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Articles and Case Studies

Our Consultants write about our work with clients.
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SMED Case Study: Steel Tools Manufacturer

After a Lean programme for inventory was instituted the production facility struggled with getting a good product mix out to the finished goods inventory due to relatively long change-over times for cutting dies. Steel tool (final product) cutting dies need to be replaced after every 4 Kanban batch runs of 225 pieces each.

This frequent changeover, occurring once every hour of work is necessary to maintain and re-sharpen the cutting die’s cutting edges. Current changeover time for the cutting die was approximately 60 minutes and included the use of a single 10 ton forklift though the die weight was 5 tons. Nearly 50% of a working day was ‘wasted’ on changeovers not including the impact of the ‘inability’ to achieve a high vol-ume of product mix for agility to meet with product demand requirements of a Lean pro-gramme.
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Leadership Development Case Study

Our client, a leading world authority in microelectronics development and research, appointed a senior research fellow to head its entire research and development division. Could the company’s top scientist and academic researcher, who had never managed a staff of more than twenty, make the transition to effectively manage hundreds of people in his division?
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Team Effectiveness Development Case Study

Our client, a US-based IT manufacturing MNC, needed to align the efforts of its seven separate IT divisions and help division leaders think of themselves as part of one culture – one body – one department. Until this point, each leader and unit had been functioning as a separate department. The firm called on COE to help with team effectiveness development.
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People Development – The Smart Way

A couple of years ago, I was meeting the President of an Asian multi-national mid-sized service company for a Six Sigma Training on Saipan, a nice sunny pacific island south-east of Japan. Together with a colleague we were sitting at the beach, wearing swimming suits and preparing the next days session whilst getting sun-tanned. When the President arrived – he was in shorts and ugly slippers! – we had a casual briefing for the Leadership Team session and the Staff Awareness Sessions we were about to run during that week.

Measure The Success of Your Journey – A Lean Six Sigma Meter

Some well-known companies have been “doing Six Sigma” for years. They keep doing improvement projects in all kinds of business and support processes, rolling it out in Sales and R&D. They are extending the application of Six Sigma to the entire value chain – suppliers and customers – in their drive for sustained performance improvement. They are successful in building the Six Sigma principles into their daily business life and using this powerful approach as a vehicle to drive cultural change.

Other companies pilot improvement initiatives like Six Sigma by running a couple of improvement projects, then recognise that the journey toward improved business results will be a long and difficult one that requires a turn-around in the mindset of managers. A post-mortem analysis of a failed Six Sigma effort usually points to the lack of management commitment and lack of attention to the business and cultural investment needed to reach and sustain new levels of performance. What practical steps can be taken to maintain the focus and drive needed to reap the full benefits that Six Sigma offers?


Six Sigma – Show Me The Money

Globalisation and instant access to information, products and services continue to change the way our customers conduct business.
Today’s competitive environment leaves no room for error. We must delight our customers and relentlessly look for new ways to exceed their expectations. This is why Six Sigma Quality has become a part of our culture. Jack Welch, GE

Managing Conflict in Team Meetings

In the course of meetings, be it Six Sigma project team meetings or management meetings, conflict is inevitable; it is cited as one of the main reasons people dislike working in teams. Team players should find a way to manage conflict since teamwork is a key to success. Team leaders must understand that when two or more people meet, the stage is set for a potential conflict. As such, preparation is essential. Problems can be solved if these are anticipated. If a problem does happen, the result may be positive or negative depending on our approach.
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Six Sigma in Financial Services


OurBank is an American international bank with 50 branches in Germany and approximately 300 employees working either in the headquarter office or in one of the branches.
In 2003, the senior management of OurBank decided to adopt and implement Six Sigma as their business management tool across all business units in the Europe region.
According to the OurBank business strategy, the car loan business was identified as one of the business priorities in the next 12 months. The strategy was to significantly grow the car loan business market share within the region in two years time, by 100% in the first year, and by another 70% in the second year.

HR Optimisation and Re-Engineering

Today, organisations must change their priorities from a traditional focus on planning and control to emphasising speed, innovation, flexibility, quality, service and cost. The HR team has to demonstrate their commitment to meet these key business drivers.

A major problem confronting HR managers today is to increase line management and employee productivity, provide higher more value-adding levels of HR service and internal customer responsiveness and at the same time reduce costs. What is needed is an HR team that is customer-focused and market-driven in its external relations with customer and process-focused and team-oriented in its internal operations.

What’s Next After Employee Opinion Survey?

OurBank is a small German bank with branches in Germany and approximately 300 employees working either in the headquarter office or in one of the branches. OurBank went through an acquisition, i.e. we became part of a large American multi-national enterprise focussing on financial services.

Due to the acquisition and the resulting uncertainty, staff turnover was sky-high, morale was down and performance was unsatisfactory. All communication activities nicely drafted in the 100-day M&A plan were not able to make the turn-around. Further talking about “Change Management” would have been devastating. Surveying employee satisfaction every quarter only reemphasised the problem for the management and sent the wrong signal to the staff. So, what happens next?
Print EN Print CN


Job Redesign
Job Redesign – Building Workforce Capacity for the Future, Talk at Employer Alliance by COE.
25 June 2013

Singapore Cooperation Programme II
Singapore Cooperation Programme, “Human Resource Management in the Public Sector” organised by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and conducted by COE.
25 June to 06 July 2012

Singapore Cooperation Programme I
Singapore Cooperation Programme, “Human Resource Management in the Public Sector” organised by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and conducted by COE.
6 to 17 February 2012

Business ABC
Business Is Simple
The Nuts and Bolts of Business – Inspired by beautiful nature

COE’s New Year Dinner
COE's New Year Dinner
Gathering of COE-Partners
in Mouth Restaurant near China Square
on 29 December 2010

CPS Innovation Workshop
Creative Problem Solving Workshop to Drive Innovation
Creative Problem Solving Workshop to Drive Innovation
in December 2010

Strategic Workforce Planning
COE's Strategic Workforce Planning Workshop
Talk about COE’s Strategic Workforce Planning Approach in MIS
on 19 August 2010

Productivity Champion Workshop
Productivity Champion
Experiencing the Power of Process Excellence and Teamwork for Boosting Productivity
on 30 July 2010

Talk in WUSKI, Jakarta
Strategic Workforce Planning in Jakarta
Talk about Strategic Workforce Planning in Jakarta, Indonesia
on 20 May 2010

Manager as Coach Workshop
Manager as Coach Workshop
Workshop Series “Manager as Coach”
from January to June 2010

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