleashes the potential in your organisation in a lasting way, long after Partners in Performance has departed. We build alignment and ownership within your organisation, then combine laser focus on improvement levers with a demand for improvement through 'wiring', while building your capabilities to take it forward. This is about lasting impact, not just recommendations.

Wilhelm Schultz

Director

Continuous improvement is at the heart of everything Partners in Performance stands for. It is the foundation of how we work with clients across industries and within our core service offerings.

Ensuring impact is lasting, we work closely with you to ensure your organisation is high-performing and evolving. We achieve this through close collaboration with your people across all levels of the organisation, to identify the full potential and then prioritise and deliver improvement opportunities based on value.

Our success is your success and is dependent on a continuous ideas pipeline hard-wired into the daily rhythms of an operation, wired up to make performance transparent at all levels of the business, with single-point accountabilities and the competencies to deliver.

Working collaboratively across all levels of the organisation, we build capable teams that continue to find and deliver the next improvement – creating a fundamental change that delivers lasting impact.

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20-30% fully locked in throughput improvement

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15-25% permanent cost reduction for the business

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of clients that believe our training improved personal/team performance

Client success stories

Success

US$73m of improvement ideas implemented through operational improvement for an open-cut gold mine

Successfully designed and completed transition to owner-operate on time and within the original budget, delivering an asset with 50% lower operating costs and 20% increased production

$52m transformation pipeline created for a multi-factory meat processor

Meet our Continuous Improvement leadership