Aspen Oss B.V. develops and produces complex, high quality active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). These are the active ingredients in medicines. The products are processed into blood thinners, muscle relaxants, contraceptives and anaesthetics. In this development, quality and safety are absolute requirements and each step in the process must be traceable afterwards. The organization strives for a modern way of working, with more focus on cooperation with a clear objective instead of ad hoc problem solving.
Busy all day
One methodology for achieving this is Daily Performance Management (DPM). Aspen has been working according to this methodology for some time and there was a need to expand this further. Transformation Professional Joep Engels is Employeneur for TMC. He supports teams at Aspen to optimize the use of. "Companies are traditionally very focused on results. That makes sense, of course, but the challenge here is that it is often about turnover and speed. There is often a culture in which everyone is always 'busy'. Moreover, within the organization you often see islands developing. Another factor at Aspen is that it is a BRZO company (major accidents hazards decree), where safety is of paramount importance.
In the department I support, for example, the people were working with a usable data set, but little came out of the discussion about the data. I then indicated that it was important for the team to work as a whole. In doing so, you first determine the goal. The nice thing is that I am not the one who determines that, but that the team itself comes to that conclusion after a while. My predecessor from TMC and I ensure that the level of DPM rises again, so that Aspen becomes even better at it. There is also a plan to continue this."
First define the goal
At DPM, the whole team defines where they stand in achieving the goal and where things may need to be adjusted. "But you don't just look at the data, it's really about becoming a team with a common goal. You then get to work with the data to achieve that goal. It sounds contradictory, but in my role I try to slow down organizations. If that works, people are less concerned with firefighting and more with the overall objective. And you achieve your ultimate goal faster."
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This can create the feeling that, as an employee, you are constantly being watched, but nothing could be further from the truth. "Compare it to the dashboard in a car. If you don't have one, you'll stand still in no time. It works the same way in organizations: if you don't have a good insight into how your important work processes are running, processes will get stuck at some point. DPM is not a method to judge people, but to ensure that you can continue to exist as a team and as an organization. If team members are better attuned to each other and accommodate when necessary, it is logical that you will function better as a team, and that in turn benefits the organization."
DPM is a visual method of monitoring a team's performance and encouraging the team to make improvements. A software package that is very suitable for this purpose is Mevisio. Because of its ease of use and functionality, TMC entered into a partnership with the Swedish manufacturer of this package. This cloud solution makes it very easy to set up interactive boards that can be operated and adjusted very intuitively. Moreover, the software integrates well with other solutions, for example business systems that are already in use.
A successful pilot with Mevisio has been run at Aspen. In the first instance, it was used to digitize loose, manually written notes that were stuck to a board. That was a big wish, says Karel Houthooft, Operations Manager at Aspen: "Paper works best, but nowadays it can be more practical thanks to digitization. It is already great to work with this solution in one team, but it would be even better if we could use the tool in the next step to communicate between departments, and then to communicate in the same way throughout the organization. Our company works 24 hours a day. It would be nice if we could use this solution to make the transfer between shifts easier and better. This solution could also be very suitable for escalating problems. The goal here should be that the problem ends up with the department that can help production solve the problem together. If the problem is bigger and cannot be solved easily, it can be raised one level higher. Then the request for help can be put there. That saves a lot of time while everyone gets the overview they want."
The trial with Mevisio definitely tastes like more. Karel Houthooft: "People really love it and as far as they're concerned it can't go fast enough. The challenge, also to take people along in the change, is to provide a system that I can always rely on. And a system that enables communication with other programs such as SAP, incident planning software and so on. If we can then also keep track of performance digitally and in a structured way with Mevisio, we will really take the next step in Daily Performance Management."
If you'd like to know more, please reach out:
Business manager Manufacturing Support, Netherlands
Tél. : +31 (0)6 46 07 45 00