In many companies that are 65+ years old, with operations that serve several platforms from Agriculture, Aviation and Industrial business sectors, each by separate management groups in multiple locations, you inherently end up operating in many cases as Silos.
In some instances, this is simply due to the different aspects of each groups’ business, but in others (which was an issue at Cadorath up until the 2000’s), it is due to the management team being more interested in their own personal success, rather than the success of the company as a whole.
Within the Cadorath group, as some of the older management shifted to retirement or played lessor roles, only then was Cadorath able to move away from a life in silos and move towards change for the better. Not an easy task!
Often, the problem with these silos is they run deep. The roots carry all the way to the guys on the shop floors operating equipment, to the person cleaning the shops. When all they’ve heard for years is don’t worry about the other parts of the company, simply worry about this operation, trust in change must be earned.
These same issues plagued our walls and deep they did run. Back in time, it was common that if something was reprocessed for any reason, the finger pointing started, instead of finding the root cause to work towards a long-term solution! That was yesterday or a lot longer than that!
Today, collaboration is how we operate. We’ve used many different tools in order to rid Cadorath of the Silos, and not all of them have worked as expected, but that didn’t change our commitment to carry on and continue with our operations, each supporting one another with various processes and capabilities.
Do we still have Director of Operations for our various divisions? Certainly, we do. However, they meet and talk every day. We use tools such as Continuous Improvement Kaizens that allows us to have our employees from different operations to participate in areas that they don’t normally perform their daily tasks in. We have fundraisers and corporate luncheons that bring everyone together. When you have your teams all breaking bread with one another, talking, and having fun you, in turn, chip away at the those barriers thereby allowing silos to naturally fall.
These are just some examples Cadorath has used to rid ourselves of Silos. Most importantly, having everyone, as a collective group of team members, each striving for the same goals and objectives, no matter what operation they form part of – simply put, at the end of the day we are but ONE team.