BASF’s Seal Sands site near Middlesborough has made cost savings of £4m
after culling middle management and training plant staff to work without
The two-and-a-half year restructuring initiative has earned the bulk
chemical plant a Department for Education and Skills National Training Award.
Company trainer Steve Moremon told Personnel Today teams of 150 employees
now work in self-directed, multi-skilled units, with no supervision.
"Seven levels of management have been cut basically to two," he said.
The restructuring saw job cuts of up to 40 per cent. The change process was
sparked by fluctuations in the chemical markets. A radical re-engineering of
the business process was undertaken focusing on boosting training which
previously was practically non-existent.
Employees attended workshops where the new rules, boundaries and processes
were explained. Under the new training process, employees are taught the
theory, tested on their level of understanding and then taught the practical
skills using workbooks. Once staff believe they are up to speed they request a
Moremon said the HSE approves of the system and the method presents no
health and safety problems. He said staff morale has increased, and other
chemical companies are looking at Seal Sands’ model.