Case Study: Viscount Plastics (NZ) Ltd
Viscount Plastics (NZ) Ltd
Recognising and growing potential
When specialist plastics manufacturer, Viscount Plastics (NZ) Ltd, wanted to up-skill staff they turned to Aspire2 Business for help.
The company, which produces a diverse range of plastic products using a specialised injection-molding process, has more than 44 staff operating over three shifts, 24 hours a day, five days a week.
Viscount’s Site Manufacturing Manager Kenneth Tohovaka says they wanted to invest in educating and developing selected staff from across the business, so called on Aspire2 Business.
“We wanted to advance people with potential; both to help them to grow and to put more investment into what they can deliver,” he explains. “Through a sister company we’d heard about Aspire2 Business' great reputation and felt they would offer us the best outcome for our staff development.”
Kenneth says Aspire2 Business began by assessing the literacy and numeracy levels of staff selected for the programme – something he believes is very important when working with a mix of people.
“The staff selected for the programme came from different divisions of the company and some had English as a second language, so actually knowing them was crucial.”
“They also did a lot of research to understand our business and what we wanted to achieve from the training.”
Once assessment was completed, Viscount Plastics wanted Aspire2 Business to structure the training around lean principles – looking at a systematic approach to eliminating waste within the operation.
“We wanted our staff to look at the current systems in place and think, ‘what could we do better, more efficiently?’ and then take action.”
“Aspire2 Business were great, in that they listened to our needs and tailored the training to what we wanted.”
With the training focused on lean principles, staff learnt how to:
While the training is still taking place, for Kenneth the ideal outcome will be a continuous improvement in everyday activities, with staff feeling confident to take ownership of their areas and point out changes that can make the business more efficient.
“If you don’t give your staff the tools and resources to be able to think in this way, they don’t know any differently, so can’t apply efficiencies to their work,” he explains.
“That’s why the training was very much centred on thinking analytically about their own work and getting them to question how they can change the steps of a process from one to ten, to one to five.”
To show an understanding of lean engagement principles, the team has been tasked with a real-situation project, which they’ll present on graduation day.
Kenneth says the training has been a big investment for the company, as people had to be taken out of the business to complete it, with others covering their roles. But he says the already-evident outcomes show it has been well worth the investment.
“It’s been great to see the staff respond so positively to training. We’ve found that communication at all levels has improved and staff confidence is much higher.
“Aspire2 Business are very professional and accommodating with everyone involved, and I had open communication with them about what the business needed.”
Kenneth can’t speak highly enough about Aspire2 Business trainers, who made time to get to know the staff and their skill levels.
“The way they deliver the training is excellent, which helps with information retention, and the rapport with the team was great.”
All-in-all, Kenneth says that Aspire2 Business delivered on expectations, and that it has been “great” to see staff respond so enthusiastically.
“Any training is good for the staff’s future opportunities,” he says. “It was very rewarding to see our people take this offering and grow from it, both in the work environment and at a personal level.”