Client success stories provide insights into how Kepner-Tregoe consulting and training services resulted in measurable improvements in targeted KPIs.
Client success stories are organized by industry, but many are relevant across industries because they illustrate dramatic results based on the application of analytic thinking to the problems, plans and decisions made by individuals and teams in our increasingly digitized and changing business environment.
Supply Chain Helps Novartis Capture Market Share
When a competitor withdrew a drug from the market, Novartis AG raced to capture market share. To beat the competition, each link in the company’s supply chain had to hold fast under grueling time pressure. The new process was among the most complex ever introduced at NRL in terms of chemistry and equipment.
Program Leader Pat O’Sullivan facilitated a multi-functional troubleshooting team of process chemists and engineers, the plant manager, the production supervisor, and an expert consultant on the new process. From work completed, problems were solved and fixes were made. The supply chain held allowing Novartis to beat the competition to market. Sales boomed and market share increased by 20%.
Proving an “obvious cause” is not at fault leads to a surprising true cause and timely resolution
The problem was a material change-a component made of a soft plastic material had to be changed to a comparable material when the existing one was no longer available. Because the behavior of the new material properties did not change, there was no obvious reason for anything but a smooth transition. Yet when testing was done to ensure that the new material was as good as the old, the components made with the new material did not meet quality standards and were quarantined from production. It was likely that the new material was the cause. Supplies of the old materials would soon be depleted, and production would be interrupted if the issue wasn’t resolved quickly and completely. Adding to the potential impact were reports from the customer of leaking products. This caused additional concern that bad product was already in the hands of customers.
This application of KT process yielded significant results beyond the hundreds of thousands of euros saved when the quarantined batches were released and shipped to the customer. Most importantly, product safety was ensured. The use of KT analysis and the confirmed root cause helped Gerresheimer to eliminate any risk to end-use customers and avoided the potential for recalls of product already on the market.
Partnering with KT to Project Manage Change
As ABS grew, project overload had overwhelmed consistent project success. There were too many projects and, too often, projects were inadequately defined or lacked management buy-in. Some critical projects had fallen behind schedule, and project managers struggled to meet the demands of a growing project load.
Results have been rapid and lasting. Within a year, everyone working in projects used a consistent familiar language for project management. Project awareness, communication, and success improved dramatically. On-schedule projects increased from 56.4% to 90%. Project leaders were responsible for an average of 1.4 projects, down from an unmanageable 2.6. In one instance, properly defining the project using KT Project Management saved $191,000 and 696 “people days.” Projects are the way work gets done at ZLB Plasma Services, providing a flexible structure that is focused on results.
Decision Making Under Pressure at BJC Healthcare
A freak incident (involving a raccoon, a fire and a transformer) led to a power outage at all 13 hospitals and several service organizations—impacting the care of thousands of patients and affecting thousands of employees. When the power failed, the standard “hot switch” flip to a redundant power source failed for unrelated reasons, and the health system was running on generator power. This represented a high-risk, single-point-of-failure, unacceptable situation. As time passed, pressure mounted. Stakeholders no longer trusted the IT processes, were concerned about vendor and supplier support, and demanded to be part of the decision on how best to move forward. Stress was mounting with each passing hour.
Decision-making quickly becomes a high-stakes game within the healthcare industry. Using Decision Analysis, BJC Healthcare saved in excess of $800K in hospital time and resources, implemented a major reduction in patient risk, brought objectivity to risk management, created agreement among a diverse team, and provided a structure for key stakeholders to understand how the decision was made.
A Systematic Approach to Investigations Yields Rapid Results
In a continuous quest to achieve manufacturing excellence, site managers explored opportunities to reduce the number of investigations as well as the number of days required to close their investigations. The plant did not have a standard, systematic approach to finding the root cause of manufacturing deviations. In fact, engineers and scientists often relied on trial and error approaches that delayed investigations or created recurrences of deviations because true cause was not found and corrected. Site managers believed that by adopting a formal methodology to ensure faster time to closure on investigations, they would be able to reduce the number of investigations and improve investigation results.
The work plan to improve the investigation process and incorporate KT as the investigation methodology was completely developed and implemented in less than six months. Within a year of identifying this opportunity for improvement, management and investigations teams reported a new confidence in their ability to conduct investigations quickly and accurately. Comparing year-to-year, investigations fell by 33% using the new approach. When compared with the previous year, closings dropped 13%. As a result of these successes, investigation teams are more focused and disciplined, and systematic KT approaches have been integrated into other business functions to facilitate concerns and critical decision making.
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