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September 07 Businessexcellence 23 The savings made and the space created allowed machining to be brought in-house instead of being outsourced, so lead times came down, too, from hours to minutes. When improvements like that are made, it’s inevitable that the company is going to grow. Customers always want products that are cheaper, better, and delivered on time. Word gets round. So KUDU’s next challenge is keeping up with growth. “Our international sales have doubled this year compared to last year, and overall we’re up 32 percent over last year’s numbers,” says Kenna. That must be a nice problem to have. “We’re fi nding that our internal processes have been able to handle it, but our supply chain is breaking. They just can’t keep up. That’s where we are right now.” At the end of our interview for the last article, Kenna told me that he expected the next challenges to be external, not only with the supply chain but also with having to recruit people who were not trained in the way KUDU does things. One of his plans was for a KUDU College to address that. “That’s up and running now,” he says. “For one week every month we offer extensive courses and people get credits towards certifi cates in lean, or pump design, or whatever.” There are over a hundred different courses available, with up to 15 on offer at any one time. It’s a quirky allusion, perhaps, but the 80/20 rule seems to have grown another branch. About 80 percent of the courses have internal trainers, with 20 percent external. “It started sporadically,” says Kenna, “and after about six months we found that people who wanted to take a week for training would cram in as many courses as possible and then get back to work; or they’d take one or two days of training, depending on their schedule. We now offer courses for one week of the month, and not the rest of the time, unless it’s an external one.” KUDU Orientation, conducted by the CEO, is always on the agenda. There’s a course in Excel, various courses on different lean principles, power with hydraulics, engine maintenance, occupational health and safety, incident reporting, managing customer complaints, recruiting and hiring, kanban, poka-yoke, labor law; the list goes on. Numbers attending average between three and ten. “The biggest course we’ve had so far is on our progressive cavity pumps, called PCP for Dummies, or PCP 101,” says Kenna. “One of our technical people gives a four hour overview of what PCPs do.” Even though their job may not be directly related to the production of PCP pumps, because it is a critical product for the company, everyone from sales to accounting needs to understand the principle. Certifi cates are awarded when courses are completed, but there is no immediate correlation with pay or status within the organization. “Certifi cates get taken into account when we do reviews,” says Kenna, “and because we’re a growing company, if there’s an opportunity overseas or in a different department, if you’ve got some training you can get priority. There’s some intrinsic and some unwritten value there, but we don’t give a raise just for passing.” KUDU pays according to competency, not seniority, he says, so the more value you add, the more you get paid. Another new course is situational leadership. “It’s our mainstay for training new leaders,” says Kenna. “We’re very decentralized and we’re also very fl at, so we build leaders in particular areas who can deal with different situations. We’ve been doing that for the last seven to eight months.” Situational leadership is not a new concept. It dates back to the 1960s when Ken Blanchard, the management guru best known for the “One Minute Manager” series, created a model with Paul Hersey that allows managers to analyze the needs of the situation they are dealing with, and then adopt the most appropriate leadership style. Leadership style is often characterized by the personality and abilities of the person in the leadership role, but if you are simply directing traffi c according to your own rules, the needs of your subordinates are ignored. In the follower-led situational leadership model, the leader is the one KUDU Industries “Our international sales have doubled this year compared to last year, and overall we’re up 32 percent over last year’s numbers” Established in 1997, Warwick is southern Alberta’s largest selfframing metal building manufacturer and assembler, individually designing pre-engineered units to meet specifi c customer requirements. Our goal is to provide superior customer service, partnering with our customers to satisfy their unique building requirements and schedules through successful project completion. Warwick builds and values strong, professional business relationships based on integrity and trust. Warwick