Resato, manufacturer of high pressure systems
2017 – Resato is a machine manufacturer in Assen (Nl). It has 80 employees. In 2012, a description of the workplace innovation at Resato was made for this website. New interviews were held at the company in September 2017. These interviews are the basis for the update of this case, presented below.
The workplace innovation intervention
Anno 2017 the companies’ strategy is formulated as: ‘we help customers when they have problems with their high pressure systems’. At Resato they have worked at the improvement and streamlining of their financial and logistic processes, since 2010. And they are continuously trying to realize a more efficient and more effective process structure of the two assembly lines: High Pressure (HP) and WaterJet (WJ). Managers and team leaders instruct, coach and coordinate employees. The starting point in the management is craftmanship, solving problems together and taking ideas of employees seriously. The motto is ‘have fun’. Many management tasks have been delegated to the floor. The hierarchy has become slightly flatter than it was in 2010.
A daily morning meeting of all was introduced. and there are ‘drumbeat meetings’ and ‘special meetings’ to discuss the division of labour, ideas for improvement of products or processes and customer requirements; and also projects are evaluated and successes celebrated. Since January 2017 Resato has a works council of 5 members with the intention to critically participate in the development of the companies strategy and management.
In the first years after the management buy out in 2009 considerable improvements were achieved in lead times, delivery reliability and productivity. The company then grew rapidly in sales and in the amount of employees. Growth has continued in a more modest form up to and including 2015, but has stagnated and even declined somewhat over the last period.
However, the atmosphere in the company, the openness, being able to participate in strategy development, being heard, the possibilities to tackle problems in your team and even beyond the boundaries of your team, are greatly appreciated. There are also opportunities to learn while doing your work and to follow courses and there is room to deal with and avoid excessive physical stress yourself. The motivation to do your work well and to be innovative is great.
But lately many colleagues have felt work pressure and there are also reservations about continuing standardization, modulation and working conform protocols.
To cite an employee from the floor: “Every day must be a challenge; management should stimulate but not dangling us. And: “Human capital, that means: people do the work, machines are there to assist."
Theme: Dynamic management and Leadership, Smart working