Culture LEAN

5S Find – Unipart Newsletter For Prince Phillip Visit 1995

Having packed up my house in central Auckland about 6 years ago, having had some boxes in storage since, I recently unpacked a couple that I had put under the stairs of my new home. In fairness they had been there for the past 2 years, but with a it of time on my hands during the August Lockdown here in NZ I took the plunge and opened them up.

At the bottom of the box I found a couple of manilla envelopes and a plastic folder of some memorabillia from my time at Unipart DCM, who I left to emigrate to NZ in 1997.

I’d saved a copy of the company newsletter, which from memory was a big day as HRH Prince Phillip was attending a celebration of all things Unipart and to see what we were doing to be competative in the global market place.

Hold the front page!

I had been invited to HQ in Oxford(Cowley) for this Expo as one of my teams had been working on a “stakeholder circle” to improve order delivery quality by striking up a relationship between the customer and pickers based at the Bagington Jaguar distribution centre. “Adopt a Dealer” was the brainchild of Eddie Waddell, one of my team, who had gained inspiration after visiting the USA and seeing communities “adopt a highway”.

The team made visits to dealerships to understand how they would like their orders presented and the team made it all happen and resulted in a huge improvement in customer satisfaction a reduced credit requests on damage and losses.

centre pages

All together it was an amizing day, and at the time I think Unipart was around 3,500 employees and we all felt that we were part of something special. As I look back on what was 26 years ago, this certainly holds true. we invested in poeple, we understood what our customers valued and using the combined wisdom and common sense of the people that did the work, continuously improved.

Back page

I actually ended up shaking hands with HRH after Eddie made our presentation to the gathered audience, which I would say was a real career highlight. I recall HRH was really impreseed with the whole day. Unipart of course was born out of the spare parts division of British Leyland, which had been privatised and subject to an MBO led by Sir John Neill.

I’d be really interested to hear from anyone else that was here on the day? What are your memories?

1 comment

  1. Thanks for sharing that publication and your memories, Richard. I recall the day very well as I organised the event and was privileged to accompany HRH and John Neill for the entire visit. The thought that struck me most was how proud I felt of all my colleagues — those who told their stories in formal presentations and those who engaged in very informal conversations with The Duke of Edinburgh. HRH challenged Unipart to demonstrate how the ideas behind the Tomorrow’s Company report had been brought to life by our company and I believe our colleagues did just that. Along with the visit of Her Majesty to our manufacturing site in Coventry, the celebrations marking the opening of our joint venture factories and several other events, this visit was one of the most memorable and telling experiences of my 20+ years with Unipart. Thanks for sharing it in your blog and all the best for the future.

    Liked by 1 person

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