Bourton Group worked closely with the client’s internal team as well as with supply chain
professionals from across the wider Group to:
• Select the suite of supply chain activities that would comprise the supply chain
process to best fit the geographical demand patterns throughout Europe
• Develop these activities and the organisation to the highest level of competence
• Work within current global IT system (MfgPro) tailoring and integrating it to the
required process at all stages of the Supply Chain
• Ensure sustainability
• Adopting this approach ensured that supply chain best practice was combined
with what was practical, cost effective and sustainable for the client company and
the Group as a whole.
The assignment was undertaken in two stages. First a detailed diagnostic was undertaken
to identify and agree the solution options, benefits and implementation plan. Then the
implementation programme was executed so that improvements that were delivering the
most benefits in terms of improving customer service and cutting inventory levels were
prioritised and delivered first.
At this stage the benefits were estimated to be an increase in product availability to 95%
and a stock reduction over the seven European warehouses of 1.7 million litres. The
diagnostic identified a programme of thirteen opportunities for improvement, grouped into
1. Managing Demand
2. Reducing Response Time
3. Reducing Variability In Supply
4. Manufacturing & Supply Chain Architecture
The 13 projects were largely interdependent, elements of one enabling another.
Therefore the challenge was to coordinate the people, process and technology aspects of
the improvement programme to maximise the benefit and minimise the timescale. To
achieve this, projects were assigned and progress monitored both in real time and at a
weekly project meeting.
Bourton’s role was to support the initial stages of the improvement programme by
providing deep supply chain and Lean Sigma expertise, objectivity and skilled resources to
support and complement the in-house teams. Bourton always played a supporting rather
than a leadership role so as to ensure that the experience and learning was embedded in
the company and that improvement was ongoing and sustainable. For example, once this
programme had delivered the improvements sought, the improvement programme
manager was deployed to another Group site to emulate the diagnostic and build a similar
programme of work to improve the Supply Chain processes there.