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Operational excellence across business units (CS254)



Driving a fundamental change of culture and embedding operational excellence across multiple business units to improve competitiveness


This story is for CEOs and senior executives who:

  • Need help developing a transformation strategy and successfully executing the plan to drive a major shift in culture in response to changing market conditions

  • Want to address inefficiencies and break down functional silos to improve performance

  • Want to improve operational excellence and enhance customer service

The Challenge

This multi-billion dollar globally recognized simulation, training and mission systems integrator, in the aviation, defense, security and health markets, had grown rapidly through acquisitions and was struggling with poor accountability, control and execution across its operations.

Operating in a changing market, executives recognized they needed to shift the ethos of the organization from an engineering focused firm to a technology firm and embed a new culture of operational excellence across multiple business units.

With their competitive advantage beginning to erode, executives engaged with Maine Pointe to help them address a number of challenges across their Sales, Inventory, Operations, Planning (SIOP), project management, engineering and manufacturing environments.

Achieving stakeholder buy-in and commitment to drive and embed sustainable change

Our analysis team found that the company was operating in a multi-cultural, siloed environment that led to inefficiencies, an impact on customer service and an erosion of margins and its competitive position.

Working in close collaboration with the COO and CEO, on a remote basis due to Covid-19, our team identified three key elements the organization needed to rally around: accountability, control and execution. To achieve buy-in and engagement across their organization, our people took a very complex environment and simplified it into 10 key workstreams and engaged teams to develop joint transformation charters, helping break down silos. This immediately got the 10-month program off to a strong start.

Taking a three-phased approach: preparation and plan, launch and develop, implement and sustain, we:

  • Kicked the 10-month program off with town hall events with the new CEO
  • Demonstrated the link to the three priorities and 28 deliverables identified for the improvement program
  • Improved visibility, accountability and control through enhanced analytics and visualization
  • Implemented a companywide governance and performance management program
  • Developed a global project management process, identified the most critical milestones, identified pain points and defined leading indicators to proactively identify and respond to milestone risks
  • Developed a dashboard showing all warning indicators that get reported on in project management reviews
  • Trained and implemented a sustainability structure with 70 people to ensure all new systems, processes and procedures will continue to be used

With regular communication at all levels of the business, the Maine Pointe team were able to obtain cross-functional buy-in and implement accelerated change across the business to achieve a one team approach to operational excellence.

“This is a great achievement … we have never undergone such a transformation. You did amazing work.”

– Chief Operating Officer


The Results

Maine Pointe’s experienced multilingual team worked with our client to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Implemented sustainable transformational change
  • Improved processes to deliver operational excellence
  • Reduced financial and business risk
  • Drove cross functional and business unit collaboration and alignment
  • Enhanced visibility, accountability and control with new tools and processes
  • Reduced risk and implemented leading indicators to prevent failure
  • Institutionalized and internalized core organizational value
  • Enhanced management skills and competencies
  • Upskilled supervisors and staff
  • Improved motivation and morale
  • Increased employee job satisfaction

Lessons learned for other executives

  • The importance of ongoing flawless and open communication combined with a specific and detailed change management plan are critical to gaining buy-in and momentum
  • Executive commitment from top executives is critical to a successful transformation program
  • Don’t underestimate the unlocked potential of your people

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