Case Study: Operational Excellence Benchmark Assessment

Our specialist practitioners have completed Shingo benchmarking assessments at companies around the world and their latest project was at Waters – a global instrumentation company which designs, develops, manufactures and supports mass spectrometry.

The company has 6,000 employees globally and 600 staff at their state-of-the-art site in Wilmslow near Manchester.

“Mass spectrometry is basically looking at what, and how much of something, there is in a sample,” says Paul Clarke, a Lean Six Sigma Projects Engineer at Waters in Wilmslow.

“The benchmarking exercise was as much about getting an outside view, getting to the core of what we are and highlighting the areas we need to work on.

“I knew what was coming, as I’ve been doing this for a long time, but it was enlightening for other people. We are successful at what we do but it’s always good to get another perspective.

“As a company, we are always trying to improve and we wanted to look at how we can work better as a site.”

The Manufacturing Institute team were granted access to the Waters site and over 10 days looked at every aspect of the business before reporting back to the site’s senior team.

“They looked at product development, manufacturing from a materials standpoint and the culture on site. It was very wide-ranging covering many different aspects,” said Paul.

“Some of their findings surprised people. We will take the results further. We’re doing a piece of work on a strategy for problem-solving in a much more structured manner.

“We’re also doing some work on our vision, mission and values. “

He added: “The Manufacturing Institute team got straight to it. They were very structured in the way they went about the benchmarking exercise. They got to the heart of where we are.

“They were open and honest, worked with honesty and trust, and they were also very skilled and tactful which all made for good discussions.

“We got consistent quality from everyone. They have the knowledge to carry all their findings forward. “Our contact with The Manufacturing Institute has been entirely positive. We’re very glad we called them in.”