Port Kembla is the main port for Sydney, Australia’s biggest city, and one of the most important vehicle-importing hubs in the country. Wallenius Wilhelmsen opened its equipment processing facility at Port Kembla in 2007, and it has been expanding ever since. Today, Wallenius Wilhelmsen employs 28 people at the site, and key customers include Daimler, CNH, Scania, Iveco, John Deere, Yutong and Lely.

Last year, the facility concluded that to remain the market leader in rolling equipment processing it needed to start challenging its fixed ideas and think outside the box. To tackle the challenge head-on, it turned to the company’s Way of Working (WOW) programme, which gives employees the tools to get rid of “waste” or inefficiency so that they can work safer, easier and quicker.

Rethinking the routines

“We wanted to improve our business performance during a very challenging business climate with fierce competition,” explains Steve Beck, Wallenius Wilhelmsen's New South Wales Technical Services Manager and the man in charge of the site. “This competition forced us to think proactively about what we could do to position ourselves for the future.”

Port Kembla had already introduced the Lean Management programme in 2008, so WOW was a logical next step.

“Lean often sets alarm bells ringing because it implies cost savings,” Beck says. “Yes, we did save money, but this wasn’t enough to achieve our improvement ambitions. WOW is great because it goes beyond lean management techniques to cover business key performance indicators (KPIs) and goal setting. It challenges ideas we have ingrained in our heads and encourages us to share best practices with other processing sites in the Wallenius Wilhelmsen global network.”  

Karen Radford, Head of Land Based Operations in Oceania, says the implementation of WOW has allowed the teams to continuously challenge the boundaries and created more frequent interaction between them, promoting harmony. “All these factors contribute to improved quality and customer satisfaction,” she says. “What’s also so positive is that all equipment processing sites in Australia will become WOW compliant too.”

Win-win for employees and customers

WoW has not only affected the staff’s way of working, but customers are also starting to see some benefits.

“They get faster turnaround because we can service them quicker and we now have clearer production times,” Beck says. “For example, we have measured time per activity (TPA) for a truck manufacturer and now we can process their trucks faster, which is good for them and for us.”

The TPA is worked out through collaboration between the customer and Wallenius Wilhelmsen, providing both parties with clear guidelines on expectations and a step-by-step guide on the most efficient way to complete the process. It speeds up the turnaround process.

Radford believes the strong focus on WOW is an investment for both Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s business and the customer. “In today’s competitive world, it is imperative to ensure that we continuously serve our customers in the best possible way, offering them a super quality service at competitive prices – and we are confident that WOW is assisting us to do just that,” she says.

Fact box: WWL’s Port Kembla Equipment Processing Centre

Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s Equipment Processing Centre at Port Kembla offers customised turnkey solutions to the mining, civil, automotive, construction and industrial sectors, including processing of rolling and static equipment, trucks and machinery; product preparation; mechanical services; paint services, from small touch-ups and repairs to complete projects; and bonded storage and quarantine.