Fabchem – a company that specialises in roof and sidewall support technology that makes underground mining safer – adopted Productivity SA’s Workplace Challenge Programme so as to improve on all operational processes, improve their balance sheet, identifying core functions and selling off non-core functions, reinvigorate the spirit of innovation as well as improving the organisation’s delivery performance.

To achieve this, the company formulated a five-year strategy roll-out. The first phase would focus to consolidate and strengthen the business over a period of two-years while the second phase would effect a three-year period of growth and expansion (due to be rolled-out after the completion of the first phase).

13 Mini-business units (MBUs) were created within the company, these consists of a functional group of people who work as a team to manage themselves, perform their technical functions and measure themselves. The SBUs would receive oversight and guidance from the Plant Level Steering committee, which consists of six management members.

Whilst implementing the Goal Alignment Toolkit, the team members realised who the suppliers were and who they themselves were supplying to. Furthermore, the 13 MBUs have been streamlined by the realisation that each Mini Business Team is an internal Supplier as well as an internal Customer of the other Teams.

The results:

• Quality, Cost, Delivery, Safety and Morale performance charts show a positive trend.
• A spirit of continuous improvement throughout the company.
• A rigorous and effective system for getting employees to generate and implement many innovative ideas which are starting to deliver valuable innovations to the whole organisation and its customers.