Articles > Novozymes Leverages Results Oriented
Maintenance TM and Highly Motivated Staff to Win the North American Maintenance
(NAME) Award 2000 by Michael Lippig
Maintenance Management Consultants - Idcon
Novozymes North America, Franklinton , North Carolina , a company
with Scandinavian roots and management style won the coveted North
American Maintenance Excellence Award (NAME) 2000. A reporter (Michael
Lippig) recently paid Owe Forsberg , Maintenance Manager, Novozymes
North America, a visit to see how this came about.
How it Started
Novozymes did not actively pursue benchmarking in the past. “For a long
time our organization was introspective. We thought we had everything we needed
in house and that we could do it all ourselves” continues Mr. Forsberg. “In
1999, we set a goal to benchmark ourselves against other industries, to get
an outside perspective.” It was in this context that the organization
decided to apply for the name award.
Owe and his team completed a very lengthy and arduous application in 1999.
After a preliminary evaluation, finalists were visited by the NAME board of
directors for a full on-site evaluation. “The feedback from the on-site
review, provided us with a very detailed report including our strengths and
weaknesses”, explained Mr. Forsberg. The auditors listed 19 unique strengths
in three predetermined areas; organization, work processes and materials management.
To be sure, the audit team also identified several areas of improvement, an
aspect that, according to Mr. Forsberg turned out to be one of the biggest
boons from the NAME Award process.
Novozyme was officially awarded the prize during the high profile “National
Manufacturing Week” in Chicago in March 2001.
Novozymes is a leading multinational manufacturer and marketer of liquid and
granulated enzymes for food, liquor, wine, brewing, and dairy products with
manufacturing facilities in US, Denmark , Brazil, China and Switzerland. The
US manufacturing facility is located about 25 miles north of Raleigh, in Franklinton,
North Carolina and employs about 430 people, 40 of which are in maintenance.
The plant and administration encompass a 450,000 square feet facility, including
five production buildings situated on 45 acres.
Maintenance is a combination of central resources for planning, engineering
purchasing, stores and predictive maintenance and area based flex i-skilled
mechanical and electrical instrumentations technicians There are two areas,
each lead by a group leader supervising both mechanical and electrical/instrumentation
technicians. “We don’t expect an electrician or mechanic to learn
another trade” Mr. Forsberg explains. “Rather each craft is expected
to learn bridge-tasks from other craft to complement their main craft
skills. The guys like that because it makes them more rounded, gives them better
training opportunities and makes them more valuable” says Mr. Forsberg.
Previously Novozymes was a division of the Danish based pharmaceutical
company, Novo Nordisk, but become an independent company Jan 1st, 2000
. The Scandinavian heritage has clearly marked the leadership style
and culture with consensus based decision-making and obsession for
partnerships at all levels.
Yet, the organization shows a clear bias to personal accountability
and also appears to be driven by hierarchical top-to-bottom structure
of regularly revised goals and an activity driven budget process. Together,
they seem like a perfect match of American and Scandinavian values.
Over the years the role of maintenance has become more business focused
and now Novozyme offers a set of services to their clients as part
of their product offering. Some of these services are performed by
maintenance. The purpose is to provide such a superior product-service
package that the client will not even consider other suppliers.
Building the Organization
Owe Forsberg took the maintenance helm over 5 years ago. At this time, the
organization was already in transition from reactive maintenance and a more
traditional consensus based leadership style, to proactive maintenance and
a multiple-level partnership driven structure relying on autonomous self-driven
people at every level. Mr. Forsberg quickly adds that the people of the organization
are behind the success. “All our people are really motivated and smart”,
The organization adopted Results Oriented Maintenance TM’s maintenance
productivity circle, which later morphed into “the maintenance triangle”,
as their modus operandi and set goals to achieve excellence in each of its
discrete areas (see below). These goals are summarized in maintenance’s
mission statement: “To reach world class reliability and maintenance
status, defined as showing excellence within the maintenance triangle”.
Since ROM builds on common sense, simplicity and a focus on core maintenance
activities, the philosophy is a “hand and glove fit” with
The transition from reactive to truly proactive maintenance had several
distinct steps or levels according to Mr. Forsberg. The plant has transitioned
from an “operate to failure” approach in the early 90s through to
basic “fixed time replacements” and ”continuous improvement” to “continuous
improvement in 2000. Since then, the company has successfully tackled the next
level “Design for reliability” by incorporating life cycle (maintenance)
cost data and feed back from multidisciplinary groups in replacing and standardizing
equipment. “We were inspired to tackles some of these tasks by the NAME
award” says Mr. Forsberg.
Owe Forsberg, Maintenance Manager, Novozymes
Mr. Forsberg was born and raised in Sweden . He spent the
first nine years of his career in the merchant marine, first
as an apprentice, then, after earning a degree in marine engineering,
as a marine engineer. He then joined the maintenance consulting
firm Idhammar Konsult AB and eventually transferred to their
US subsidiary, IDCON, in Raleigh , North Carolina . When starting
a family, he opted for a fixed place of work with Novozymes (then
Novo Nordisk Biochem) in 1991. He earned a M. Sc. in management
from NC State in 1996.
The merchant marine experience gave Mr. Forsberg a solid grounding in
mechanical and electrical disciplines with both theory and practical
experience. “The maintenance management consulting business helped
me understand how to implement concepts, and setup systems in a people
environment such as maintenance” explained Mr. Forsberg.
|The North American Maintenance Excellence (NAME) Award
The NAME award is jointly sponsored by Plant Engineering Magazine, American
Institute of Plant Engineers, and Reed Exhibition Companies It is awarded
annually to North American Plants that “. .excel in maintenance
practices to enable operational excellence”. There are three classes
and up to three organizations can share the award in each of the classes;
process, discrete manufacturing and service industry. The award supports
the following objectives:
Increase the awareness of maintenance as a competitive edge in cost, quality
service and equipment performance.
Identify industry leaders, potential future leaders and highlight best
Share successful maintenance practices and the benefits from implementing
Understand the need to manage change to achieve maintenance excellence.
Enable operations excellence.
Since 1990 when the first prize was awarded, there has been about 60 applicant
fighting for this award. The award is given to a facility and since there
are minimum standards for applicants, not every year and category produces
a winner. In fact, only 13 of the possible 30 (x3) winners have been named
since inception. For more information see www.nameaward.com
Mr. Forsberg credits the goal setting structure, consensus based culture, the
drive, quality and leadership of the people with driving many and making
other changes possible. He again cites employee involvement, commitment,
a culture valuing excellence and partnerships along with strong corporate
and plant management support for maintenance as key factors in developing
the maintenance organization and clinching the prize. “. . . it’s
not enough to set goals for yourself and your department, you must also actively
support the goals of others and the organization.” says Mr. Forsberg.
A Bright Future . . .
Winning the award has been a tremendous help to maintenance and the whole organization. “Before,
no one knew who we were”. Now Novozymes are mentioned in the same breath
as many of the other high profile winners including Eastman Kodak, Ciba Geigy,
US Steel, A.K. Steel Corp., R.J. Reynolds Marathon Ashland Petroleum, Nippon
Denso, Texas Instruments, International Paper, and Buckeye Florida .
The rich detail of the on-site assessment and access to the confidential information
about the previous winners has provided Novozymes with a virtual treasure chest
of best practices and an instant network of peers with whom they can consult
on tactic and strategic maintenance issues. Since the Award, additional improvements
have already been implemented and many more will be added in the future if
we have gauged Owe and his team right.
While Novozymes up until now has been a silent achiever, the spotlight is now
firmly trained on this vibrant organization and their future. For more information
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