Mr Boland is an approved Executive Consultant at Appleton Greene and he has experience in production, finance and management. He has achieved a Master of Arts in Finance and Accounting, a FCMA and a FCIS. He has industry experience within the following sectors: Consultancy; Manufacturing; Non-Profit & Charities; Food & Beverage and Pharmaceutical. He has had commercial experience within the following countries: United Kingdom; South Africa; Germany; India and China, or more specifically within the following cities: London; Johannesburg; Dusseldorf; Bangalore and Beijing. His personal achievements include: introduced group-wide reporting; rolled out 30 plus installations of new software (SAP); achieved manufacturing savings of over EU 400K and resolved debt collection problem for Scandinavian utility provider. His service skills incorporate: Lean Six Sigma; Minitab workshops; training development; accounting processes and positive change.
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In a changing world businesses need to be responsive and be able to change their business processes to meet changing needs. In a competitive world only those who can delight their customers will keep their customers; only those who can provide excellent service on an ongoing process will remain competitive. Thus, the ability of key business processes to perform excellently is critical to business success. To achieve this, processes need to be both efficient and effective. Efficiency requires that the processes run smoothly all the time, regardless of surrounding circumstances. Effectiveness mean meeting and exceeding customer expectations. It is always important to see each process in the context of its environment, recognising that it is not possible to optimise all processes within a system. Before any detailed work is carried out on an individual process it is important to understand the system within which that process operates.
Many companies have tried and failed to run improvement projects and campaigns; these often fail for three reasons: There is no clear definition of projects which are needed to improve the overall business performance; there is lack of senior management engagement and finally communication within the organisation lacks clarity and direction. I lead Process Excellence initiatives which address all these issues, and thus deliver successful and lasting transformation. By leading process based transformation, we ensure that all staff are engaged and motivated and learn the necessary skills to continue the process on an ongoing basis, that is that they will adopt and apply continual improvement.
No process works within a vacuum; nor does any system. For this reason, Process Excellence can only be successful and long lasting if it comes from a systems thinking perspective. Before embarking on a project to deliver process excellence, it is important to see the business as a whole, or as a system, working with senior managers from all process areas of the division or group, we together gain a high level understanding of the business and the issues it is facing. This allows managers to understand their business from a high level, and highlights key areas in need of process improvement. This is represented in a “System Map”. The work of producing the System Map with managers will also expose the “golden thread” that runs through the business and which any process excellence initiative needs to seek to develop. The map will also highlight important feedback cycles within the organisation. This work will clarify the overall objectives of the organisation, and clearly indicate areas within the business which will lead the improvement initiatives.
Successful change and process excellence should be built on existing strengths within the organisation. For this reason, Strength based change methodologies are applied; these allow the organisation to build on and appreciate what it has and continues to do well. In doing this change is seen in a positive light, and the adverse effects of “deficit” based change are avoided. A key element in the process improvement is the selection of key players within the organisation who can be used to encourage and drive the initiative. In this context they become “change leaders”. They will work as team leaders; process based teams will be heavily involved in the change process, in order that the initiative is accepted and embrace the changes making it “theirs”.
Companies can elect whether they just require Appleton Greene for advice and support with the Bronze Client Service, for research and performance analysis with the Silver Client Service, for facilitating departmental workshops with the Gold Client Service, or for complete process planning, development, implementation, management and review, with the Platinum Client Service. Ultimately, there is a service to suit every situation and every budget and clients can elect to either upgrade or downgrade from one service to another as and when required, providing complete flexibility in order to ensure that the right level of support is available over a sustainable period of time, enabling the organization to compensate for any prescriptive or emergent changes relating to: Customer Service; E-business; Finance; Globalization; Human Resources; Information Technology; Legal; Management; Marketing; or Production.
The aim of this proposition is to deliver successful and lasting change, which is embraced by all levels of an organisation, and which leaves a legacy and culture of continual improvement, and the internal skills to continue the transformation. Team members should be given the skills to understand the objectives on process improvement and be able to lead future projects. Overall an understanding of variation in processes will be embraced, and negative behaviour to variation will stop. As part of this, basic statistical process control techniques will be adopted; where clients wish software can be taught to aid statistical analysis (for example: Baseline, Winchart or Minitab, depending on clients’ needs).
When fully embraced and adopted by managers, business experience a positive and dramatic change in organisational behaviour. Data becomes more reliable, as the need to and desire to distort data is clearly seen. Through team sessions teams will be taught improved methodologies, ranging from meeting management to planning act ivies; in particular consensus decision making tools are introduced through the initiative. These have distinct benefits outside the process improvement initiative and should have benefits throughout the company. All staff in the organisation, whether involved in the direct activities will be informed of the initiative, its objectives and how it will run. This can be through large briefing sessions or smaller workshops for all staff. Communication should be and be seen to be transparent and on both directions.
It is important that the initiative is seen in a strong light; to do this current and past successes of the organisation need to be celebrated and built upon. This will be done using positive change solutions. In addition the work of W.E Deming will be introduced and discussed. Past successful initiatives of this sort have led to significant benefits for clients; one was able to bring an outsourced manufactured component inhouse at a saving of at least $400,000 per month; another resolved cash flow collection problems, with an immediate in flow of cash of $1,000,000, and improved regular incomes,
The following list represents the Key Service Objectives (KSO) for the Appleton Greene Process Excellence service.
- Systems Overview
No business process operates in a vacuum, nor does any business system. Before any work on Process Excellence can be undertaken is it important to gather a detailed understanding of the business environment in which all processes operate. This is fundamental to process excellence. This will indicate key suppliers and customers as well as alternative or additional business streams. Additionally, critical “support” processes will be identified, which may contribute to new solutions. A systems approach will indicate key feedback loops within the system which need to be observed or which may contribute as inputs to problem processes. It is often a surprise for senior managers to work together to see their organisation mapped. It often leads to a clarity of understanding as to what the key and core processes are. Such an approach will identify the “golden thread” which must run through all processes in order to fulfil the organisation’s objectives. It also identifies initial areas of concern or excellence which can be used to commence work on. Before this mapping is completed process Reviews for all process may be carried out, unless it is very clear which processes need to be improved. An important output of this stage is an agreement on the processes to be improved, and the selection of key staff who will be involved in the process. This will allow for a detailed analysis of training needs and current skills of those who may be involved in the project. In addition, it is important to ensure that this initiative is communicated across the organisation. Such communication may be through large “conference” type meetings, but are better managed through small workshop groups across the company. It is important that everyone in the company is given the opportunity to embrace the initiative.
- Process Reviews
The Process for improvement may come from any area of the company; ideally, but not solely, multi-functional processes have the best value in process excellence initiatives. (Thus an issue with cash collection may cover finance, sales, and order processing.) The details shown below apply to all processes which are selected for improvement. Having identified the processes for improvement, and reviewed the skills matrices, the potential team members are gathered together for workshops to explain the methodology that will take place. In particular, the importance and use of PDCA will be discussed with the teams. The group will first be facilitated in understanding the current process from inputs to outputs and production of the one paged summary document (SIPOC). In order to understand how each process operates currently the team will together produce detailed flow charts of the process, highlighting areas of concern to address, and of excellence to build upon. Further understanding as to how the process runs today will be gained by looking at data for current performance. If this does not exist in the appropriate format, it may need to be gathered again as the process run, which can be in itself a useful exercise. Having gathered the data the teams are taught to and then analyse the data. The analysis primarily concerns Statistical Process Control (SPC), and may be done using software (Baseline, WinChart and Minitab) depending on the Clients current and future needs. At this early stage it is useful for some sort of Visual Management to be introduced by each team. (These would include team details, up to date performance data recorded in SPC charts and any other information useful to outsiders). These serve as useful places for regular meetings about process performance. The process reviews of the as-is processes are summarised onto one page documents, showing key process steps, areas of concern and excellence, and customer needs and expectations. These are submitted to the senior management for review and comparison with the initial systems map.
- Process Transformation
This step takes place after each team have completed the Process Review for their process. Thus this may be running at different times throughout the organisation for differing processes. Building on the work completed so far, the team needs to understand what is causing the variation in the process, and, if unacceptable, what can be done to improve it. Some of these improvements may come from the initial flow charts, but it is important to ensure that no changes are made to processes without an understanding of the expected results of the change. The data then coming from the process is checked to see if these expectations have been met, and if not, why not. This stage involves imparting skills in analysing data, and in developing new theories. These methods will be taught to teams at this stage (Lateral Thinking and TRIZ). Distinction is made between “quick wins” and “longer term solutions”; the difference being defined by the organisation, but essentially seeking that quick wins are low cost, easy to implement and reversible. Throughout this stage data will be collected from the process and monitored in SPC charts, and displayed on the Visual Management boards. A key aspect of these charts is the ability that operational staff have to monitor the process themselves, and to act to keep the process in control.
- Standardise Process
Once a process has been improved and is meeting the levels required for it, it is necessary for the improvement team to prepare to withdraw. This is done by standardising the process in its current form. The improvement team will document in high quality how the process runs today. It should also define the terms under which changes to the process may be made, if any; In particular it should address in detail how often data is to be recorded and monitored, and the actions for the operating teams to take in case the process ceases to be “in control”. The initial one page document produced by the team should be updated by the team to reflect the current reality, and should be displayed prominently on the visual management board. As the process is handed over the role of the Visual Management Board is increased, as it will show any actions taken to address out of control situations in the process; it continues to be a useful aid to senior managers who walk from process to process. It is therefore important that this board is kept live and managers involve themselves to ensure it is used and up to date.
- Programme Review
Once all the processes have completed through to standardising, in addition to the regular reviews which will take place, it is important for senior management to complete their system overview by reviewing current process. This should be a celebration of success, so is ideally done with all project team members present. Teams which have not been so successful should not be excluded, but an attitude of learning adopted. This is a critical event for management to put the System Overview in context, and to see the benefit of the initiative that has taken place. Part of this review should be to agree and document future reporting requirements from these improved processes, and to listen to those involved for ideas for next steps. It would also capture learning lessons from the whole organisation; what went well, what did not go so well and what would we do differently next time. It is important to maintain the inertia developed in the last initiative, and to find a way to use this to the benefit of the organisation. This cannot be predetermined, depending much on the engagement of staff in the earlier phases. Having been through this process the organisation should be well able to manage its own future initiatives. This is the objective of the programme, to leave the consultant able to walk away knowing that the organisation is well skilled to carry on.
A.Friedr Flender AG
Mr Boland worked with remarkable success in his entrusted tasks and he contributed considerably to the success of the company in the last years. His personal conduct was faultless, as regards system and effort, and was marked with high timeliness. He was equally regarded by the Board, employees and colleagues, and fulfilled his responsibilities effectively and successfully, with a high degree of loyalty. He orientated his staff towards goals and success. He was an acknowledged partner and leader due to his technical knowledge and team guidance.
Knauf Insulation Ltd
Mr Boland has been heavily involved in our Process Excellence initiative from the start, providing invaluable support throughout. This support has been wide-ranging, covering many aspects from consultancy and advice for the management of the initiative across our pan-European businesses through to delivering training and advice to specific manufacturing, technical and engineering projects. The depth to which Mr Boland has embraced his role has meant that he has gained an exceptional level of knowledge our manufacturing processes. So much so that he has become an acknowledged source of technical and engineering advice – especially regarding optimisations specific to our processes. A rare combination for someone external to our organisation. I believe he would have been just as confident in running most of our processes as he would delivering any of his training subjects. His willingness to become involved and keenness to understand, combined with his already considerable multi-faceted experience is an invaluable asset to any company at any level – and I am more than happy recommending him in any of the above disciplines.
Mr Boland is a great coach, trainer and a consultant. He works easily with top management all the way to first line employees. He has high ethics and has a high motivation in helping you with whatever questions you have regarding business and process improvement. I’ve worked with Mr Boland for a couple of years within the areas of business process management and lean six sigma. He was our company’s key trainer and coach. I can recommend Mr Boland to anyone interested in improving the skills and competences related to process improvement and lean six sigma!
Glaxo Smith Klein
I’d recommend Mr Boland as a trainer from my Six Sigma Black Belt course. I enjoyed the training; Mr Boland was an engaging and knowledgeable presenter and I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Mr Boland, his pragmatic open approach, and ability to convey some complex concepts simply.
More detailed achievements, references and testimonials are confidentially available to clients upon request.
This service is primarily available to the following industry sectors:
In my time in consulting there has been a large shift from working for clients to working with clients. Given the prices paid, clients wish to gain more than the immediate work, and hope to be enabled to drive change themselves. Traditional consultancy seeks to recommend to management how the production staff should be treated to maximise output and efficiency. This traditional approach to consulting, as evidenced by companies such as McKinsey, suggests management to implement new policies and procedures. This is typically handled by the individual who carried out the study. In more recent years there has been a negative reaction to this approach, and a desire for a more “holistic” methodology in which the full system is understood, and buy in for all stakeholders is sought. This is seen as more sustainable; writers such as Peter Block and Peter Drucker have advocated such methods. Indeed Peter Drucker himself was a master of diagnosis and prognosis, typified by the ability to ask penetrating and challenging questions. The Consultancy sector appears to be struggling from its own past; many are critical or at best cynical of consultants, seeing limited value in paying high costs what they could do for themselves. With the internet many techniques and methods are available at no cost. Despite this banks and investors still rely on the work of the large consulting companies when carrying out Due Diligence exercises, or addressing concerns they have within businesses. One key attraction is the close link that such Consultancies have to accounting and legal professionals. However, there are those who realise the need for an outsider to facilitate consulting investigations. This has led to the growth of smaller consultancies, whose aim is to leave the company with more skills in it then when they arrived. Despite modern technology allowing remote working Consultancy continues to be preferred as requiring a personal approach. Certainly, to gain a good understanding of