An eye for the essentials 2 minutes spent reading
Working environments

An eye for the essentials

Christopher Eberl
Holds editorial responsibility for career topics and for the apprentice website. His stories offer insights into the world of work at voestalpine.

Meetings can be long and unproductive. The sales teams at Böhler-Uddeholm UK know how it can work differently.

Every morning at 9:15 the sales teams at Böhler-Uddeholm UK meet in the middle of their office in Oldbury, England. That’s when they discuss upcoming agendas and tasks in front of a big board, loaded with notes, diagrams and numbers. Thanks to Lean Management they’re done by 9:30.

Lean Management: Böhler-Uddeholm UK

The sales teams stand while discussing current tasks and problems for 15 minutes each morning. The info board provides a quick overview.

Office meetings

Böhler-Uddeholm UK in Great Britain supplies special steels to a variety of customers in the aviation, oil and gas industry. More than half of the 100 employees work in six sales departments. Even though products vary, they all share the same core processes: customer enquiry, offer, order, shipment, and bill. Still, over the years these processes have gradually changed and now need to be standardized again. At a workshop the teams of Böhler-Uddeholm UK discovered the method of Office-Management-Meeting. The sales teams began writing key numbers, tasks and improvement on a big board. After two months they perfected that method to an ideal overview on their info-board. Most of it is hand-written, colored sticky notes mark important tasks. That’s as easy as it is practical.

Solutions motivate

The info-board provides a good structure to coordinate daily meetings, tasks and goals. An appropriate discussion culture is important: everybody can contribute and nobody will be interrupted. Solving problems is the team’s biggest motivator. The team-meeting method will be introduced to remaining departments within the year.

Christopher Eberl