Larmer Brown Case Study - Bibby

Bibby Distribution Ltd

Bibby Distribution is a family owned logistics company within the Bibby Line Group, which was founded in 1807. Bibby Distribution provides supply chain, warehousing, transport and international freight services. As one of the top 10 logistics providers in the UK, Bibby operates from 100 locations across the UK and the distribution arm employs around 2,000 people. The company is mindful of its staff and the local communities and also follows a match-funds directive whereby any funds raised for charity by staff is matched by the company.

The Project

Following the acquisition of Taylors of Martley Logistics in 2010 the Bibby team, headed by Cathy Reece, Financial Controller, and assisted by Gail Davies, spent several days with brown paper and post-it notes. Their task was to develop and document processes which would integrate Taylors into the Bibby systems. Cathy´s team comprised seven people, three from Head Office and four Depot Staff taking a total of 21 man days to complete one phase of the task.

Bibby Distribution had implemented JD Edward´s Finance and Procurement streams during 2008. Gail´s role on the Project was that of Project Accountant. The Project Team utilised Oracle´s User Productivity Kit (UPK) to record system processes and best practice for both testing and training. As one of Larmer Brown´s UPK clients, Gail was invited to one of their events in November 2010.

During the Larmer Brown event, the Engage Lean Process Modeler tool was demonstrated. Larmer Brown utilise the tool on UPK Projects when they facilitate business mapping workshops. The resulting processes are integrated into UPK with hyperlinks which transport the user to the specific process. Gail Davies immediately saw how Engage Modeler could assist her team with the sometimes arduous task of process mapping.

Given the extremely challenging timelines faced by the Bibby team, Larmer Brown arranged a demonstration of Engage Modeler, via WebEx, the very next day. During this online demonstration Bibby were shown the full functionality of the three licensing options for the software, Basic, Professional and Enterprise. They were also able to ask specific questions about the capabilities of the tool in relation to their project requirements.

Using the Engage Modeler tool in a reactive workshop environment Business Process Owners or Subject Matter Experts can create multiple business scenarios defining the ‘as is’ versus various ‘to be’ processes for analysis, discussion and documentation.

The tool provides separate visual interpretations of every discussion thread. Business Process Mapping Workshops can quickly capture and display entire scenarios graphically, enabling interactive mapping and the evaluation of processes, together with suggested improvements, in one single session.

Bibby is acknowledged to be an innovative organisation achieving growth both organically and by acquisition. This continual growth is supported by an internally managed Continuous Improvement Program. The CI Program has a high profile within the organisation, the strategy having been introduced by the Board. Gail´s role both on the JD Edwards Project and in her ‘day job’ supported the CI Program.

The Solution and Savings

The comprehensive demonstration delivered by Larmer Brown confirmed to Bibby that the Engage Lean Process Modeler would meet their requirements. The two key benefits identified in Gail´s business case were the replacement of the ‘brown paper’ when documenting processes coupled with the ability to integrate the results into UPK.

Following a one day training workshop Gail and her colleagues set to work. The first phase of the initial Project took 21 man days. Using Engage Modeler the second phase, comprising a comparable number of processes took just three days, a saving of 85 per cent. Gail confirmed: "We never anticipated such time savings, often these tools demonstrate well but in practice the processes are always complex, not so with Engage."

The Future

Within Bibby word as to the speed and functionality of Engage Modeler has spread. In addition to her ‘day job’ Gail receives regular requests from colleagues to map processes within the remit of the company´s CI Program.

For her own team Gail has most recently created the cash in and cash out processes as well as the procurement process for paying suppliers for fuel, both of which took a few minutes to generate, document and share across the business.

Gail concluded: “For future acquisitions the Project plan will have a reduced amount of time allocated to Process Mapping. This will be approximately 15-20% of the time allocated to previous plans. A tangible saving with a professionally produced process document.”

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