For Wallenius Wilhelmsen, continuous improvement is not just a catch phrase; it is an idea at the centre of how the company operates every day and the essence of it is its Way of Working (WoW). Susan Moore answers some basic questions about WoW and how it gets implemented in every day work life. 


What exactly is the Wallenius Wilhelmsen WoW?

At its core, WoW is a global management system that provides our employees with a toolbox and framework to continually improve the way they work.  It creates a culture that persistently pursues “waste” reduction so work becomes safer, easier and quicker.  With a focus on global collaboration, best practice achievement, and with safety, quality, delivery, cost and the Employee (SQDCE) as the defining core objectives, WoW is essential for driving customer satisfaction and company performance.


How does WoW work?

WoW works by applying company values – being customer centered, empowering employees, training and collaboration, innovation and stewardship – to guide the way we work.  It also incorporates the continuous improvement Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle across our daily management routine, which works like this:  we “plan” by applying Key Performance Indicator (KPI) objectives that promote continuous improvement; we “do” by deploying lean principles and global best practices across our processes; we “check” by reviewing our processes and KPI performance for improvement opportunities; and we “act” by correcting ourselves if we are off track. Essentially, the PDCA approach is based on the belief that our knowledge and skills can always improve, so we audit ourselves to determine what needs changing and change it for our customers’ sake.


How will WoW evolve going forward?

As I mentioned earlier, WoW is about continuous improvement, so we are always evolving the toolset, systems and training to promote improved efficiencies, best practice collaborations and deployment.  Next year practically every tool will be optimised as we enhance the WoW SharePoint system.  The current WoW system was built as a teaching site.  Next year, the majority of sites will be “deployed”, so it will be time for a major redesign.  WoW is going to get easier and more visible, with mobile tablet applications, dashboards, pushed best practices and more.