In the last year NTS changed the structure of its divisions because of the company’s continuous growth. By working with business lines in which dedicated multidisciplinary teams work for specific customers according to clearly defined KPI’s, NTS continuously improves its services. With his team Ruud Kuepers (32) who is Business Line Manager at NTS Mechatronics, works for the largest client in the semiconductor industry within NTS. Their ultimate goals are a satisfied customer and the first results are very promising.
When the structure of NTS Mechatronics changed, Ruud’s position changed as well. After having fulfilled the role of Customer Service Executive, he was promoted to the role of Business Line Manager in January of this year. In the past he used to connect people in the best way he could in order to offer the customer the best possible support. Now he manages a team that works dedicated for one specific client according to a clear structure.
Client specific business lines
“Within NTS Mechatronics you now have three business lines,” Ruud explains. “The business lines work for one specific client. An analysis I’ve made over the last few months showed once again that we make an enormous number of critical modules and products for specific clients. It concerns a lot of large modules and a great diversity in products and components. That diversity demands a tight control.”
Great number of components and strong dependency of suppliers
“Some of these components are customized. That means there is little structure and routine. Each day we produce various unique items. The main challenge is in the supply-chain, 85% of the parts we need come from suppliers. All of these parts need to be delivered in time, according to specifications and with the right quality.”
Multidisciplinary team with clear work methodology
“My team consists of employees from different disciplines such as three buyers, a team lead, a quality assurance officer, three technical support professionals, nine cleanroom mechanics and three persons for logistics. In order to work as efficient as is possible, we use a clear structure. We start our day with a meeting based on the SQDC-boards (Safety, Quality, Delivery and Cost), a daily process management tool that helps us plan the day.”
Everyone involved in the loop
“Sales is not a direct part of my team. I, however, speak with them on a daily basis. We discuss the course of events and our strategy. Periodically we discuss the roadmap. Besides this, we make sure everyone knows what is going on. In this way, we can focus on the right issues and make sure that the clients are always spoken to correctly and in an unambiguous way.”
New organisational structure absolute improvement
“The new organisational structure is an absolute improvement. What you see is that people like working as a team on achieving mutual goals. Having a mutual goal and being successful together is extremely motivating, this results in the fact that colleagues have a greater job satisfaction.”
Room for input and increase of mutual understanding
“It enables people to directly make improvements. Besides this, it reduces the frustration of the people who feel something is not arranged properly. On the one hand they have the possibility to address topics and on the other hand they experience why others make different choices because of their expertise. This creates mutual understanding. Moreover, it results in very good new ideas.”
“A good example is what we are working on at the moment: redesigning a cleanroom. The logistics expert wants to realise the most optimised workflow in order to work in the most efficient way possible, the cleanroom employee takes his own work satisfaction into consideration and wants to sit nearer to his colleague and the person who is responsible for the technology thinks about how we can work as clean as possible and achieve the highest quality.
Then it is my responsibility to challenge my team members to come up with the best solutions together and in the end to decide. I was not authorized to do that in my previous position but I can now and that is nice.”
Customer almost immediately notices positive effects
“Changing the organisational structure was needed because of the growth of NTS. The change was needed to remains our focus on our customers. And it works, the customer almost immediately noticed the positive effects. After three months they already told us. Because of the new way of working and the fact that we are physically in the same room, our reaction time is faster, what we deliver is of a better quality and we know what is going on at a detailed level.”
“Customer satisfaction has our main priority. Our KPI’s are based on achieving satisfaction. Subjects that are taken into consideration for example are: delivering in time, dealing with our supplier network, risk management and supply chain strategy. This is the focus for our division Mechatronics.
Informed the customer of our change
“We introduced the customer to our new way of working, we informed them of what was going to change and of how we were going to make the changes. In the business line you now find an enormous KPI-board that gives insight in our al goals and progress. Very transparent, our customer likes that as well. You can see exactly how we are doing, in a glance.”
We define KPI’s for a period of three months. Each week our team stands before the KPI-board, to see whether we are on track. I, for example, want to reach a performance of 98%. All improvements are displayed specifically and when we lag behind on a specific topic then we work extra hard on it. We celebrate our successes together. Recently we ate cake when our quality performance had improved considerably.”