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The seven steps

Rail - Tube maintenance

Trackforce is far from being Boxwood's only construction industry client. Foundation specialist Stent is one of many other firms seeing the benefits of Boxwood's Process7 - in its case a halving of delays on site.

According to Jamieson, Boxwood's seven stage process has applications to any business where there is a process, be it construction, retail, or any other.

The first three stages are entitled 'Discovery'. They are Observe, Collect Data and Analyse.

Observe means getting right down to where the work is being done.

Data collection has to be fast, complete, detailed and done on the spot, and the analysis has to be equally fast and comprehensive if it is to produce useful information focused on delivering business results.

Under the heading 'Consensus' comes two modules: Determine Action and Achieve Consensus.

Here, Jamieson says, it is essential that top management is genuinely committed to change. 'The problem is not with the guys at the coal face, ' he says. 'Nine out of ten of them are up for it.'

Taking Action, under the heading 'Mobilisation', is simple once consensus has been achieved, he says. The final step is Measure Results, bringing the process full circle to the first step, Observation.

And by now the organisation should have acquired all the tools it needs to start again on the path of continuous improvement.

So could firms do it themselves?

'No' says replies McAnaw instantly.

Stent managing director Graham Wren agrees. 'We could have done something similar but it would have taken much longer and wouldn't have been so successful.'

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