Closing facilities and restructuring are the hardest parts of doing business. They have to be handled with care. During these transitional moments, it’s more important than ever to apply process, methodology, and a big-picture view. And that’s exactly what we did for this international retail and wholesale company.
They had decided to shut down one of their Canada-based facilities and transfer operations to the US. But they had one major problem: there was no process documentation for that facility. There was no written, official record of how things were done. We completed a knowledge capture of every function in the facility – from customer service to procurement – so they could seamlessly transition the operation across the border.
For 6 months, this international retail company tried to complete a knowledge capture of one of their Canada-based locations. The facility housed a number of functions: manufacturing, a call center, procurement, a warehouse, and more. Because nothing was documented, they were people-dependent, rather than process-dependent. As a result, they were unsuccessful in capturing the processes in the facility, and the shutdown was delayed. We worked with all departments to uncover those business processes and create an official repository of how things were done in the facility. That repository served as the foundation to successfully transfer that operation to the US.
We visited the Canada facility and worked with staff to identify all workflow steps and document them. We outlined a high-level view of all the processes taking place in the facility, and then fleshed out the individual steps on a granular level.
- Interviewed and workshopped with staff across all business departments (customer service, procurement, warehouse, manufacturing, etc.)
- By way of interviews and workshops, uncovered how every business function was carried out
- Used swim-lane diagrams to create a visual depiction of every process in the facility
- Developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to clearly capture all steps associated with the processes and parties responsible for carrying them out
- Completed facility-wide knowledge capture in just 2 weeks
- Created official repository documenting every business process and supporting SOPs
- Organization successfully transferred operations to a new facility
- Client re-hired us for a project at another facility