“Leggett’s people are our greatest asset,” says Karl Glassman, President and CEO. “But it’s really about the right group of people, empowered with the right knowledge, resources, and authority, working together in the right roles for the right result.” At L&P Automotive Europe, this concept is transforming Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) from the ground up.
A New Direction
With a goal of profitable growth, a teamwork-based approach is revolutionizing the way the group interacts, reacts to customer demand, and plans for the future. Group collaboration across the entire S&OP process has all team members engaged in each step, and it allows their areas of expertise to enhance operations at every level.
According to Mitch Dolloff, President of Specialized Products, “The Automotive Europe leadership team became determined to imbed S&OP as the core process of the operation. While I anticipate continued evolution, the S&OP process is now truly integrated into the business. The team owns it, and the positive impact is evident in their culture, performance, and opportunities for growth.”
“When you layer group trust on top of personal accountability and responsibility, S&OP stops being just a series of monthly meetings, and becomes a process that we all live and breathe together,” said Sonia Smith, President of Automotive Europe. “We are strengthening our position not just for the business we have today, but also for future growth.
“Our whole mindset changed. It’s not just the responsibility of the sales department to ensure growth. We all need to focus on LEAN processes, designing for cost, and innovating for demand – and each person brings a key element that contributes to our overall competitiveness,” continued Sonia. “The focus is on the team, but we are also growing our individuals and developing the next generation of leadership.”
Wilfried Martin, Sales Director in Germany, has been with Leggett for 15 years. “There’s new energy in our organization,” he said, “We’re challenging operations at every turn. It’s not only about doing your own job the best you can, but really seeing how you fit into the bigger picture and working together to win new business.”
“Visibility enhances our adaptability,” added Gunnar Seen, Plant Manager for Austria and Hungary, “Wilfried’s group keeps us updated on customer expectations so we can quickly adapt our production. As raw material prices shift, we are in constant coordination with engineering to make changes and maintain profitability. We are always looking for ways to do a little better tomorrow.”
A New Chapter
Even despite challenges, the new direction is already reaping rewards. “Customers see us in a different light,” revealed Wilfried. “We’re providing a broader range of products with far more volume of possible growth and new technologies for the future.”
And the vision doesn’t stop there. According to Sonia, Automotive Europe wants to be an example of passion, commitment, and success. “We want to create an environment where we work hard, play hard, and believe that ‘impossible is nothing’!”