We drive a number of processes across the company, with six identified as being core to our operations. They are briefly explained below.
People, product and process safety
Safety is a core principle which engages and unites everyone in AkzoNobel, highlighted by the company-wide Safety Day we stage every year, in which all our locations participate.
The people safety process is aimed at increasing awareness of behaviors that put us at risk. The main focus moving forward is on culturally embedding the process and building capability.
Our process safety program is designed to identify and control hazards in our operations by avoiding unwanted events at manufacturing sites that result in injuries, waste or harm. We measure our performance through a disciplined audit process.
Product safety incorporates the traditional approach of reactive regulatory compliance, which we enhance with pro-active steps, enabling us to take the lead in sustainable product stewardship.
Operational Control Cycle
Established in 2012, this forms the heartbeat of our operational performance management system. It involves a cycle of regular meetings, which incorporate structured and standardized operational discussions. By employing this process, we review past performance, as well as forward planning activities. Increasingly, we use this cycle to deep-dive into specific topics, ranging from research and development to business growth reviews.
In 2014, we launched a company-wide approach to continuous improvement for the Integrated Supply Chain function, known as the AkzoNobel Leading Performance System (ALPS). By the end of 2016, around 75 percent of our sites were running the program. It has enabled us to put in place strong foundations from which we intend to further improve through advanced manufacturing, automation and digital technologies. More than 100 experts are supporting our efforts. We have also built a continuous improvement curriculum for different levels of capabilities in the Supply Chain function.
Customer focused product and process innovation is at the heart of our four-stage innovation process (ideation; selection and prioritization; execution; implementation and support). To further improve the quality of input, we are deploying a front-end ideation process, as well as building a strong innovation and growth culture. We have systems in place to manage the innovation portfolio and assess resourcing and prioritization on a dynamic basis, while tracking the success of individual launches. Longer term planning of the portfolio ensures that resources are placed close to the markets, particularly in key locations in growth regions.
In 2015, we developed a new procurement strategy and are making good progress in our key processes, covering more than 100,000 suppliers. We target year-on-year total cost of ownership reductions and leading performance from our suppliers in terms of quality, delivery, cost, innovation and sustainability. We have completed the roll-out of a new competency improvement program, while more than 200 procurement professionals have been trained in our new Strategic Sourcing Methodology.
Since 2013, we have been building a comprehensive integrated talent management process to ensure that we can get, grow and keep the talent we need for the future. All core processes are now deployed globally and the tools are in place to help managers effectively manage their people. Key developments during 2016 included:
- Strategic and operational workforce planning made mandatory at business unit level. This will ensure that we are identifying the capabilities and requirements needed to deliver on our shorter and longer term objectives
- Extending our program to identify, assess, develop and deploy high potential talents to all management levels to ensure a solid talent pipeline. In 2016, we increased the percentage of executive positions that we were able to fill internally
AkzoNobel Leading Performance System.