DVIRC Business Solutions Advisor Harold Floyd brought the Westinghouse Lighting senior management team together to begin the process of envisioning the future, creating a strategic plan, setting goals and developing action plans.
With input from the management team, Floyd facilitated an analysis of the company’s current state, including a SWOT analysis – a review of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The discussions clarified Westinghouse Lighting’s core competencies and competitive advantages, as well as areas where improvement was necessary to reach strategic objectives.
Based on the analysis, gaps were identified. Another set of goals and action plans to address the gaps were put in place.
In the process of developing the strategic plan, short-term business issues were identified that needed to be addressed. According to Angelo, “DVIRC provided the framework for some tough discussions on the true state of our business. This helped us to create a realistic and achievable short-term plan for dealing with our immediate challenges.”
While the short-term actions temporarily detoured the strategic planning process, they provided Westinghouse Lighting with a stronger foundation for the long-term strategy. When the company was ready to implement their strategic plan, four initial projects were chosen, and project managers/leaders were assigned. The projects included:
A Performance Management Plan was implemented designed to improve employee performance and better align performance with company goals. A formal employee review process was created and DVIRC trained Westinghouse Lighting’s managers to implement the process. Managers were trained to create employee development plans, improve performance feedback, and help employees understand their role in the company’s success. Role playing was an integral part of the training, as managers learned how to have meaningful – and sometimes difficult — discussions with employees. According to Angelo, “We had to teach our managers how to communicate effectively. We felt it was critical that employees clearly understand how their work contributes to the company’s success and growth, as well as their own.”
DVIRC also helped Westinghouse Lighting managers improve basic skills, through training in Microsoft Outlook, Effective Meetings and Time Management.
Westinghouse Lighting’s business system was operating through an old VAX mainframe. While the need to modernize had long been recognized, previous efforts stalled due to communications issues between departments. The action plan facilitated by DVIRC focused on bringing people on board early in the process, and helped improve linkages and coordination between departments as the conversion progressed.
DVIRC helped Westinghouse Lighting create and implement a more proactive and effective budgeting process.
Marketing Content Development
Westinghouse Lighting offers more than 2000 products, and must provide product specifications, data, images and other information to retailers marketing these products. Previously, that information was stored in a number of individual Excel files. Westinghouse Lighting Senior Director of Marketing Kathleen Katz was leading an effort to create a centralized data base of all product information that would feed into multiple publishing tools for easy access by retailers.
“DVIRC helped us to develop an action plan that better organized and directed our effort,” notes Katz. “It gave us a platform to identify all steps and resources, and provided a tool to determine what was on or off point.” As the project progressed, the DVIRC process facilitated discussions of elements that affected other departments, and helped identify those that needed to taken out of the project and handled separately. This prevented the content development project from getting bogged down in departmental issues.