How Devro drove meaningful process transformation on a global scale.
Reduction in report preparation time
Create a global process that would allow regional teams the flexibility to continue operating at the highest level
Unified six countries into one workflow and enabled real-time global collaboration
Migrated product development to a single tool, cut reporting preparation from 2 days to only 30 minutes
Increased stakeholder visibility and engagement
Richard Hughes, Devro’s Global Business Excellence Manager, is passionate about continuous improvement. In fact, it’s a skillset he’s applied many times during his 25-year career helping food manufacturing companies transform their business processes.
A few years after joining Devro — one of the world’s leading food casing manufacturers — Hughes had the opportunity to work on the Devro 100 programme, an internal initiative aimed at creating a more globally unified and customer-focused operating model.
Hughes and team determined they needed to establish a global approach to managing projects with an appropriate tool in order to achieve the greatest success. While they decided to start with product development as the initial priority, the team found all departments faced similar project management challenges when running global projects.
Devro is a food manufacturing company offering a range of high-quality, collagen-based casing products to more than 1,000 global customers. Quality, safety and transparency are all of the utmost importance.
The Devro 100 programme recommended the removal of process limitations across regions allowing the business to focus on what is most vital.
“We discovered that we needed to find a system to support our global approach to managing projects, if we were going to be more successful,” Hughes says.
After a robust vendor selection process, Devro adopted Adobe Workfront to manage projects and initiated implementation within the product development department. Devro now uses Workfront to manage work from strategy to delivery, from capturing new product concepts, all the way through product launches and optimisation.
“We didn’t want just a product development tool. We wanted a work management system that everyone across the business would want to use,” says Hughes. “Workfront offers the flexibility and configuration capabilities to strike the right balance between bringing everyone into the same workflows and serving the unique needs of each team.”
Global Business Excellence Manager, Devro
Hughes and the Devro 100 programme could establish standard practices across the company with Workfront, but still customise workflows to suit individual teams.
Visibility for the executive leadership into the status and progress of global projects was a primary goal, along with promoting closer collaboration among global project teams. “It isn’t uncommon for us to have three different teams working on one product,” Hughes says. “One region could be responsible for launching the product that was manufactured by a different region, based on technical expertise of yet another region.”
Because Workfront centralises the various documents, images and other product development materials into a single repository, any authorised user can instantly access information they need on-demand.
“We went from having six different countries operating different product development processes and governance models to everyone using the same solution and workflows. Now there are fewer emails sent back and forth, meetings are more focused and more productive and we all have the visibility into every project to make smarter decisions about which ones to pursue and which to let go.”
In 2017, Devro successfully launched Fine Ultra. It was the first major new product the company brought to market supported by Workfront and new processes in product development.
Since then, the company has moved beyond product development, optimising its process engineering and ability to capture finance capital requests, while ramping up for strategic project planning. The easily configurable Workfront dashboards provide game-changing visibility to prioritise work and resources, dramatically reducing the number of hours per week once spent on manual reporting.
Hughes and his colleagues now spend up to 90% less time building project status reports. What could take up to 2 days every month now requires just 30 minutes to pull everything together, saving considerable time just on reporting. Workfront dashboards automatically generate key metrics for a real-time view into a project, which can be easily shared with others across the organisation.
For Hughes and the rest of the Devro team, this transformation has been one of their crowning achievements.
“I’ve dedicated my career to helping companies align people and processes to generate success for both,” he says. “An enterprise work management solution such as Workfront gives us the tools we need to help everyone be even more effective in their roles and more satisfied with their jobs and then adapt our processes accordingly. It’s a more dynamic, modern and intelligent way to work.”