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ISWP and Tata Steel Europe adapt Tata best practices through TBExG’s EPIC programmes

Published on August 20, 2019

ISWP adapts Innovation Management process from Tata Steel Europe and Tata Motors

Indian Steel & Wire Products (ISWP) has adopted the philosophy of 'cheaper, better and faster' to build a culture of improvement through various initiatives like TPM, TQM and Sankalp. The company strongly believes that new and varied perspectives help to generate more innovative ideas and systems that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its existing processes.

According to feedback received in the TBEM Assessment process, ISWP decided to focus on improving its Innovation Management process. The company decided to revisit its process by understanding similar processes across other group companies. At ISWPL’s request for assistance in its improvement journey, TBExG facilitated an EPIC Best Practices session with Tata Steel Europe (TSE) and Tata Motors.

On June 19, 2019, a team from TSE shared a detailed approach for innovation strategy direction and deployment, governance and organisational structure, innovation scorecard and new product development. The team also shared its process of generating ideas from its employees, customers and external partners through open innovation. During the session, ISWP discussed its existing innovation process with TSE.

In another session on July 16, 2019, Tata Motors explained to ISWP its innovation process and structure. The car manufacturer’s Innovation Management involves idea generation, funnelling and translation to prototype and then inclusion in the technology roadmap. Its organisation-level initiatives impact the operations at the plant level and foster a continuous improvement culture. Improvements are carried out through various modes like participating in Impact Projects and Tata InnoVista. From this session, ISWP could assimilate idea generation approaches, build a culture of innovation and celebrate innovations with rewards and recognitions.

Swati Sinha, Senior Manager - TQM, ISWP, described her learnings from the sessions saying, “ISWP has got new insight on improvement and innovation as a process.”

Tata Steel Europe learns about the Process Maturity Model from Trent and Kaizen from ISWP

A Process Maturity Model (PMM) aids in process improvement through detailed understanding of maturity levels within an organisation. In a mature organisation, processes are effectively defined, managed, and measured, making it easier to improve those processes. Tata Steel Europe (TSE) wanted to improve awareness of its key work processes (KWPs) and understand how Trent reviews maturity of its processes and related KPI’s.

On July 25, 2019, Trent explained its practice of PMM to TSE. When Trent decided to embark on its PMM journey it looked at Tata Power’s EPM process and PCPS architecture from Jaguar Land Rover. A typical PMM cycle at Trent involves defining objectives, identifying challenges, preparing action plans, and reviewing and implementing action plans. Like TBEM, each process is reviewed at basic, overall and multiple levels and scored on ADLI dimensions. Once KPI’s for basic, overall and multiple levels have been identified, a Rainbow Matrix is applied to identify areas of improvement.

Debbie Vick from TSE summarised her learnings from the PMM session: “I found the session at Trent on process maturity informative and useful and will pass it on to the team here to see if/how we can take it forward.”

In another interaction, on August 5, 2019, ISWP presented their 12-step Kaizen process to TSE. ISWP has designated every second Friday as suggestion day. The company invites ideas through its online suggestion tool. The shortlisted ideas are implemented and both idea generator and implementer are recognised by the MD of the company.

Erik Wilmink from TSE described his learnings from the session: “It was a great sharing and learning session about the Kaizen Process at ISWP. Great to see the dedication of leadership and employees for this process at ISWP. The takeaway was that the session triggered us to integrate improvement activities that we are currently doing in our idea management process to capture these improvements for sharing and learning purposes. Thanks again for organising!”

TSE plans to use learnings from these sessions to relook their respective processes and relaunch them with fresh thoughts and ideas.

About the EPIC Programme
EPIC carries forward the Tata Best Practices Programme by helping the companies to adapt best practices from the Group through a structured collaborative process, under the guidance of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) from Best Practice organisations. EPIC is a platform that brings together the provider and the receiver companies together to enable successful adaptation and implementation of best practices.