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Engaged leadership garners operational excellence awards for Ndola brewery

engaged leadership
Executive Summary
In 2014, Zambian Breweries Plc realised that its Ndola brewery was not performing optimally, despite heavy investment in Capex and people development. The management team agreed that a different approach was necessary to turn the brewery around, so they adopted a more engaging leadership-driven approach. The goal was to become the ‘Most Improved Brewery’ in SABMiller. This revised approach not only impacted the KPIs significantly, but also moved the brewery from 87th to 33rd position in the SABMiller Global Rankings within three years.

 

 

  • Results
  • Most improved SABMiller brewery in Africa for two consecutive years (2015 and 2016)
  • Coca-Cola Stewardship Award: Most improved bottling plant in Southern Africa
  • CO purchased from external sources reduced to zero
  • Water usage (hl/hl) reduced by 99%
  • Energy usage (kWh/hl) reduced by 34%

 

Challenges

Before 2013, the Ndola brewery used TRACC to implement their Global Evaluation of Manufacturing Systems (GEMS). Success, however, was limited due to very little support from the senior leadership team. Employees were not applying their learnings to improve performance.

Leadership support was still limited, so performance continued to slide despite this new capital investment.

In 2013, SABMiller invested heavily in new Capex projects at the Ndola plant, including a new brew house and packaging line. But leadership support was still limited, so performance continued to slide despite this new capital investment. Employees were not supporting the processes and best practices were not being applied.

Solution

engaged leadershipThe senior leadership team met for a two-day Steering Committee Workshop where the team had a harsh look at their current reality. This included an honest self-evaluation in terms of both leadership style and plant performance. As a result, the team identified the need for a tangible objective that could be measured and tracked to demonstrate the overall improvement of the plant. The leadership team next agreed to focus on becoming the ‘Most Improved Brewery’ within SABMiller.

As a result of this improvement approach, Ndola brewery is now ranked 33rd in the SABMiller Global Rankings – up 54 places in a three-year period.

Once the team had agreed to the objective, they decided how to achieve it. Measures included:

  • A global KPI benchmarking exercise looking at both KPI performance and practices
  • Identifying KPI targets that were critical to achieving the objective
  • Identifying three phases of Profit Improvement Projects (PIPs) to deliver the required result
  • Focused GEMS practice improvements on activities that would drive KPI improvements

A significant challenge for the team was that they had a limited budget for external consulting support. They had to be creative in maximising value from this support, so they focused on two areas:

  1. Creating internal capability
  2. Focusing improvement projects in the areas that would drive the required performance improvement

Actions included:

engaged leadership
  • Developing excellent internal trainers to roll out training programmes
  • Upskilling the Manufacturing Development Specialist (MDS) to be able to drive the process without external support
  • Intensive support for PIP projects while upskilling the MDS for future projects
  • Transfer accountability from MDS to the department heads or Implementation Task Force (ITF) leaders

The MDS development plan included benchmarking visits to the best TRACC sites and monthly on-the-job coaching by a TRACC specialist. The focus was on developing the skills required to implement the MDS’ Leader Standard Work.

ITF leaders were accountable for performance in their own areas, whereas the MDS was responsible for providing support and coaching to achieve the set targets. Each ITF leader had a clear road map that highlighted the specific activities for the previous, current and next month.

Results

As a result of this improvement approach, Ndola brewery is now ranked 33rd in the SABMiller Global Rankings – up 54 places in a three-year period.

Specific PIPs were identified and delivered the following results in the beer process:

  • CO purchased from external sources reduced to zero
  • Water usage (hl/hl) reduced by 99%
  • Energy usage (kWh/hl) reduced by 34%

engaged leadershipA strong focus on the global benchmarking KPIs saw these additional improvements in beer quality and cost reductions:

  • Packed quality assessment (defects per million) reduced by 99%
  • Total packed oxygen (ppb) reduced by 71%
  • Taste index increased by 22%
  • Clarity index increased by 15%
  • Macro extract loss reduced by 12%

Several intangible benefits were also realised:

  • The MDS was trained to a level where they could consult to the team in the place of the TRACC specialist
  • Problem-solving skills grew to the point where the PIP teams were completing projects within a four-week window without consultant support
  • The client now owns and drives the process with consultant support in the background

The new leadership-driven approach and enhanced internal capability have set Ndola firmly on course to improve its global ranking even further.

COMPANY BACKGROUND
Zambian Breweries Plc is a Zambian brewing and beverage company listed on the Lusaka Stock Exchange. Its product range includes clear beers such as Mosi Lager, Castle Lager, Carling Black Label and Eagle Lager. In addition, the company packs soft drinks such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta and Schweppes. It also offers the energy drink Bern. The group has two breweries and three bottling plants, one of which is the Ndola plant.

 

Disclaimer
This resource has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained herein without obtaining specific professional advice. Competitive Capabilities International (CCi) does not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this resource or for any decision based on it.

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