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A BPR case study at
BPR case study
David J. Paper
Utah State University, Utah, USA
James A. Rodger
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA, and
Parag C. Pendharkar
Penn State Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Keywords Process management, Teamwork, BPR, Organizational chang e Abstract We embarked on a case study to explore one organization’s experiences with radical chang e for the purpos e of uncovering ho w they achieved success. The organization we examined was Honeywell Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. From the interview data, we were able to devise a set of ten lessons to help others transform successfully. Two important lessons stand out above the rest. First, execution of a carefully developed chang e plan separates the high performers from less successful BPR projects. Second, recognition that dealing with chang e is difficult and complicated is not enough. Top management should make chang e management a top priority and communicate the chang e vision across the organization.
Global competition is driving organizations to become leaner and more streamlined. Many organizations have turned to business process reengineering (BPR) as a means to radically change the way they conduct business. However, dramatic improvements have failed to materialize in many instances (Davenport, 1993; Hammer and Champy, 1993; Kotter, 1995). We thereby embark on a case study to deeply explore one organization’s experiences with radical change for the purpose of uncovering how they achieved success. The organization we examine is Honeywell Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona. From the data, we devise a set of lesson s to help others transform successfully.
Honeywell (IAC Plant, Phoenix, Arizona)
The Honeywell industrial automation and control (IAC ) business unit designs, manufactures, and configures the sophisticated TDC 3000X family of systems. These systems enable its customers (refineries, chemical plants, and paper mills around the world ) to achieve world-class process-control capability. In late 1989, the management team began a three-year world-classmanufacturing (WCM ) program to examine lagging performance results. WCM established ambitious goals for defect reduction, short-cycle production, and materials management. Specific goals included reducing defects by a factor of ten (1,000 percent) and cycle time by a factor of five (500 percent). WCM was created to provide resources and take a system-wide view of the plant. WCM supported a focused-factory environment that harnesses the
Business Process Management
Journal, Vol. 7 No. 2, 2001, pp. 85-99.
# MCB University Press , 1463-7154
potential of teams. Instead of workers being assigned to a specific area on the factory floor, teams of multi-skilled workers were charged with building entire products or modules from start to finish. WCM provided resources to teams based on the process rather than piecemea l events or tasks. Training took on a system-wide view. In 1990, the entire plant was shut down and everyone was taken to another location for an intensive six-hour session . During the session, the need for radical change was articulated. In addition, management explained what the broad changes would be and how the changes would impact the workers.
To support the factory-focused paradigm, the ``all-salaried’’ workforce was evaluated on a ``pay for performance’’ basis. Factory-focused teams were rewarded for their performance. In a little over three years, teams helped reduce defect rates by 70 percent, customer rejects by 57 percent, cycle time on parts by 72 percent, inventory investment by 46 percent, and customer lea d times by over 70 percent.
Improvements did not come without struggle. One...
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