Introducing operational excellence
Neckermann (part of the Thomas Cook group) has chosen operational excellence as a strategic option (=Neckermann best price/quality). Möbius helped Thomas Cook to implement this objective by offering customers a consistent product of high quality throughout the journey.
We opted for a ‘multi-echelon’ approach which involved setting up large projects with breakthrough results as well as small projects aimed at strengthening a culture of continuous improvement. Project selection was done in a broad-based group which included loyal customers.
One of the breakthrough projects aimed at improving the passenger experience for a specific customer segment (the Condor Case). We launched a short intensive programme with internal experts. Based on process walkthroughs, brainstorming sessions and impact analyses, a sound optimization plan was created within a week.
To achieve a culture of continuous improvement, we worked on ‘raising awareness’ for ‘operational excellence (OPEX)’ throughout the entire organisation. OPEX principles were shared and their importance was emphasized using training courses and coaching. Here are a few examples of initiatives taken in terms of culture:
- 5S in the workplace in combination with a move made continuous improvement tangible and visible in the workplace.
- During game playing, members of staff were challenged to improve their own workstation.
- A system of personal work organisation and planning was launched.
- Less work-related pressure, more zest for work, more control…
- The results were made visible (visual management).
A collaboration with Möbius led to the following concrete results:
- Organisation-wide awareness of thinking in terms of ‘lean’ and ‘processes’.
- Lean ambassadors that ‘believe’ in this strategy were appointed and internally trained.
- The Condor Case gave rise to a more effective service experience through experimenting and evaluation.
Process innovation is now much easier. Everyone speaks the same language. We recently carried out a contact centre optimization and I am convinced that without the investment in raising awareness and culture we would never have realized the same results. Möbius is an organisation with which we work together in a very flexible way and we looked for maximum value in every step of the process.