Continuous improvement as a business strategy
A Corus case study

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Page 5: The benefits of continuous improvement

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 more customers their orders on time
  • becoming more competitive by driving down costs
  • retaining/gaining customers through innovative products and services.

By empowering its workers, Corus gains a more committed workforce which helps to drive further improvement.

KPIs show that the Scunthorpe mill is achieving its targets for rolling steel in planned weeks and is delivering almost 100% of customers' orders complete and on time. Scunthorpe Plate Mill aims to have all orders complete and on time by March 2009, while at the same time reducing lead time.

The principles of team working help to create a more flexible workforce. This gives Corus the capacity to increase or change production when necessary. In addition, Corus employees are more likely to be satisfied and motivated when they feel that they are making a contribution. They can see their expertise helps to create a more effective company. 

Corus | Continuous improvement as a business strategy