Written by Simon Perks, Director at Turner and Townsend Suiko

When it comes to all things CI, you will be hard pressed to find many other organisations with the same level of dedication and gusto as AB World Foods. ABWF is the Wigan-based powerhouse behind some of the UK’s most popular curry sauce brands, with Levi Roots (Reggae Reggae sauce), Patak’s, Meena’s and Blue Dragon. Over many years, the business has demonstrated a relentless commitment to continuous improvement and it is a story to be commended.

At the time of engagement, ABWF was a profitable flagship global enterprise, revered as a successful operation. There was no imminent crisis or business critical challenge to fix. To us this demonstrated the level of internal determination and management vision for good to become great.

Our CI partnership initially focused in ABWF’s manufacturing division, galvanizing the cultural and behavioural appetite for change in the engine room of the organisation. Working systematically throughout the business ABWF’s incremental CI framework centered on Suiko’s 5 levels of operational business transformation from Foundation, Control, Improve through to Optimize and Excellence.

 

The programme created a solid platform for improvement and supported the company’s over-riding vision. There was strong internal management belief that if service, quality (and particularly reactivity), was able to perform at world-class levels, then other opportunities would present themselves. There was also a general appetite to increase the ability to maximise promo opportunities, empty space available, and generally improve relationships with customers.

To further streamline efficiencies and exploit wider end-to-end opportunities for growth, cost, cash and profit, it became clear there was a real opportunity to bring the supply chain on board to emulate the successes that had been achieved in manufacturing. This included rolling the programme out with demand planning, supply planning, logistics, customer services, procurement and 3rd party logistics providers. The organisation’s strategic foresight and robust ground work paid dividends and the supply chain programme culminated in a 360° transformation.

ABWF successfully created a truly end-to-end, demand-driven world-class model, which was underpinned by huge cultural change and transformation of working practices and behaviours. Across the organisation there are now myriads of successful performance measures from improved service levels, whilst reducing stock, to a unified spirit and sense of pride amongst staff.

This story is a CI blueprint for success and clearly a lesson to us all about what can be achieved through a single-minded vision, a solid process and unwavering commitment. Naturally, we are very proud of the work that has been delivered within the organisation and the ongoing in-house programme. There is a new saying in our CI circles these days – ‘If you want to see what world-class business improvement looks like, look no further than Wigan’.