Hulamin Coastal – MDW Kicks Off in PMB!

Extract from October 2009 Profile issue, by Michelle Perry

 Mission Directed Work Teams (MDW) is a long term, line driven process that provides a practical platform and skills to identifying and exploiting opportunities for improvement.

The process empowers teams (also called mini-businesses) within the organisation to drive it forward using a bottom-up approach as opposed to the more traditional top-down approach. In order to work effectively, each team’s goals must be aligned with the greater goals of the organisation.

March 2009 saw the first steps being taken to introduce the concept of Mission-Directed Work Teams (MDWT) to Extrusion employees at the PMB plant. Spear headed by Rajen Cunnan in his role as master coach, the first step was in the form of a training session attended by Area Managers. One of the outcomes of this session is a pledge signed by each and every manager, pledging their commitment to the MDW process. Look out for this pledge the next time you find yourself in one of their offices!

Martin Aldworth signing the Coaches Pledge
Line Leaders training session


During April and May a further 45 first line leaders were trained to help facilitate the eventual introduction of the programme to the plant.

In July and August the process of identifying teams, team names and team goal alignment was completed. Employees got involved enthusiastically and many creative team names resulted. At the same time meeting rooms were being renovated and upgraded to be ready for use by the teams. The next step involves all employees undergoing a one day training session on MDW in October.


MDW Update at Hulamin Extrusions Epping Plant
By Cedric Lottering

 Mission Directed Work Teams have really impacted the business positively at Epping. Since its inception the way we do business has changed dramatically.

Phase 1 (March to December 2008)

 Training on module 1 and 2 was conducted in February 2008. The first coaching reviews were done in April 2008. The initial implementation phase was impressive in that Mini-Business Areas were set-up very quickly and maintained very well, the innovation system produced good improvement ideas but the 5S implementation was lagging behind.

Module 1 scores of >30 were very frequently achieved but module 2 scores were below 15.

Phase 2: (January to August 2009)

The low plant volumes experienced in the first quarter of 2009, lead to a reduction in working hours, which also had a negative impact on employee morale. Seemingly, the dissipated employee morale influenced the maintenance and improvement of the Minibusiness areas as coaching review scores on Module 1 decreased from the 30’s to the early 20’s. The quiet production times however presented an excellent opportunity to focus on module 2 or 5S implementation. The S1 and S2 steps were tackled with purpose and significant visula improvements were evident.

Phase 3: (September 2009 and going forward)

The plant volumes have picked up again and employee morale is slowly improving. A consultant based in Cape Town has been appointed to assist with the MDW program and its implementation at Epping.

External coaching reviews were conducted by Chris Theron (MDW Consultant), who provided guidelines and some good recommendations with respect to the road ahead! As a result a number of workshops have been planned on 23 September 2009.

The aim is to improve team scores by 30 October 2009 and have at least S3 fully implemented by December 2009. The next module for implementation for Epping is Module 9 – Process Improvement by reducing the 7 types of waste in March 2010.



Our Journey to World Class Mission Directed Work Teams (MDW) – Well Entrenched in Midrand
By Ahmed Rahim

Mission Directed Work Teams was introduced about two years ago in the Midrand Plant by Operations Manager Ernest Jonker and then ably coached by the in-house MDW champion, Ahmed Rahim and other coaches.

The process of establishing Mini Business Areas and aligning their goals with the business results of the company, is now well entrenched in the Midrand plant. To date, 17 Mini Business Areas have been set up on site. Ahmed Rahim is the Mini-Business Goal Alignment module champion and Jaco van Lelyveld is the champion for the 5S module which has also been introduced. We have recently rolled out the 7 Wastes module as well.

The process implementation was originally guided by Karl Muller of Competitive Dynamics International (CDI) and more recently by Robin Mabunda. Both Karl and Robin have confirmed that the Midrand plant is making good progress with the system and have also offered good advice in areas of improvement. Coaching reviews have been conducted on a monthly basis by Hulamin coaches and also by CDI with the objective of assisting teams to improve their performance. During a recent visit, Dr Ian Matheson one of the founder members of the program, also confirmed that the program is well on track.

Continuous improvement and customer satisfaction are the main focus of MDW teams; one of the significant benefits to flow from the system is that of innovations. Innovations from employees are focussed on improving Safety, Quality, Speed, People and Cost performance of the Mini Businesses and the company as a whole. Even in the short period it has been established, innovations have already had significant influence on cost savings, system streamlining and operational efficiency./p>

Examples of these include system changes to improve the customer services function (Laurian Britz), alterations to the plant equipment (Johan Bester) and cost savings in procurement (William Moima).

Best innovations are itemized and recognised each month and then presented at Multi Level Meetings which take place on a monthly basis.