“Our Journey to Achieve Operational Excellence”

Providing the right resources and a detailed road map to take the overall performance of an organisation to a whole new level.

“When I first met Peter and Tony from Fourth Dimension Expert Resource, I thought: ‘Well, they will get my peoples’ attention – if only because of the sheer bloody size of them!’ The initial discussion we had was very practical, and we got straight to the point that I needed to discuss: our compelling issues with the service levels. It really was uncanny: Peter and Tony made comments as if they had been working in my company for years. They had a keen sense of how my people felt in the constant cycle of firefighting, tripping up over the same issues, overly complex processes, repeating errors – and ultimately letting down our customers.”

Identifying the core issues helps to get a picture of the current situation as well as the desired outcome:

“In general terms they outlined the importance of all our staff to achieve the desired results, emphasised how essential it is to have alignment across the organisation and explained the need to make pursuing improvements within our day-to-day activity.”

A thorough diagnostic review gathers the facts that form the basis for planning strategic changes:

“We agreed to start by focusing on the main issue of the overall performance, and the 4th Dimension team returned to carry out a detailed diagnostic. Observing this approach confirmed what they said about their style: immediate, practical, hands-on. All inputs were welcome, and they were diligent in their search to get to the facts, verifying the comments and trawling through data.”

Looking at the shortfalls is key to finding effective measures that will have an immediate impact:

“The resulting report was decisive: it detailed a collection of issues we already knew existed, but when presented in a summary form, it brought a new sense of clarity. And to top it all, it provided considered recommendations and a road map that showed how resources could be managed better and what steps we needed to take.”

Tailoring the system exactly to the needs of your business will get the best results:

“A big success factor for us was the use of 4th Dimension’s expert resources for our project. The diagnostic had identified that a key constraint to improving service levels was the organisation of our materials. So the team set about designing and installing a complete new stores system. Working with our team, the lead consultant recommended a concept design that was based upon the initial diagnostic data, a value stream map developed by a process engineer and their experience of what would work to overcome our particular issues.”

Sometimes an eye-opener can help to get everyone behind the required changes:

“An opportunity to visit a site using a similar concept proved invaluable to our team by helping them visualise how the end result might look. Some of our people had never worked anywhere else, so they had struggled to imagine a different way of operating before.”

Providing expert resources that work with your team at every step of the process allows you to run your business without interruption:

“With general agreement on the concept, an industrial engineer developed the detailed layout, including data calculations for future lot sizes and stock levels. Tenders to a selection of suppliers – trusted contacts from 4th Dimension’s network – allowed us to make a quick and informed decision on which supplier to use. A comprehensive implementation plan was presented to ensure the business could continue with minimal disruption.

The 4th Dimension team were present throughout the construction phase to ensure the design specification was met in full. Once all the racking and shelving was in place, they worked together with our stores team to populate all the locations, educating them along the way on the work organisation disciplines, replenishment processes and system controls. Everything was implemented to plan and on budget.

Safety sign-off was easily managed, as it linked seamlessly to our safety systems that were provided as part of 4th Dimension’s Health & Safety Compliance Service contract. The combination of these resources meant that the job was sorted efficiently and painlessly, where it could otherwise have dragged on for months and caused disruption to the running of our business.”

Result: Improvement of the operational performance across the entire business

“That year we saw a 20% growth in sales – a volume that we could not possibly have delivered under our previous approach. The team had the confidence to push harder on new sales, knowing that this time we could really deliver.

4th Dimension also put in place local measures on pick performance, timeliness and accuracy, as well as process and organisation audits. These not only maintained what had already been implemented, but also allowed our people to make continued improvements within their daily work routines.”