|When the TRACC Operations Best Practices were introduced at the Nampak Kenya plant north of Nairobi, there was a marked reduction in customer complaints. However, continuous improvement (CI) efforts also needed rejuvenation. Following a TRACC best practices assessment, an initiative known as “Project Safari” was introduced. Significant progress was made in the pilot area of metal printing which led to 90% of the plant becoming directly involved in the best practices implementation.|
Several years ago, the Nampak Kenya plant was introduced to the TRACC best practices of 5S and Visual Management, statistical process control (SPC) and elements of Teamwork. Some progress was made, evidenced by fewer customer complaints.
It was realized, however, that the process of continuous improvement had to be revitalized. This was essential in view of the following key business drivers:
- Reduced profitability as a result of downward pressure on price
- Increased competition from imports and smaller start-ups
- Demand volatility and reduced batch sizes
Using TRACC, a best practices assessment was conducted at the plant. The assessment identified several significant opportunities and resulted in Nampak leadership accepting a proposal for the implementation of TRACC.
Named “Project Safari”, this initiative kicked off with the training of the Site Steering Committee. Whilst the total improvement process would include a number of initiatives, the implementation of TRACC would provide both structure and integration.
The objective of Project Safari was the re-energizing and refocusing of the continuous improvement programs. Metal printing was selected as the pilot area.
Key success factors:
- Work climate:
- Readiness for change
- Management’s sensitivity to people’s concerns
- Transparent and open communication at all levels
- Acceptance and appreciation of each team member’s role
- Consistent management support and coaching
- Clear responsibilities and accountabilities
- Team members’ willingness to accept more responsibilities
- The team building workshops
- SMART targets and team ownership of these targets
- Shared vision
- Focused leadership for team and task force
- Tolerance for mistakes without compromising discipline
- Visual measurement of performance
A subsequent health check revealed that a strong foundation for continuous improvement had been laid. Progress in the printing department was particularly significant with efficiencies up by more than 60% and spoilage down by 40%.
Despite increasing competitive pressures, fluctuating demand and the introduction of major organizational change, Nampak Kenya adhered to a challenging project plan, so much so that 90% of the plant became directly involved in the best practice implementation.
|The Nampak Kenya plant, situated in Thika, a town 50km north of the capital Nairobi, was originally established in 1948 as part of the British group, Metal Box. It is now a medium-sized metal packaging company manufacturing and supplying metal tins and cans, 200 liter open top and closed drums, PVC-free pry-off crowns, aluminium ROPP closures and shoe polish tins. The company offers a comprehensive range of metal packaging solutions to the East African market. It changed hands several times and is now owned by the Nampak Group, Africa’s leading packaging company.|
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