Richmann Walsh Engineering Ltd. was originally established in 1968 as a toolmaking company. It has evolved over the years gaining a renowned reputation as a specialist low to mid volume component manufacturer and bespoke engineering service provider. Customers include; MOD, automotive, Agri-Tech and off-highway. In 2017 two engineers, Mark Manning and Richard Webb, took control of the company with a view to growth. They uncovered many issues with the hitherto traditionally organised business that could threaten its long-term survival in the modern fast paced trading environment. Tragically in 2019, as they began to address the challenges, Richard, who managed day-to-day operations, passed away leaving Mark responsible for both commercial and operations as MD.
2019-20 saw a decline in volumes and new orders due to the COVID 19 pandemic, outdated factory systems and methods, and the cost structure. These issues affected demand, processing times and competitiveness. There was a need to re-finance the business and take stock of the current position ahead of an operations strategy that would secure the short-term future and prepare it for growth.
The employees at the factory that have been there for many years and operating under the old regime were naturally anxious about the prospect of a change. Mark contacted OAG in August 2020 to have the factory operations independently appraised as a starting point to developing a growth and modernisation strategy. From our initial consultation and as an aid to buy-in, we suggested he involve supervision and key influencers on the staff in the assessment to give them an understanding of the current state of the business and be involved in setting the course for the future. As this is a single-site operation, the Spearhead assessment was an ideal choice.
Mark selected a team of four people to contribute; a supervisor, a manufacturing planner, a sales person and the financial controller and asked us to lead the assessment on his behalf. After the revenue, cost of sales and component improvement data was entered, each team member was allocated a unique code to enable them to access the assessment and record their scores for the current situation and to give their opinion on aspirations for each of the 7 key components and their sub-components. An OAG coach was on hand to brief the team on the assessment process, help with gathering and validating evidence appertaining to the current situation and to guide individuals with its completion. Mark also completed the assessment and joined the team briefing and wash-up sessions. Through his online dashboard, Mark was able to review the team’s answers and once satisfied with the overall result, pressed the ‘go’ button which automatically produced the reports, financial analysis and improvement actions whilst populating the dashboard with analysis and tracking information.
Mark reviewed the executive summary and detailed reports. OAG then assisted in putting together a presentation to the team and a communication to the factory. He commented that “within one week I had assessed the current state, set aspirations, formulated a detailed action plan and communicated it to everyone.
Closing the gap between current state and the business aspirations has financial and cultural benefits. Here is an extract of the current overall results and projected financial opportunities.
A full presentation and discussion of the findings was done with a follow up one week later. As a result of the presentation, discussion, executive summary and the 28-page report, the client decided to use it the basis of a strategic review with the executive board.
“Within one week we had assessed the current state, set aspirations, formulated detailed action plan and communicated it to everyone.
The OAG assessment gave me a comprehensive review of the current state of the operation and an improvement plan focussed on the goals I want to achieve. The team enjoyed being involved and the factory as a whole have a greater understanding of the need to change.”
Mark Manning - Richmann Walsh Engineering Ltd.