It's not about giving people fish, it's about teaching them how to fish. The old and well-known Chinese proverb can be applied to both individuals and businesses: in both cases, you move faster when you benefit from the tailwind of a fellow traveler.
The company featured in this story already knew how to fish; in fact, it's the top of its field in Mexico, but it faced a supply chain with significant opportunity for improvement and processes that had the potential to become more agile. Now that Opinno has established a solid foundation of work and has set up clear and solid processes, the company can now fly higher and independently.
Back in January 2022, “the initial challenge was to learn about the processes in their supply chain step by step“, recalls Miguel Ángel Foces, head of the project at Opinno. Their supply chain is made up of six links: manufacturing, foreign trade-imports, planning and replenishment, distribution, traffic and fleets, and foreign trade-exports.
“It was a question of mapping and diagnosing the current situation and configuring a digital tool which could prioritize any processes that could be improved and redefined, establish their interrelationships and work to train the teams involved,” explains the consulting firm's project leader.
The challenge posed by the company and tackled by Opinno was enormous. A huge amount of work was required to analyze the entire supply chain and the company's position, its operations and processes, as well as to carry out an exhaustive follow-up of the work performed by the teams in charge.
It was entirely developed through maintaining constant dialogue with the teams – in line with Opinno's usual strategy of listening to the customer at all times – and involved several steps:
- Design a questionnaire to be shared at high levels within the company.
- Develop a tool to map (capture the structure in a chart or map) and identify processes.
- Generate automated as-is diagrams: as the expression “as is” suggests, these diagrams reflect the current state of the organization's processes and situation, with both their strengths and weaknesses or shortcomings, providing visibility into how processes, activities and decisions are carried out.
- Conduct in-depth interviews with process managers to approve these drafts and transform them into final versions.
- Generate value stream maps, which represent the relationship between processes and the value chain.
Along the way, the project resulted in the identification of more than 70 valuable insights, more than 50 hours of coaching and training and more than 25 in-depth interviews, as well as 24 mapped sub-processes, seven value stream maps were developed and as many workshops to validate them, the analysis of six process blocks and two mapping workshops for the corporate team.
As a 'bonus' not included in the initial assignment, Opinno went further in its determination to add value and drive its clients forward by adding a detailed analysis of the company's pain points – what was going wrong or could be improved in each process – which has been of great use to the corporation.
At the end of it all, there were analyses, reflections and lessons learnt with the potential to have an impact on the company's processes, organization, way of working and results.
Thus, Opinno has been influential in providing a strategic vision, proposing an operation based on work cells, dividing or unifying tasks to improve functions or reduce inefficiencies, implementing performance measures, identifying opportunities for improvement in a preventive manner and promoting an agile organization (which allows focus on objectives). Also, in the search for a wider perspective to detect where the company is headed, in order to proactively impact the market.
As a sign of the project's success, the company is planning to extend the work carried out and the added value generated to other major departments in the near future.