The morning was arranged as two parallel sessions with one group visiting the Ford Dagenham Engine Factory and the other hearing from guest speaker Mark Galvin, Critical Concern Manager for Ford. Mark has been responsible for rolling out a new approach to quality which put the ‘voice of customer’ at the heart of their operating model and radically improved customer satisfaction. Feedback from the session was how useful it was to hear from an organisation where voice of the customer was so well embedded within the operation.
The second group were treated to a tour of two production lines at the Engine Plant, and were able to see the scale and pace of a modern, lean manufacturing facility. Members saw the common ground between service and manufacturing when discussing team boards, engagement among the workforce and the importance of standardisation. They were fascinated by the blend of automation and manual operations, and the relentless focus on productivity and continuous improvement created by their expertly designed operating model. Precision that leads to an engine being produced every 25 seconds. The high standard of visual management was a key theme, with members commenting on the strength & clarity of the visual tools being used by the operation.
The second part of the morning was a presentation from Nigel Lombard, Managing Director and Founder of Drivology a new type of insurance provider. Nigel spoke passionately about his experiences starting up a business using disruptive technology in the very traditional car insurance industry. He told the story from the early idea stage to getting the business up-and-running to now renewing the first policies. Nigel spoke very honestly about his experience setting up Drivology commenting on the sleepless nights that go hand in hand with starting your own business.
After lunch Mark Bilney Head of Learning and Development for OEE and guest speaker Heather Townsend author of award-winning book “The FT Guide to Business Networking” gave a joint presentation/interactive networking session. The group was given insight into how using their network is crucial to influence key stake holders within their business, and how people respond to information differently making it key to adapt our behaviour to relevant situations. Both presenters told memorable stories as well as using engaging interactive exercises to illustrate their points and explain their operating model.
Thank you to all our guest speakers and the members that were able to attend. The day was a great networking opportunity as well as delivering quality talks from a variety of experienced speakers.