EY: Alliance with P&G role model for operational excellence

By Manufacturing Global
Unlock the potential of your business and elevate performance with the EY Smart Factory...

A successful alliance between Ernst & Young (EY) and Procter & Gamble (P&G) that ‘achieves operational excellence in manufacturing’ is now used in 400 smart factories resulting in savings of $15b.

The 10-year partnership between consultants EY and household product brand P&G - best known for Pampers, Gillette and Ariel - focuses on improving the end-to-end supply chain with an Integrated Work System (IWS). This smart factory model is now helping other global manufacturers and SMEs grow and optimise their business.

“We've taken an industry leader in performance, coupled it with an industry leader in operations consulting and transformation and together we're offering organisations the ability to extend what they're currently doing and deliver transformational results,” said Craig Lyjak, EY Global Smart Factory Leader.

“It's great that we can go into a site and have significant capacity improvement in a very short period of time,” added Lyjak, who pointed out EY has now renewed the contract with P&G for another decade, which will allow them to offer even more “capability to our collective clients”.

“Our vision with the P&G relationship is that we’re offering an end-to-end capability that enables our clients to not just have the manufacturing performance improvement, but to be able to leverage that and to advance the corporate strategy in the total supply chain,” he said.

What is IWS?

P&G’s IWS empowers every employee through a vertical line-centric model that establishes clear ownership and accountability. This method of lean manufacturing aims to eliminate loss and waste. This disruptive way of working is predicted on two principles:

  • A drive to zero losses
  • 100 per cent employee ownership

“This is a big differentiator as it engages people on the shop floor in a way that is consistent, repeatable and delivers the business performance,” said Lyjak.

What is a smart factory?

This is an environment in which cyber-physical systems monitor the physical processes of the factory, provide analysis, and automate or support controls and decision-making to improve manufacturing efficiency and effectiveness. 

By boosting overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), the smart factory can help manufacturers increase revenue and defer capital investment. It can also improve workforce productivity and morale and reduce operational costs.

“OEE and yield are the two primary business case drivers from a manufacturing performance perspective that we see in the short term. But once you have that performance uplift, how can you sustain it? 

Uplift in performance

“When you combine IWS and the EY Smart Factory solution - with emerging technologies to provide a digital experience - this can accelerate and sustain performance,” said Lyjak, highlighting this as the way forward for businesses looking for a “quick win”.

“Gone are the days of people embarking on a transformation and wait quarters, or even years, to see uplift. We need to be able to have quick wins but in a sustainable way. From a timeline perspective there is generally a performance change in about eight to 12 weeks and within that four to six month time horizon, you will have broad acceptance that it's not just a blip but will continue.” 

Lyjak pointed out that it is not about just solving one problem but taking it step-by-step to solve the next and continue that uplift and not regress. “That's when it really starts to feel different.”

Culture change

Lyjak said these new systems of working can only be adopted if businesses are prepared to change behaviours - as it’s not just about the tools. “There is a comprehensive engagement period which results in the start of a culture change. It's how we leverage the tools to embed behaviours and practices.”

People power during the pandemic

During the pandemic, line operators were entrusted more than ever to make the right decisions. They rose to the challenge, and the policy worked.

“The true value of IWS is that numerous P&G factories not only managed to exceed their pre-COVID-19 performance and deliver record reliability, but also identified opportunities to further improve processes,” said Lyjak.


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