The client

Part of a food producing co-operative with a turnover of £100 million per year. They manufacture ingredients and pack them on site for retail and to sell in bulk to other businesses in the supply chain, including competitors in the retail market.

The challenge

Increased demand for retail products was driving the need to standardise the performance of the client’s packing machinery. Key to this was their inability to accurately track the factory’s current performance. Their existing system only reviewed pallets made every 24 hours, with no way of tracking losses of time or materials.

Unusually, HIC was asked to work within very tight time and cost parameters in order to fully implement the solution in just two weeks.


The solution

The limited time available for HIC’s input on the project resulted in a tightly scheduled approach to devising and launching a solution based on accurate data tracking. Within the first few hours on site, the associate consultant had guided the management team in choosing what parameters to measure and therefore what the KPI tracker was going to show. Over the next week every operative across three shifts was briefed about what the new KPI tracker would display and how to fill in the new paperwork that comes with it. During these sessions two people on each shift were assigned to be data entry operators. They were trained to type the new performance data, type and amount of downtime, into the newly created KPI database. At the start of week two the team were ready to start collecting the downtime on the new paperwork and entering it in to the database for each shift. To ensure accuracy their first attempts were done collaboratively with the associate consultant, even the night shift had a face to face session. From there on the last four days of the project were spent getting the management team used to using the new performance displays to drive daily actions and help prove where they needed to focus their improvement efforts.

Examples of the new performance tracking documentation and systems that HIC introduced are shown below:



“If the client feels the same sense of urgency as we do, there is lot we can achieve in a short time”

— John Hiles HIC


The results

The new performance monitoring system was successfully implemented within the two week deadline, delivering a new level of process control and a new data-driven “improvement mindset” for the client’s management team.


Key Outcomes


Process control

Implementing improvement mindset

Adopted data focus