Skip to Main Content
Access your saved content
With Accenture’s help, this global mining equipment manufacturer has used lean techniques to transform its manufacturing processes to deliver better customer service and enable future growth.
Operational excellence is positioning the company to achieve high performance. The client is a mining equipment company with almost 50 facilities worldwide.
The company decided to take its market leadership to the next level, embracing a vision to become a truly world-class business capable of achieving and sustaining even higher levels of performance.
The client's customers are mining companies, the vast majority of whom mine coal. On a global basis, mining companies are realizing strong demand and prices for coal, and have been substantially increasing their purchases of coal mining machinery. Increased demand for the company's products and services was making it difficult for it to maintain the high level of customer service that its customers expected.
The company's leadership believed that despite its strong financial performance and the many advantages the company had over its competition, improvements were needed in its manufacturing processes and in the operation of its manufacturing plants.
It sought outside expertise to analyze the range of its manufacturing processes and help it understand the opportunities for improvement. The company's leadership was drawn to Accenture's cross-functional skills, deep domain and delivery expertise as well as its ability to adapt to sudden challenges, unforeseen circumstances, localized requirements and changing client environments.
The global mining equipment company was also impressed by Accenture's expertise in the area of lean transformation as well as its track record for helping companies enhance their strategies and processes to achieve high performance.
In its initial meeting with the mining company's management, Accenture showed how restructuring manufacturing operations could result in higher productivity and profit margins.
First, Accenture analyzed the company's manufacturing processes, scoping and prioritizing improvement opportunities.
Accenture and the global mining equipment company's leadership identified operational excellence in manufacturing as the primary focus of the business transformation. The vision for the company's plants around the globe included a wide range of aggressive, specific and measurable goals—a specified percentage reduction in cycle time, a specified percentage improvement in productivity and a specified percentage improvement in floor space utilization.
The key to unlocking the client's manufacturing potential was to learn to identify “waste” (misallocations of time, resources and energy) in day-to-day activities and then take corrective action. The removal of waste frees up the organization to focus on other improvement opportunities, and these are the first steps toward introducing a culture of continuous improvement.
The company launched its program for achieving operational excellence in manufacturing through lean transformation at a US manufacturing facility. This launch involved leveraging end-to-end business transformation using lean concepts to bring significant, scalable and sustainable change to its operations within and across functions.
As the new practices take hold, the operational excellence in manufacturing transformation is producing some impressive results. For instance, increased floor space at its US plant has resulted in greater productivity and reduced throughput.
The company has seen a reduction of several hundred hours in the typical final assembly process for a shearer. Also, there are some cycle time reductions of about two to three weeks, creating tremendous gains in productivity as well as a cycle-time reduction, while improving productivity and increasing the company's capacity. With the floor space we saved, the company was able to install another final assembly bay and an additional shearer each month, 12 shearers per year. This new capacity is contributing to the company's long-term growth plans.
The client also has encountered a major shift in its culture. Environmental improvements have driven behavioral improvements, which have ultimately driven culture change throughout as expectations, consequences and measurements are clear.
In addition to its locations in the United States, Accenture has worked with the company to implement lean transformation at several locations around the globe. One site already has seen a significant increase in capacity as well as a notable increase in productivity. Similarly, another location's operations in the Asia Pacific region has realized significant gains in cultural acceptance of lean, as well as productivity increases through better organizational and process flows.
Through Lean transformation, our client can look forward to a strong future of achieving high performance for its customers, its employees and its shareholders.
Skip Footer Links