Phil McIntyre, Managing Director for Client Development and Marketing
By definition, operational excellence is a philosophy where teamwork, problemsolving, and leadership result in an organization’s ongoing enhancement. For manufacturing companies, excellence can be achieved by fostering a cultural change that entails improving existing processes, being customer-focused, and keeping employees positive and empowered. In today’s highly competitive world, it is pivotal for organizations to not only achieve operational and safety excellence but establish a culture of continuous improvement to sustain it. However, most organizations lack the ability to engage their entire workforce and gain buy-in to the core improvement strategies. This hinders their efforts to create a holistic cultural transformation and, subsequently, prevents them from enabling and sustaining operational excellence.
To this end, Performance Solutions by Milliken, a consulting division of Milliken & Company, brings a unique, practitioner-based value proposition that helps companies achieve substantial and sustainable improvements in their operations. “The award-winning Milliken Performance System (MPS) is supported by unique, prescriptive methodologies, which build our client’s businesses into lean enterprises,” says Phil McIntyre, Managing Director, Client Development and Marketing, Performance Solutions by Milliken.
Redefining the Legacy
Since its inception, Performance Solutions by Milliken has been focused on helping organizations achieve operational and safety excellence. To align well with this agenda, Performance Solutions Practitioners have spent several decades discovering the best possible ways to enhance organizations’ operational excellence. “We’ve looked, listened, learned, and used the knowledge we’ve gleaned to develop our holistic system,” says McIntyre. The transferable and customizable system based on; total employee engagement, efficient manufacturing processes, redefined metrics, and practical expertise, serves as the go-to solution for organizations from a wide range of industries, including chemical, food & beverage, paper and packaging, and consumer products, to name a few.
With a comprehensive set of operational excellence principles— including focused improvement, continuous skills development, and quality management—the Milliken Performance System helps manufacturers improve their safety, productivity, quality, and efficiency. The system is built upon a foundation of safety and strategic clarity— designed to engage all associates in the uncompromising pursuit of zero, ultimately creating an alignment between operations and the businesses. What gives Performance Solutions an extra edge is its potential to change a business’ culture from both the bottomup and top-down, leading organizations toward long-term, sustainable growth.
One-of-a-Kind Knowledge Transfer Model
With longstanding experience in the manufacturing space, Performance Solutions by Milliken identifies that the only way to enhance an organization’s operational efficiency is to lead by example.
Every Performance Solutions Practitioner has spent their career implementing the principles of safety, operational excellence, and performance improvement, with many of them working on the leadership teams within Milliken’s manufacturing sites. “Our practitioners adopt a unique ‘teach-coach-mentor’ engagement model that focuses on knowledge transfer, wherein clients have the opportunity to learn, then lead, then leverage the gains. First, they educate (Teach/Learn) clients on the strategies and processes needed to increase productivity, quality, and efficiency and generate long-term, holistic, sustainable improvement. Then, our practitioners work in tandem with those clients (Coach/Lead) to help them achieve it, as opposed to doing it for them,” McIntyre shares. In effect, it helps clients develop a systematic improvement approach, implement their versions of a performance system themselves, and sustain it without depending on anyone else in the long run (Mentor/Leverage).
Carving the Way to Operational Excellence
Performance Solutions by Milliken follows a six-step approach to implementation. A typical engagement would begin by meeting with clients to share first-hand how MPS works and how it can impact their organization. Experts at Performance Solutions by Milliken then assess the client’s organization, operations, and culture to identify gaps within the system and, subsequently, shift their focus to areas that need customized enhancements.
Our practitioners adopt a unique ‘teach-coachmentor’ engagement model that focuses on knowledge transfer, wherein clients have the opportunity to learn, lead, and leverage
In the next phase, Performance Solutions by Milliken establishes a “master plan” with the client. They share insights acquired from the assessment giving clients a complete understanding of their existing system’s performance. The conversation then moves to implementation and what it should ideally look like. According to McIntyre, the most crucial part of the entire process is articulating the ‘Wins’ for both clients and their employees.
Performance Solutions by Milliken then develops a ‘Model Implementation Plan’ to improve the process across selected sites within the clients’ footprint. Practitioners work side-byside with clients to implement the core pillars of operational excellence and safety excellence in the models. Once the models have been transformed, clients can deploy the new concepts and standards to other areas within their organization.
Spearheading the Marketplace
What makes Performance Solutions by Milliken unique is its data-driven decision-making capability to identify the right process improvement strategies for their clients. Unlike its competitors, the firm uses a “zeroloss” thinking mindset to provide the best process to identify and prioritize opportunities that generate the greatest gains and lead to breakthrough performance improvements. To further elaborate on Performance Solutions by Milliken’s value proposition, McIntyre recalled its recent collaboration with a food and beverage company. Performance Solutions by Milliken’s comprehensive engagement model allowed the client to increase their associate engagement from 40 percent to 87 percent. They were also able to achieve an average ROI of 9:1, eliminate downtime by 76 percent, and reduce waste by 34 percent.
Backed by many such examples of customer success, Performance Solutions by Milliken aims to grow at a steady pace going forward. Even amid the pandemic, the company has quickly adapted and responded to changes by reshuffling its business model to support clients remotely. Anticipating the hardships of physically meeting clients in the future, Performance Solutions by Milliken is currently focusing on remote work and virtual knowledge transfer. “We aim at ensuring a better manufacturing environment for organizations by helping them unleash their real in-house capabilities, transform their business culture, increase productivity, quality, and safety,” concludes McIntyre.