Several Mars business units, including Mars UK, are implementing integrated business planning (IBP) training internationally to improve performance and productivity, in partnership with Gloucester-based business improvement specialist Oliver Wight.
The IBP programme is based on five pillars: portfolio management; demand management; supply management; financial management of the first three aspects and management business review of all stages. The company said a marriage of teamwork and personal responsibility were integral to the initiative.
Speaking about how the project had been applied in his area, Youssef Mouallem, IBP leader and lean champion for Mars Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) in Dubai, said: “One of the key areas that benefited the most was establishing a truly integrated way of operating, fleshing out responsibility between departments, allowing much faster decision making.”
The programme also tightened up focus on areas such as demand management, eliminating assumptions about future demand that were unsupported by hard data, said Mouallem.
“One of our challenges was the loss of market share in chocolate confectionery,” he said. “Through the integrated approach, we managed to pull back two percentage points of market share in three to four months.”
In one part of the business, revenues were increased by more than 3% almost overnight through implementing a more effective demand review process.
Many Mars global business units were also looking at adopting umbrella IT systems that linked individual software packages that dealt with different functions throughout the company, said Mouallem.
As a result of the work, Mars GCC has been awarded Class A IBP Accreditation and UK divisions were set to follow, he said.