The years of change and the globalization of the last decades have also brought about a lot of change at the Klagenfurt site. In particular, the organisational structures, which can be seen as glue between the different business areas, departments and their employees, link the contemplative Klagenfurt with the global enterprise world in a very special way. The enterprise is organized with a matrix structure, which means that a department can be spread across multiple locations and even continents to maximize geographic and organizational benefits. For Klagenfurt this means that the local purchasing manager has some employees from different sub-departments or parallel departments with him, who are not directly subordinate to him and which creates a comprehensible complexity in the organizational structure. So what creates global potential in terms of processes in the enterprise group, at the same time means major challenges at the local organizational level.
Fig. 1: There is no one department! - Interfaces of a department fragment
IMIG Austria entered at this point with an initial Lean Office project, which gave the local purchasing department of Klagenfurt the opportunity to work on a tangible topic in the here and now and to discover new synergies. First and foremost, the common theme revealed many differences between employees, who of course often had very different approaches to general standards due to their global team background. A common need for more local communication quickly emerged, which served during the workshops and beyond in various formats such as new effective location meetings and team development activities. Furthermore, the Lean approach consisted of transparently bundling the communication in the workshop and helping the participants to find a common language level with which it was possible to name the very differently communicated problems by the same name.
In addition to these main aspects, we were also able to immerse ourselves in the value stream mapping in order to explain the potentials of this method to the employees using a concrete example.
Fig. 2: Value stream mapping to improve a process
In this way the certification process for suppliers could be explained in more detail and the different approaches to standardized processes got evaluated.
As the site in Klagenfurt has very successfully implemented the self-imposed goals from our joint workshops, we are looking forward to further projects in order to dive deeper into the optimization possibilities with lean methods of the next level.
Consultant - IMIG Austria