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Manufacturing: BMW in finals for people managing.

BMW has been named as one of six finalists for the CIPD/People Management award -presented to organisations who can demonstrate best practice in the field of people management.

The list of entries -which include GTBB Joint Venture, the company behind the new overhead cabling on the West Cost Main Line -range from successful change programmes to the introduction of flexible working arrangements and include organisations from industry and the public sector.

The other four finalists are: Motorola, Land Securities Trillium's -Project Warren, INA Bearing Company and Ashridge Consulting on behalf of Norwich Primary Care Trust.

Following BMW Group's decision in 2000 to move new Mini production from Birmingham to Oxford the company faced a number of challenges: upgrading the site and processes, integrating the different Rover and BMW cultures and launching the new vehicle.

This challenge was accompanied by a significant increase in the workforce, from 2,500 workers on one shift, to 4,500 permanent and temporary workers on three shifts.

A cultural change programme, the New Oxford Way (NOW), was set up to integrate this new and much changed workforce. The programme focused on working in groups to foster teamwork and good morale.

The main elements of the project included: Team-based organisation structures

Provision of the appropriate enablers e.g. process tools and devolved ownership and responsibility

Capitalising on the enthusiasm of the temporary workers to maintain the project's momentum

Incentives for the top performing team with regular features in the newsletter.

In both 2001 and 2002 the plant achieved its challenging quality and productivity targets and in 2002 it also exceeded the target production volume by 60 per cent. BMW believes that neither of these would have been possible without the commitment of the workers created by the team.

The GTBB Joint Venture faced many challenges on its pounds 600 million project to upgrade the Overhead Line and Distribution system on the West Coast Main Line railway.

Key obstacles included a restriction that meant most work had to be carried out during the night or at weekends, an acute shortage of suitable and skilled staff, and a terms and conditions agreement to satisfy the joint venture partners, Balfour Beatty and Carillon, and the unions.

To overcome these difficulties, the GTBB Joint Venture introduced training programmes delivered at bespoke training centres, this included sending teams of unskilled workers to Germany to train on new stateof-the-art equipment.

The winner will be presented with the award at the Majestic Hotel, Harrogate on October 22.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 25, 2003
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