New Start-Up, Continuous Improvement Service Culture
There are always challenges with new operation startups, no matter how much you plan or prepare for them. The critical piece to every startup is knowing how you will respond to it and having the foundation to navigate the storm and eventually deliver on the solution.
“If you’re going to start up, make sure you start up with excellence in mind” ― Onyi Anyado.
Crescent’s organizational behaviors are rooted in a Continuous Improvement Service Culture. Innovation and agility don’t come on conveyor belts; they come from building a shared purpose within our culture to provide the Best Value Solution, understanding our Key Customers’ true needs, and creating a culture supported for change. This year, Crescent opened its newest location in Fairfield, Ohio, called C11, making it our eighth Contract Packaging operation and our third stand-alone/dedicated operation. Even after 35 years of launching new Contract Packaging and Parts Fulfillment operations, our startups still come with unique scenarios and challenges that can cause many companies to close or thrive. So as your company, team, and culture change and respond to the industry’s unpredictability, we wanted to share a few brief insights to help your company and its People come out on top.
Plan: Building a common purpose and understanding.
Planning and execution are two of the biggest challenges of surviving a startup. To ensure success, you must be proactive and responsive. A well-defined scope of work is the foundation of any successful service engagement; conversely, ill-defined scope can create catastrophic misalignment. A well-defined scope will quickly reveal whether the services required are aligned with the skills and capabilities of your organization and team.
"We don't plan to fail, but we plan for failures." Continuous improvement through our Crescent Way model emphasizes innovation, auditing, and scaling to develop learning about what changes produce improvements within our operations to meet our objectives. Hiring external leaders, developing existing People, and building an operation begins with the Value Stream Mapping (VSM) process. The VSM process creates a detailed visualization of all the work steps in the project. Creating a VSM helps ensure that we understand the internal processes, responsibilities, and timelines for all deliverables.
Do: Delivering our Solutions through People. "Now Hiring!" has become a universal distress call for many businesses. Our C11 Start-up was no different; to start production, we needed 75+ new people to become operational and an additional 200+ people to fully staff the new location. At the start of the C11 build-out, we built a startup team made up of our customers, our operations team, and leaders throughout Crescent to help forecast, respond and proactively navigate scenarios and roadblocks within all departments, such as Facilities, our People Group, Quality teams, and more. We were fortunate that we could progress and promote talent from other sites in the Cincinnati area to help guide the process and use existing procedures to ensure we are Doing it Right. All startup projects should have a Project Leader. The level of project leadership will be determined by the size and complexity of the specific Engineered Service Solution. Regardless of size and complexity, the role of the project leadership is the same, which is to engage those involved to execute the plan on time and to budget. The project leadership monitors the progress of each milestone of the project at the most minute level of detail This disciplined approach allows us to uncover the unknowns, understand the customer's timeline, better understand the risks, and what steps need to be taken to establish business continuity for our customer's business.
Do Better: Continuous Improvement Service Culture
Now almost three months post-startup, we are proud to say that our C11 operation is up and running and that the teams Do it Right, Do it Safe, and Do it Well each and every day. Opportunities for improvement remain a daily occurrence, and Crescent's continuous improvement process is built to allow our People to constantly improve existing practices to strengthen our Key Customer's competitive advantage. As organizations like Crescent continue to grow, we all need to strive to optimize startup performance by completing data analysis, solution validation, and reviewing business risks and financial impacts. Using a proven Start-up Playbook, we can establish a comprehensive approach to the project management of any new business opportunity and ensure the Crescent Way model is consistent no matter what the market may throw our way.