Spirit of enterprise

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Development programmes for business leaders can take up too much time andmoney. One solution is a day out with the DTI’s Best Practice exchange schemeInside UK Enterprise. We followed one such factory tour to measure its worthInside UK Enterprise (IUKE) run by the DTI aims to increase the productivityand profitability of companies by enabling businesses to learn best practicetechniques and methods from other exemplar organisations. The IUKE initiative offers a programme of one-day visits to companiescommitted to improving their performance through best practice.It recruits host companies with a record of excellence in a wide range ofbusiness areas – from customer satisfaction to manufacturing assembly and wastemanagement to strategy implementation. Many of these companies have received external accreditation and recognitionthrough various UK and European awards such as Investors in People, BestFactory and Service Excellence.All visits are unique and are geared to the strengths of the host companiesand the issues visiting companies wish to cover.Four Square, the drinks division of Mars Incorporated, had 14 visitors fromaround the country in September. The company is a market leader in integrateddrinks systems, set up in 1955 to provide refreshments in the workplace. Itoffers a full service – supply and maintenance of machines as well as deliveryof packaged drinks.Every member of staff is an associate of the company, which operates as asingle-status organisation. Staff benefit from a high degree of individualresponsibility, minimal bureaucracy, an informal working environment and, mostimportantly, an emphasis on team working.The visitTraining co-ordinator Dave Eddie organised the event for Four Square and haslong been enthusiastic about the concept. “I first heard of the IUKEprogramme through a past training manager here and have since been on sixvisits to various companies,” he says. “I got something new out of every visit – some great ideas from MatraBAe and a very impressive visit to Powergen, for example.”The day began at the Four Square factory in Basingstoke with all visitorseagerly sampling the company’s products. A diverse range of organisations wererepresented, including Oxfordshire Fire Service, Whitecroft Lighting,Wolstenholme Machine Knives, Bass Brewers, Heyco, Lynx Printing Technologiesand Ocular Science.AttentionVisitor numbers are limited to 15 maximum on any visit in the programme toensure plenty of attention from the hosts. In this case, four staff werededicated to the day with others providing further input on the shopfloor.Development manager Iain James opened proceedings with an introduction andcompany overview. This included the Mars operating style and five principles:quality, responsibility, mutuality, efficiency and freedom.The company motto, “Great people winning through inspiringproducts”, was introduced by the hosts, who went on to explain in detailthe methods used in staff development – training, the appraisal process andcross-functional moves, which allow associates to move into new areas withinthe company.Supplier development manager Steve Holt gave an comprehensive insight intohow Four Square has worked with and acted as consultants to suppliers to bringdown costs and lead-in times, while at the same time increasing flexibility,quality and productivity. The visitors were impressed by the development of a supplier action team setup to spread the word and reach core objectives. This, Holt explained, was aprocess to sustain a mutual, long-term relationship with their carefullyselected suppliers. He cited considerable success with continuous, year-on-yeargrowth. Lead times have been drastically reduced, Kanban supply methods havebeen implemented, supplier “pull” systems are in place and measuresand targets have been agreed with suppliers.Continuous improvement using the Kaizen method has been key to the successof Four Square. Development manager James detailed how the Lean Journey – fromresearch into the way companies such as Polaroid and Xerox put the methods intopractice, to the changes implemented and successes enjoyed by Four Square –reduced manufacturing costs, productivity improvements, reduced stock levelsand more flexibility in-plant.A tour of the machine plant and the drinks packaging lines was given byassociates directly involved in the process. Visitors followed the productionlines to see for themselves how the five principles they had heard aboutearlier were put into practice.After the tours and lunch, the host’s quality manager, Tim Henry detailedthe strict customer satisfaction procedures employed by Four Square, then thevisit ended with a question and answer session.Sharing experiencesThe hosts were open about the challenges they had faced and mistakes theyhad made along the way, but were proud of what they had achieved and wanted toshare their experiences with others.Eddie believes the hosts get just as much out of the IUKE programme as thevisitors. “As hosts, not only do we in turn pass on our knowledge, but wealso acquire best practice from discussions with our visitors. “I think there are lots of good ideas out there just waiting to betapped and this exchange programme enables us all to share this knowledge andexperience. We may think we know best, but we don’t always.”Other Four Square associates are booked on to further visits as part of thecompany’s continuous development programme.A recent survey identified that 80 per cent of visitors leave an IUKEone-day visit with an idea or insight they can apply to increase theperformance and profitability of their business. And on this occasion the general consensus was that the IUKE visit was ahuge success. No visitor left without having learned something from the hoststhat could be used in their own business. The visit contained a good mix of theoryand practice and, most importantly, allowed everyone to see the obstacles andchallenges to be met in any major change to operating methods and how toovercome them.Valuable visitsAll the visitors said this was a valuable programme because it uses exemplarcompanies to pass on their experiences. Everyone felt it was unbelievable valuefor money – where else could you get almost one-to-one mentoring for £95 forthe day?Visitors’ comments”It gave me a real insight into how a progressive company runs itsbusiness. I can draw comparisons on what they do and translate them to ourgroup. I will particularly take with me the way people are left to get on withthings without interference, the individual ownership of tasks and the waynoticeboards are used to such good effect. I will be putting the customersatisfaction surveys into practice as soon as I get back.” Malcolm Ryman, manufacturing director, Linx Printing Technologies, Huntingdon”I’ve been on other best practice courses, but this format is muchbetter – more shopfloor-based. You can actually see what’s going on.”Bass Brewers (Alton) general manager Gordon Stirton”It’s been excellent, very professional, and shows all levels of thecompany right down to the shop floor.”Whitecroft Lighting (Manchester) cell manager Mark WallOn test – Inside UK Enterprise Best Practice Programme. Designed anddelivered by: The DTI and run on its behalf by Status Meetings, Festival Hall,Petersfield, Hampshire GU31 4JW. Tel: 01730 235015 E-mail: [email protected] site: www.iuke.co.uk Spirit of enterpriseOn 1 Oct 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

First Year of Studies adjusts Moreau program at end of first semester

first_imgThe end of the semester marks the conclusion of the first semester of the Moreau First-Year Experience, a year-long, two-credit course for freshmen that replaces the previous physical education requirement.The Moreau First-Year Experience is intended to ease new students’ transitions to the University and convey Notre Dame’s educational philosophy, Maureen Dawson, an assistant dean in the First Year of Studies program, said.Throughout the fall semester, administrators have emphasized program elements that are working well and reworked aspects that are not, Dawson said. After fall break, the length of the course’s readings were changed, and efforts to educate students about lesser-known campus resources were re-emphasized.“From the semester’s midpoint to now, we actually trimmed back some of the assignments. We cut back assignments’ minimum word count, to make things more focused and flexible for students,” Dawson said.These changes were driven by student responses to a midterm survey and observation of student work submitted in Sakai, Dawson said. The survey had a more than 60 percent response rate, Dawson said, and it prompted classroom conversations between instructors and students about how to improve discussions and streamline assignments.“The student midterm survey gave us a lot of really clear, concise responses from students about what they thought was working, what was uninteresting and what was laborious,” she said.Survey responses also showed students liked the small group setting and the sections built around residential neighborhoods, Dawson said. The instructors also completed a survey, and responses to that survey were influential in determining future changes to the curriculum.“They said that they really enjoyed working with students on a weekly basis, though they critiqued the reading materials,” she said. “So we took that into consideration for next fall and for the spring.”The present classroom size is successfully creating community and facilitating discussion, Dawson said, though even smaller class sizes are a future possibility.“Going into spring, students self-register, and right now the registration is going pretty smoothly. Many students are asking to stay in the same section with the people they had already studied with, and we’re pretty happy with that,” she said. “For discussion you really need a small environment. Long-term, if you could make class sizes smaller that would be great, but in 50 minutes many more than 19 students is not conceived well.”Dawson said she expects the Moreau First-Year Experience will help students understand Notre Dame’s complexity and access its resources, and it will facilitate students’ holistic development and enable students to identify things that excite them. This excitement will help students engage with the University itself and with the diverse communities within and around Notre Dame, Dawson said.“I think over time we’ll evolve that ability to showcase resources more pointedly,” Dawson said. “Now we’re at the stage where we’re sharing information with students, and we’re building a base for reflection and discussion. … With each successive semester, we’ll be able to move students more directly in contact with these resources and opportunities around campus.”Tags: FYS, Moreau First Year Experiencelast_img read more

WLAX : Tumolo propels Syracuse to comeback win over North Carolina to advance to final four

first_img Comments Michelle Tumolo raised her stick up in her right hand and slammed it head-first into the Carrier Dome turf. Teammate Bridget Daley jumped into her arms in celebration.Tumolo had just almost single-handedly brought the Orange back from a two-goal deficit with three minutes remaining in regulation, capping the astounding comeback on a game-winning score with five seconds left.‘It was just pure bliss,’ Tumolo said in a phone interview. ‘I really was trying not to go out of this game without a win. I just basically took it under my belt to win the game. At the last second because I had the ball and I just waited for enough time to be able to score and not let them have time to score.’The Syracuse junior attack recorded two goals, an assist and a season-salvaging forced turnover in the final 180 seconds to extend the winningest season in program history. Propelled by her late-game heroics, the No. 4 seed Orange (18-3) edged the fifth-seeded Tar Heels (15-4) 17-16 in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals on Saturday in front of 815 in the Carrier Dome. With the win, Syracuse advances to the final four in Stony Brook, N.Y., where it will face No. 1 seed Florida on Friday. The Gators demolished Penn State 15-2 in their quarterfinals matchup.Sophomores Katie Webster and Alyssa Murray recorded three goals apiece and freshmen Kailah Kempney, Devon Collins and Gabby Jaquith combined for five scores. But it was Tumolo, who tallied a team-high four goals, who undoubtedly won the game for SU.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘Every single player on the team stepped up at one point and made a huge play, and that made the difference,’ SU head coach Gary Gait said in the postgame press conference. ‘They stuck together and gave themselves an opportunity to fight back and win that game.‘I’ll give them all the credit, starting with Michelle Tumolo.’Though she was quiet in the first half – scoring just once in the opening 30 minutes – the team captain came alive when it mattered most.After North Carolina midfielder Laura Zimmerman scored with 3:04 left to extend the Tar Heels’ lead to 16-14, UNC’s Brittney Coppa controlled the draw to seemingly punch her team’s ticket to Stony Brook.But Tumolo refused to quit, knocking the ball out of Coppa’s stick and scooping up the ground ball.‘I think we were just realizing that we need to get the draw or we will not be able to score,’ Tumolo said. ‘So they were going up the field and I saw the girl. I ran my ass off to get to her and I checked her and we got the ball. It was kind of the play that we needed.’After a Murray shot rang off the crossbar, SU midfielder Bridget Daley recovered and found Tumolo wrapping around the left side of the cage. She spun inside UNC defender Sloane Serpe and beat Tar Heels goalkeeper Lauren Maksym falling on the right doorstep with 2:24 left.After Daley won the draw, Tumolo wrapped around left again roughly two minutes later. But this time, as Serpe and UNC midfielder Kara Cannizzaro collapsed, she lofted a pass over the crease to Kempney, who bounced the close-range attempt into the net with 39 seconds left.‘Coming from Michelle, I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to pass it,’ Kempney said in the postgame press conference. ‘Just it was for the team. You’ve got to put all that pressure on yourself like it’s a do or die right there, so coming from Michelle, I couldn’t let her down.’But Tumolo’s masterpiece was not quite complete.Kempney won the ensuing draw over Tewaaraton Trophy finalist Becky Lynch and set up Tumolo on the right side.With her teammates cleared out, Tumolo drove right on Coppa with 10 seconds left. Turning back toward the middle of the arc eight yards out, she flung a bounce shot by Maksym’s right knee and into the net.‘(It was) literally the best feeling in the world because I’ve never really won a game like that or ever been the big winner,’ Tumolo said. ‘I’ve never won a game like that ever in my life so it was just the best feeling I’ve ever had. I’ve really never felt this in my life.‘It was amazing just looking up at my parents and they were crying. I was so happy.’[email protected] Published on May 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Stephen: [email protected] | @Stephen_Bailey1center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more