Globalised economic activities
The digitisation is leading to a profound change in global economic relations as it furthers globalisation. Communication and data exchange takes place around the clock - 24/7, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Agreements, negotiations, project discussion and team meetings are becoming independent of locations and virtually time, using video conferences on the internet. Participants can be scattered all over the world. The supply chain is becoming international - the process of value creation often starts with raw material coming from Africa, travels across the "work benches of the world" in Asia and ends with the final mounting and the "finish" in Europe and the USA - and can be controlled and checked in real time by electronic communication. In turn, many companies are setting up subsidiaries abroad or cooperate with local partners to be closer to the market or enjoy regional advantages.
Nevertheless, a large number of companies are still structures as they were in the “founding days,” sporting the respective hierarchies and management styles. In these "grown" organisations departmental and silo mentality often prevail, there is no comprehensive focus on customers and processes, but only a narrowed focus on the products. In many cases, subsidiaries are not viewed as independent economic units with high competency in their respective market segment but are seen to be an affiliate bound by instructions of the parent company. REFA International can contribute with analyses and consultation to breaking up and modernising the structures of the organisation and help to further and implement the lean approach and therefore develop the company into a learning organisation.
The first step: analysis
In order to introduce and implement definite steps and measures for the improvement of procedures and processes in the company, the existing structures and process chains in place must be known. a comprehensive, systematic investigation is therefore a basic necessity for an organisational development. REFA International has a rich repertoire of tools to evaluate all processes in the company at its disposal - be in the value chain from incoming goods and production to logistics and shipping or in the assisting, i.e., indirect areas such as administration. Methods such as time recordings or activity samplings are classics to be mentioned in this context, not to forget process and potential analyses as well as assessment of the personnel demand.
The structured collection of data is the basis for the subsequent
- process evaluations
- process renewals as well as
- new structuring.
The second step: optimisation
The goal of the optimisation is the best possible use of resources and therefore minimisation of waste ("Musa" in the Lean approach). This goal may be achieved with an evolutionary approach by enhancing efficiency in a (continuous) improvement process (CIP). This will ultimately lead to a "Learning organisation", as all levels and areas of the company are involved. However, this goal may also be pursued with „revolutionary", "disruptive" (in the newer linguistic usage) measures, by increasing effectiveness with the implementation of new structures and processes. REFA International advises and coaches on process optimisation and the so-called business Process Reengineering worldwide, either directly on-site or in videoconferences, training and webinars.
Whether in manufacturing or administration, effective and efficient processes in all areas of the organisation are key for the sustainable use of resources and therefore for cost savings. Ideally, material consumption, lead times and even the workload for employees can be reduced. To achieve this, the following measures have priority:
- design of work tasks and process sections
- ergonomic design of work systems
- process optimisation in value creating and in assisting areas, whilst considering the demographic factors and regional particularities of branches abroad
- optimisation of flow organisation
REFA International: our services
Reorganising existing, grown organisations is difficult. Ingrained processes and thought patterns as well as reservations about other cultures must be questioned, examined, adapted REFA International: our offer Reorganising existing, grown organisations is difficult. Ingrained processes and thought routines, but also reservations about other cultures, must be questioned, examined, adapted and sometimes even overcome in order to be able to carry out such a reorganisation project successfully. Many concerns, fears and anxieties have to be overcome - on both the employer's and the employees' side. This is asking for technically competent, experienced, psychologically trained and communicative experts. REFA International is able to offer suitable solutions as an advisory and coaching body with its highly qualified professionals and practical experience in international environment - direct and local, also in locations abroad or in video conferences, online training courses and webinars.