Continuous improvement as a business strategy
A Corus case study

Page 1: Introduction

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The steel manufacturing company Corus focuses on meeting the needs of its worldwide customers and providing innovative solutions. It manufactures, processes and distributes steel and aluminium products worldwide. Corus is a subsidiary of Tata Steel, part of the giant Indian conglomerate. Tata Group includes businesses in many industries - for example, chemicals, automotive...
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Page 2: Continuous improvement

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Continuous Improvement is often referred to by the Japanese word 'Kaizen'. Kaizen means 'change for the better' and covers all processes in an organisation. These include engineering, IT, financial, commercial and customer service processes, as well as manufacturing. CI involves making continual small improvements to a process rather than big changes at irregular intervals. This requires...
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Page 3: Implementing a continuous improvement culture

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A CI culture means that everyone can put forward ideas and have a say in how processes can change for the better. This is known as engagement. CI needs team work. In Scunthorpe, a CI manager coordinates the process. 40 CI Coaches chosen from the workforce received training to facilitate improvements. CCI has put together a 'toolbox' of techniques which the coaches use with managers, employees...
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Page 4: Target setting

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CI working requires everyone to think differently about the way they work. It was recognised that people might be resistant and cling on to old ways of working. The key was getting all workers to see change as their responsibility. The CI coaches support the teams and individuals and promote or 'champion' new ways of working. To help workers accept the changes, the 5-year plan established...
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Page 5: The benefits of continuous improvement

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There are significant costs involved in setting up a Continuous Improvement programme, including: allocating employee time to participate in group work training coaches setting up a manual of tools and techniques However, Corus is already seeing the benefits of CI with: reduced waste through lean production improved product quality reduced rework time faster response times, giving...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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Corus is transforming production at its Scunthorpe plate mill through Continuous Improvement. This way of working encourages all employees to behave as team members to identify and support work improvement opportunities. Increasingly employees at every level are making improvement their responsibility, which provides employee job satisfaction. Continuous Improvement helps Corus to provide...
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Related: Tata Steel
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