Faced with ever-soaring demand and sizzling commodities prices, our always-innovative meat processing industry client brought us in to address flagging performance and lean up production wherever possible. Our team helped align their culture with performance to deliver productivity increases while reducing labor costs.
This industry-leading meat processing company has built a reputation as a dependable partner to thousands of meat buyers and producers worldwide. Over its decades in business, the company has committed to continuously improving its products and services and exceeding the expectations of what any meat company could offer its global partners.
This innovative and dynamic company is dedicated to consistently meeting its promises of quality, on-time delivery, superior customer service, and real value.
However, dealing with the persistently high demand and supply challenges that have impacted many businesses in the food sector particularly harshly has required this company to redouble its efforts to keep its brand promise and build its competitive advantage. As a result, this stalwart organization engaged our team to continue exceeding its partners’ expectations in these challenging market conditions.
During our discovery, the POWERS team uncovered opportunities to improve leadership behaviors and the systems and processes used to manage operational performance. For example, from a frontline leadership behaviors perspective, supervisors spent only 15% of their time performing their supervisory duties of actively coaching, guiding, directing, and engaging their direct report employees.
In addition, unclear roles and responsibilities led supervisors to spend as much as 32% of the day performing the work of their frontline employees instead of focusing on their supervisory tasks. This lack of alignment with supervisors’ expectations and daily job realities led to the acceptance of a culture built on continuous day-to-day firefighting with no relief in sight.
At the same time, our team discovered deficiencies in the Management Operating System (MOS) used across the organization to manage production. Due to a lack of an effective MOS, clearly defined roles and responsibilities, and training for frontline leadership, the plants were underperforming in capacity, yield, and overall productivity. Additionally, labor costs were increasing due to overtime.
Overall, our client’s leadership team felt more well-rounded in their management skills and abilities and empowered to meet their daily and long-term goals. This alignment of existing values and purpose with the daily behaviors necessary to embody them and perform at peak levels, added tremendous strength to their company culture.
With a reinvigorated and readied leadership staff, and a more straightforward MOS providing a daily and long-range roadmap to success, our client realized significant gains in productivity. For example, on-time startups, which languished at 52% during our discovery period, jumped to a 91% average during our engagement, a 75% improvement. In addition, our client reduced labor costs by cutting overtime a whopping 17% over the course of the project.
But most significantly, our client’s vital throughput metric, pounds per labor hour, enjoyed an 8% improvement overall, helping build on their already-strong reputation and continue satisfying their customers.