Chemical Manufacturer undertakes Internal Supply Chain Review with Gideon Hillman Consulting

Scott Bader, established in the UK in 1921, is a multi-national chemical company with revenues of ‚¬220m and employing 600 people with manufacturing facilities in the UK, France, Croatia, The Middle East and South Africa. It manufactures a wide range of synthetic resins and polymers to many different markets and has built a reputation for innovation, quality and excellent customer service. The product portfolio has three main categories; Core Composites (resins and gel coats), Adhesives and Advanced Composites (structural adhesives and bonding pastes) and Speciality Polymers (including Alkyd resins, solvent based acrylics and emulsion polymers).

During 2012 the Scott Bader management team identified a series of areas in the internal supply chain where existing standards of service could be further enhanced through process improvements. They recognised that current practice for demand planning, inventory control and capacity planning had the potential to be more efficiently delivered, and further integrated into the wider-business. Scott Bader consequently selected Gideon Hillman Consulting to undertake a detailed review and optimisation of the internal supply chain activities.

We were selected by the Scott Bader management team because we could demonstrate practical experience, comments Paul Trudgian, Project Director at Gideon Hillman Consulting. (pictured right) We understood that this type of review needed to be undertaken with a hands-on approach; with consultants on-site gaining a detailed understanding of the business and building working relationships with the stakeholders. Scott Bader did not want a standard audit, or benchmarking against theoretical best practice; they wanted practical, pragmatic and achievable recommendations, and that is exactly what Gideon Hillman Consulting offers.

The team undertook the review through interviews with key personnel at Scott Bader, observing the operation and undertaking high level analysis of available data. Within a short space of time the consulting team had identified a series of areas where improvements could be delivered, and very quickly redesigned several core business processes including inventory optimisation, portfolio management, customer classification and capacity planning.

However, it was not only the redesign of these processes that was required. At Scott Bader some of the supply chain planning activity had historically focussed on market ‘silos’, which had led to different process standards being adopted by different areas of the business. The challenge was not only to improve those processes, but also to apply them as the standard approach throughout the business.

To ensure the processes were adopted as standard, the consulting team encapsulated all the supply chain planning activities into a newly designed monthly S&OP process, sponsored by the Board of Directors. Within the S&OP process the consulting team provided highly detailed tasks, along with task schedules, task responsibilities and a full explanation of the analytical activities required each month.

James McTaggart, Operations Director at Scott Bader concludes The process was made easy to implement as the consulting team provided full details on responsibilities, analytical tasks etc. They even went down to the detail of the agendas for review meetings. The process has now provided us with an easily understood method to address the areas where we had concerns, and the consulting team have given us the tools to control our supply chain in an organised, effective and consensual manner. We are delighted with the outcome of this project.

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