Continuous Improvement - The Corus Way
A Corus case study

Page 1: Introduction

Corus is an international metals company. In 2005 it was the eighth largest steelmaker in the world. The company has an annual turnover of £9 billion. The company has four divisions and a global network of sales offices and service centres. The global steel industry is highly competitive with a number of large businesses. Corus has major steelworks in the UK located at Port Talbot...
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Page 2: Continuous Improvement

In 2004, under the new Chief Executive Officer, Philippe Varin, the company launched its Restoring Success programme aimed at closing the competitive gap between Corus and its European competitors. The objective was to make Corus more competitive and to ensure the business became more resilient to any cyclical downturn in the steel industry at times of economic difficulty. Steel goes into...
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Page 3: Top-down committment - The Corus Academy

Implementation is the process of putting plans into action. Having a belief that CI is the way forward is good but the next step is to create the means to achieve it. To implement CI in a consistent way across Corus' four divisions which contain over 20 different units and functions, co-ordination was required from the top. A 'virtual' Corus Academy was set up in April 2005, led by a steering...
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Page 4: Training and development

Following the initial awareness sessions for senior managers to ensure buy-in to CI and to support effective implementation, the key task was to recruit and train the team of CI coaches. To get 250 CI coaches fully trained and operational would take around two years. To assist this process, Corus signed an agreement with the lean consultancy firm of SA Partners, who had a solid track record...
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Page 5: Implementation - Corus business cases

There are now many excellent examples of CI in action throughout Corus worldwide. The Kalzip team at Haydock began its CI programme by improving material flow. To enable this to happen the team moved big machines, such as a nine metre guillotine with a six metre production foundation, relocated welding bays and re-routed workshops. External contractors estimated the job would take eight months...
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Page 6: Conclusion

CI is an organisation-wide process. It seeks to always build small changes into work practice. These result from everyone in the company being keen to develop their ideas and skills, enabling step-by-step improvement. Corus today, is a learning organisation. Key progress is seen in the growth of CI coaches and the creation of a 'virtual' Corus Academy. As a result, best practice can be shared...
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Related: Tata Steel
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