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Having to deliver the first presentation after lunch is not always an appreciated task, because participants tend to be late and to walk in during the session. Steen Hadsbjerg of A.P. Moeller-Maersk was not facing this problem: His session was well attended from the beginning.

Steen Hadsbjerg of A.P. Moeller-MaerskA.P. Moeller-Maersk is a logistics company with around 23.000 employees world-wide. Steen Hadsbjerg, director of process management and business innovation at Moeller-Maersk, reports in his presentation at ARIS ProcessWorld about establishing business process excellence all over the company. As one can imagine, this was a very challenging task.

Moeller-Maersk didn’t approach business process excellence for the sake of having it, but they were facing serious problems. They received many complaints from customers, who were not satisfied with service delivery. Steen Hadsbjerg illustrated this problem with a small anecdote. One of Moeller-Maersk’s VIPs moved from the United States to Copenhagen, Denmark. His personal stuff was shipped by Moeller-Maersk as a container. However, the container didn’t arrived in Copenhagen, but instead ended up in Oslo, Norway.

There were several reasons for such problems. According to Steen Hadsbjerg, they didn’t any transparency in their supply chain. In addition, the complexity of their infrastructure is big, because they are a heavily distributed company. Steen Hadsbjerg summarised that by saying that they had outgrown the infrastructure.

Top management of Moeller-Maersk decided to tackle those problems. They first defined an overall slogan to guide the global process excellence initiative: "Easy for our customers; efficient for us". They further detailed this slogan by defining six key objectives:

  • eliminate, simplify, and automate our existing BPs
  • ensure new processes include customer perspective
  • provide simple and effective tools and methodologies to enable the organisation to successfully execute process change
  • deliver a portfolio of successful projects (illustration, gaining momentum)
  • create a world-class competency centre with an academy and an internal expert pool
  • create a real-time global dash board to enhance supply chain transparency, accountability and control

As a first step, they first identified possible improvement opportunities. They came up with 700 opportunities, which they turned into a roadmap. At the beginning, they also created a high-level process landscape. They also invested in creating their own methodology, adapted to their specific needs.

To ensure that improvement projects get full commitment, they created internal contracts for all projects. All sponsors and the project team had to sign the contract to document their commitment to it.

They decided to use the ARIS Platform for their global process excellence initiative. Today, they are using various ARIS tools starting with business process modelling, risk and compliance management, down to process cost analysis, and business intelligence. They established a company performance dashboard and the processes are today monitored in real-time. Today, approximately 50 regions are using this platform. This shows that they really managed to turn their initiative into a global initiative.

At the end of his talk, Steen Hadsbjerg shared the lessons learnt, which I want to share with our blog readers as well:

  • make clear problems and barriers
  • take time needed to built a sustainable platform
  • establish firm process control and governance across functions
  • take the difficult, but necessary decisions
  • mobilise the entire organisation
  • keep an open mindset to learning
  • ensure unprecedented executive commitment