Process optimisation for increasing productivity and profitability – such was the main task for our consultants at Zberné suroviny Žilina, a Slovak company with a long tradition.
The companyZberné suroviny Žilina specialises in processing secondary raw materials such as paper, scrap, non-ferrous metals, plastics, etc. Currently, approximately 260 employees work in 23 facilities and 66 centres operated by ZSZA throughout the country. While the processes across the facilities are very similar(purchasing of raw material, collection, processing and subsequent sale), but they are not the same.
Furthermore, the inconsistency of processes, coupled with insufficient IT support, has caused long-term difficulties faced by the company:
- Low performance and profitability of the company,
- Insufficient data and tools necessary for managerial decision-making,
- Slow response times to price changes on both the buy-side (and sell-side),
- Unmotivated employees.
In 2019, the ZSZA management was replaced, and the new board decided to optimise the processes and improve the current state. The objective was clear: To become a modern, flexible and profitable company with well-established procedures and satisfied and motivated employees.
The changes considered included replacing the existing software and other possible improvements.
Towards increased performance
U&SLUNO’s consultants were primarily challenged to accurately describe and define the individual processes used in the “field,” i. e., at headquarters, in the respective offices and finally in the collection yards. We strived to unify, simplify, and automate everything as much as possible by using IT support. Another objective was to prepare a detailed draft of future measures, quantifying the potential in terms of processes, data, networks and user software.
Throughout the work, we have identified8 main processes and focused on assessing strengths and weaknesses. While performing the data analysis, we concentrated on comparing the performance of selected facilities.
We determined the significant performance differences between the individual facilities by conducting their physical audit, describing all the processes, and analysing the data. Consequently, based on the SWOT and process analyses, we carried out workshops for employees, along with satisfaction and motivation interviews.
Some of the other steps that helpedus in achieving our goalswere:
- New ERP system (tender requirements and specifications),
- BI tools to ensure the principle of continuous optimisation and providing essential support for additional cost savings,
- Consolidation of the branch networks with the potential to reduce personnel and overhead costs,
- Streamlining of the supplier and customer portfolio,
- Introduction of the Competence Model for HQ-Branches management,
- Optimisation of transport costs ( in-house vs external),
- Streamlining the maintenance and refurbishment system, including the restoration of collection yards.
Moreover, we also recommended changes inthe following areas:remuneration system, training and in-house communication.