BASF saves £4m and wins National Training Award

BASF’s
Seal Sands site near Middlesborough has won a Department for Education and
Skills National Training Award after a massive overhaul which culled
middle-management and trained plant staff to work without supervisors.

The
two-and-a-half year restructuring saved an estimated £4m in 2001 at the bulk
chemical plant, according to company trainer Steve Mormon.

The
move saw a cut of around 30-40 per cent of staff, he said. Now 150 employees
work in self-directed, multi-skills teams with no supervision.

Mormon
said before the change, Seal Sands had no training programme. Business was
suffering from fluctuation in the chemical market, which prompted the change.

A
radical re-engineering of the business process was undertaken with a focus on
boosting training.

“Seven
levels of management have been cut to two,” Mormon said.

Middle-management
redundancies were largely voluntary, he said.

By Ben Willmott

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