Page 5: Transforming Rexam from within
In order to ensure the smooth transition to the single-brand strategy Rexam has had to transform its own organisation from within. The starting point was to create and implement a common global Rexam identity in what was a disparate group of companies across the world. By rallying under a common identity the Rexam group would not only look like one company but start to act like one.
A number of managers representing the various Sectors within Rexam were given the responsibility of ensuring that the process ran smoothly. These so-called 'champions' were charged with making sure that there was an understanding of the single-brand strategy and of the benefits it would bring to the Group. The emphasis was on getting people to want to be part of a company and a brand called Rexam.
The single brand strategy was given extra impetus following the acquisition of ANC in July 2000. As part of the integration process it was soon decided to rename all the ANC plants in Europe and the USA by the end of that year. Realising the importance of good communications, Rexam created a comprehensive name change programme involving champions from each ANC plant. The programme was created in a range of languages so that every employee within ANC and the rest of the Rexam Group was aware of what, when and how the changes would take place. Thus, whether the change was implemented in a plant in the United States, France, China or Brazil everyone would be able to understand the process and could feel part of it.
Managing the change involved creating a clear timetable for introducing the name change. As a result, the process was able to be completed within a few months of the acquisition. The physical name change at each of the operating plants took place over a weekend, covering everything from products, business cards and company logos to notice boards and letterheads. By ensuring that everyone knew why and when it was happening, a feeling of inclusion was created and the response to the name change was overwhelmingly positive.
The next task in building the Rexam brand is to add substance to the common graphic framework to create a common global corporate culture. A common graphic profile and a common way of behaving will create a strong Rexam brand. However, the emphasis is not on imposing a new culture from outside but rather on building from within, using the best aspects of existing organisational cultures. This would then create a new integrated culture based on the Rexam brand. The focus is on involving all employees in the process of change using the slogan 'we can make it' as part of the training and development programme for employees.