A company for years had celebrated great product volume, good customer recognition of product name, and a wide variety of diversity in product. Return on investments was good with great profit sharing to the employees and management team.

Change didn’t happen for well over 50 years because the adage was if it’s not broke don’t try to fix it!

The company and management team didn’t have to worry about diversity of their products because their world hadn’t  changed. Americans showed loyalty to the successful product names that they had grown up with as they watched their parents buy goods and services from name brands that they respected.

Then something happened. The world changed and changed fast. Customers wanted diversity in their products. They wanted the products that they purchased to have fewer calories, be healthier for you, and they wanted more product for their money not less.

For years this company never looked at Key Performance Indicators that drove Ownership, Accountability, Growth, work that Standardized activities across all shifts in the plant. As a result when product issues occurred across the plant they relied on word of mouth communication and tribal knowledge to resolve issues. They never got to the root cause of their issues and they never had to enforce expectations for getting to the root cause of problems. They looked a t going after opportunities to improve performance as people issues. Change the managers or employees and your issues go away!

Because of the stale work practices and being reluctant to change the company’s product volume fell well below 50 %. The diversity in product fell from around 47 different product packages down to around 19 different product package s. The result for the company was lower profit, fewer employees, and a work force that hadn’t changed for over 50 years.

Change had to happen and happen fast. The company has recognized that by identifying the right Key Performance Indicators and holding all employees accountable for them is the company’s number one deliverable. They now understand that to be successful at producing quality products on time daily they have to get to the root cause of issues and take  action the resolves them, forever.

Driving Ownership and accountability is now at the forefront of all daily, weekly, and monthly meetings to ensure  that all plant issues are addressed. And last but not least, standardizing work across the entire plant for all shift s will enable a well – trained diversified work force that can deliver more volume with fewer employees in less time. Being accountable to their Key Performance Indicators drives improvement.

Sometimes the good ‘ole days are just old.  To survive and thrive in today’s competitive manufacturing landscape, you need to drive ownership, accountability and growth every day.  As this company proved, it’s doesn’t happen automatically, but it can be achieved.  And just like rediscovering a beautiful antique, success the second time may be even sweeter than the “good ‘ole days.”