Strategic change communications to drive operational improvements and reduce costs

Navistar: Strategic change communications to drive operational improvements and reduce costs

Challenge:

A chronic underperforming manufacturing plant needed to make dramatic operating improvements and reduce costs and headcount to successfully launch a new model the company counted on to invigorate its 100-year-old brand.

Navistar values and guiding behaviors

 Actions:

  • Shifted plant emphasis from volume-focused to customer satisfaction-focused metric.
  • Drove stronger two-way communications at plant and corporate levels.
  • Developed pilot program to transform plant leadership approach and drive decision-making down to front line employees and supervisors (those closest to delivering to the customer).
  • Introduced ways to correlate management behaviors with operational metrics customers cared about (e.g., quality).
  • Engaged local union leadership and front line employees to actively improve production processes and introduce ideas that supported the brand promise.

Results:

Enabled successful launch through:

  • 70 percent improvement in on-time delivery.
  • 20 percent decrease in defect rates in six months.
  • $30 million improvement in cost plan.
  • 40 percent decrease in hours per unit.
  • 43 percent increase in units produced per hour.
  • Changes in plant work rules and sourcing strategies via a local modern operating agreement. impacting 3,000 employees.

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