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Case study

Working ourselves out of a job

Our goal as improvement specialists is to ensure
you no longer need improvement specialists
By Adrian Cunliffe, Business Manager, Newton Europe

We work with client teams, on-site, assessing their and increase the skills of everyone, from managers
processes, designing change and implementing and internal improvement teams through to shop floor
it. But doing our job well really well means workers training people to do the job we do.
empowering those clients to successfully drive
change without us. Thats the ultimate goal of our With every Newton programme we invariably run an
improvement programmes and its especially relevant on-site training and coaching workstream. In response
within the defence sector. to demand, weve also started running separate,
three-week client training courses which involve
We are currently just over halfway through a teaching participants from our HQ in Oxfordshire, as
programme of work with Rolls-Royce to help further well as sending them out in the field alongside Newton
improve its manufacturing to become as efficient and people to work on other improvement programmes in
quality-focused as possible, whilst delivering on time. different sectors. Some clients have even seconded
Weve had some great results in localised areas which their staff to us for a time.
have targeted specific problems. We are now looking
towards the phase of the programme that focuses Rolls-Royce already has one of the best recruitment
on developing the local team. Its arguably the most processes in the sector and so we already have a
important phase, because if done right, it will achieve great team of smart, engaged people to work with.
results that will last long after weve gone. The challenge lies in the intricacy of submarine
work and the processes around it. Its an incredibly
To do this successfully we need to pass on the right complex environment with low volumes - every build
skills, knowledge and culture to ensure the changes is bespoke, requiring very specific, technical, high
we make are sustainable. Its our job to bring to the quality materials.
table an initial drive for change and a challenge to
the status quo, but its also our job to leave our client The key is to focus on the end part of the project the
teams with the skills to do the same. Our aim is to handover early on in the improvement programme.
engage them in how to deliver improvement projects Involving and immersing the client team from the
beginning, giving them ownership and accountability
so they are fully part of the change before it even
starts to occur.

Part of the reason Rolls-Royce Submarines

business brought Newton on board is because they
had already worked with us in other areas of the
company. They knew we had the skills to implement
fast yet meaningful, sustainable change, with the
line leadership, ownership and accountability on a
project as complicated as the submarine programme.
Holding regular, structured reviews with senior
management and line leaders, helping to establish a
business as usual, sustained process.

In one previous Rolls-Royce assignment we reduced

upstream procurement processes significantly. In
another, we worked at resolving stops and holds
within production avoiding technical problems that
delay delivery. Through driving an effective resolution
process and fully engaging the local team, we helped
reduce the number of stops and holds within 5
months. Better yet, after we left the programme, the
team continued to build on the change and initiatives
to solve further problems.

They have since achieved greater results than we ever

did on-site, meaning theyre unlikely to need us back
again in the future.

And believe it or not, thats music to an improvement

specialists ears.

Adrian Cunliffe is a Business Manager at Newton Europe

where he heads up major improvement programmes
across the defence and aerospace industry.

Name: Adrian Cunliffe
T: +44 (0)1865 601 300