Operational Excellence

Operational Excellence © smuay, Fotolia

Operational Excellence



A multi-national water treatment group asked Alexion Partners to transform one of its newly acquired manufacturers, which was facing challenges from physical layout, material movement, production processes, inventory,  procurement, forecasting, and scheduling. The facility layout had grown organically and was thereby very inefficient and disorganized. Production processes were non-standard and very inefficient, no visual management, no plant management routines, no incentives or training programs. Lack of timely and correct movement of raw material form warehouse to production lines (3-7 hours per day spent on waiting for material while 1 hour per day spent on fixing missing parts/wrong parts). High percentage of non value added activities on production line (35 percent observed during Express Mapping, higher than industry benchmarks). Limited synchronization of sub-assembly lines and units production lines.  Forecasting, planning, and scheduling were very weak and inaccurate or untimely, resulting in many production schedule changes, and high inventory of raw materials and finished goods.


  • Conducted in-depth interviews with key stakeholders across the company (operations, sales, marketing, R&D etc.)
  • Performed time studies and Gemba Study on shop floor
  • Analyzed 3 years’ data of sales, production, forecasting, inventory control, quality, and other related field
  • Designed and implemented new layouts, processes, and flow (material, people, signals, and documents) for 6 production areas and 2 warehouses
  • Implemented standard work, Lean champions, management routines (Kaizen meetings, gemba walks, 5S audits, trainings, etc.), incentive programs, and continuous improvement culture.


The plant was completely transformed into a leaner manufacturing site with a Continuous Improvement culture to drive daily improvements into the future.
The main outputs were:

  • Re-designed production floor that is efficient and effective,
  • Strong training and empowerment of shop floor employees on CI & Lean culture and tools,
  • Established processes, visual flor management, and plant management routines to drive efficiency and quality,
  • Lean operations handbook, which documents all processes and lean infrastructure,
  • Created a Continuous improvement culture on site.