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An Integrated Approach Delivers Results

A major timber and wood products company historically registered subpar performance outcomes when compared to other mills, but increased market demand presented an opportunity to improve throughput four-fold. Working with BCG, the company used an integrated approach around operational/lean and behavioral improvement levers to ensure sustained results across process reliability and organizational accountability.

The initial project goal was to increase process reliability from 70-87%. To accomplish this, the team used an integrated approach around operational, lean, and behavioral improvement levers to ensure sustained results.

Leadership workshops, interviews, and surveys helped define targeted behaviors. Critically, the team defined the right incentives and key performance indicators to affect these behaviors, and it built dashboards that made it possible for supervisors and operators to monitor performance.

The impact played out at many levels. For example, a new organizational structure was put in place with clearly defined roles. And a new leadership team was built with the vision and dedication to continue leading the change.

Specifically, the format for shift handoff meetings was changed to address roadblocks and encourage associate engagement. Standard operating procedures were identified, updated, and discussed across multiple shifts. Checklists and visual examples were posted throughout the mill to support “what good looks like.” Employees were also made more accountable through precise performance tracking and more structured disciplinary procedures.

Given new tools, proper training, and the ability to improve processes, the company’s culture changed—and so did its process reliability.

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