Global consumer products company, Coty Inc., was in a period of rapid expansion and preparing for a public offering, precipitating the need to dial-up its supply chain excellence. Based in Europe with 12,000 employees, the company’s Supply Chain Leadership Team had already moved the needle some by tackling the low-hanging fruit – but progress had plateaued. They began to ask themselves how they could achieve the next level of supply chain excellence. Coty called Kotter to help design and implement a change program that would deliver dramatic results beyond those already achieved.
Key elements of this supply chain excellence change effort included:
- Inviting the entire organization to take part.
- Mobilizing all functions and levels of the business to behave as change agents, asking questions and taking action in service to the call-to-action from leadership.
- Organizing employees in non-traditional ways to generate never-before-seen results: identify new streams of revenue, manage costs, boost productivity, drive sustainability and improve quality.
Employees were given explicit permission to take risks and make change happen. After three weeks of planning and three weeks of execution, more than 2,000 employees had volunteered to take action. It was described as magic — the right people, brought together with an aligned purpose, and a “want to” attitude. This critical mass of employees was needed to power the strategy and, once mobilized, results quickly followed. $39 million dollars was shaved off of supply chain costs that the first year. Over 400 wins were documented in the first 300 days of the effort – wins that saved time and money and unleashed ideas that had always been there, but had never been executed. For instance, in one European facility, a brand of perfume was labeled manually, resulting in quality issues. Two front-line employees readapted an existing machine on-site with a mold they created to automate the labeling process, resulting in a perfectly placed label every time.
These wins were celebrated all the way to the top of the organization. By giving success a stage, improvements scaled organically from line-to-line and plant-to-plant. Operational efficiencies multiplied while the incremental investment was reduced, streamlining Coty’s path to achieving supply chain excellence.