The discovery of the key factors we believe shall distinguish a world class leader in operations and manufacturing.
Operations play a strategic role in an industrial concern like the Prysmian Group, manufacturing has historically been part of the soul of the company. While we shall be proud of this strong and healthy DNA, the primary goal of a competitive operation machine today is to continuously strive for the best customer performance. Andrea Pirondini, Prysmian’s Chief Operating Officer, talks to INSIGHT about the company’s operations strategy, the values associated with it, and what can be expected for the future.
The essence of our job is to make sure resources are in the best condition possible to stay ahead of competition and continue to grow, through better quality and cost”, is Mr Pirondini’s decisive answer when asked why Prysmian launched a campaign to communicate its operations strategy throughout the company, and why it is called ‘Fast Forward Operations’.
He explains that company-wide knowledge of the various issues and priorities addressed by operations will be beneficial. Some issues draw on history and identity, as Prysmian is a company with an important industrial backbone, that has grown through various acquisitions. While the Focus on market recognises the Group as the global leader in the cable industry, Prysmian has a relatively fragmented production footprint, with many plants, each producing different products and solutions for various customers and markets.
“Today,” Pirondini adds, “we’re running several projects to improve and spread our best production practices, avoid waste of resources, and leverage the company know-how and expertise. The main aim of the campaign is not only to raise awareness about improvements and best practices, but most of all to stimulate momentum and allow a higher level of participation from everyone in the company.”
The campaign is aimed at familiarizing with two main concepts: the first is the drive of the whole supply system towards customer performance excellence, as the customer is at the centre of the Group’s daily work; the second is the ‘Make It! Culture’. Addressing the first topic, Pirondini tells us that,“Excellent service starts with a thorough understanding of customer needs, and develops through to the on-time supply of high-quality products or solutions, as well as the prompt management of any critical situation.” The ‘Make It! Culture’, in turn, is “driven by a strong sense of pragmatism and simplification, a positive and “can do” attitude both towards colleagues and customers”. Of the decision to use ‘Fast Forward’ as the strapline for the campaign, he says, “It’s simple and communicates the essence of where we think we should focus our efforts to improve.” Ultimately, it reflects the idea of speed – both in responding to customer requirements and in decision making. “But it also means the capability to adapt both ourselves and the supply chain to market fluctuations, investing to develop large, modern centres of excellence, as well as more flexible supply configurations.”
In order to become more agile, and manage customer dynamics better than competition, investing in and developing human capital is needed. This is why, in strong partnerhip with the HR team, Operations recently launched the Manufacturing Academy and a series of professional training courses, designed to strengthen the competencies of employees and nurture the next generation of engineers. The purpose, Andrea explains, is “not only to train people, but also the creation of a strong professional network to exchange knowledge and to inspire everyone to participate more and more proactively.” Prysmian is now developing important centres of excellence with a regional scope, fully supported by its employees. The key is to make sure the most talented resources understand the value this opportunity represents for their professional future.