Month: July 2016

Holy Guacamole

A preeminent fruit producer asked Zinata to help guide it into a more fluid future. Here’s what happened.


Situation

The world’s leading producer, distributor and marketer of fresh Hass avocados needed help. It is a vertically integrated company whose focus is providing worldwide customers a year-round supply, global availability and various value-added services. Its troubles arose from rapid growth built on a homegrown information system that supported siloed functional operations. Zinata was asked to help re-map the business processes in order to help the company decide whether to drive future growth on the current information system or implement a new one.

Prescription

Zinata proposed a broader view of the project – knowing that the work must start with a clear corporate (and supporting functional) vision of the future. Workshops were conducted first with the executive leadership team, then with functional leadership teams, to identify and acknowledge gaps in the current state, and to harness their dissatisfaction to create a clear, compelling vision of the future state they wished to reach.

Implementation

Using standard Zinata processes and templates, the client was taught how to document their work processes at the functional level. By looking at each process through an input-process-output model, the team began to appreciate the connections between processes and functions. Zinata then brought multi-functional representatives together to draw the current and future states process maps. For the first time, people understood why their work was important to others and how their various parts in the process came together to complete the whole. This unleashed a powerful desire to solve all problems by working together using the best practice tools brought aboard by Zinata.

Outcome

The corporate strategy is now more clearly articulated and communicated to the broader organization. A path forward to a new ERP system is in place. It includes new people capabilities and business work processes. Mid-level managers are energized and empowered to drive change now and well into the future by working together multi-functionally.

“Zinata is extremely responsive. They’ve done a tremendous job so far and have given us the tools and the confidence that we can get this done. They’ve followed through on every commitment.”
Company CEO

Drug problems

A global pharma leader turns to Zinata to help it bridge silos and speed up new product development.


Situation

The client, a large pharmaceutical company was stymied by increasing complexity in their R&D pipeline and an inefficient, outdated approach to technology transfer and new product development & introduction (NPDI). Management realized that current manual processes and siloed organizational structure across new product development and manufacturing were incapable of delivering the required speed-to-market, supply agility and product intelligence. In response, they’d launched several costly initiatives, each targeting a segment of the overall problem. Over time, it became clear that the initiatives’ deliverables were fragmented, sub-optimal and that overall progress was falling behind schedule.

Prescription

Zinata was engaged to support the client’s initiatives and to deliver a seamless, integrated solution for NPDI from early-stage development through to product manufacturing. The client had identified key benefits upon which they desired the initiatives to deliver. They included improved product integrity and consistency; faster time-to-market; enhanced operational agility; improved product and process understanding; and improved analytics and visualization through digitization of key business processes and information. Understanding the overlapping initiative objectives and the underlying complexity of this bold transformation, Zinata and the client reframed the initiatives as a transformational program. We secured executive sponsorship to ensure cross-organizational alignment and to establish a single vision to enable the program’s successful deployment.

Implementation

Zinata’s proposed solution focused on two main components: Standardization and Enterprise Recipe Management (ERM). The established Zinata Standards Framework and accelerators were augmented to suit the client, so they could be readily adopted across its businesses. Interviews and workshops were held to improve clarity of, and to define, the interfaces between the initiatives and functions. It became clear that ERM would provide the common and consistent language and process to knit together the silos, processes and initiatives into a harmonized program. The initiatives were synchronized to minimize redundant efforts and to capitalize on the standards framework and recipe management capabilities.

Outcome

Since our deployment, the client has enjoyed much-strengthened collaboration between R&D and manufacturing through seamless information flows on the new product pipeline. Critical design decisions are now made with real-time input from key partners (R&D, manufacturing, quality, sourcing, etc.) in a collaborative spirit. The value of ERM and a standards framework to technology transfer has helped simplify the process while ensuring a high level of product quality. The client appreciates that adopting standards at the appropriate level and deploying ERM are supportive capabilities, even with their perspective that “all the products are different”. The team is now motivated and enthusiastic to progress all new products through this new, simplified process.