AC Floby supplies world-class automotive components

Automotive Components Floby has been manufacturing products for the automotive industry since 1957. Following changes to its ownership structure, the company needed to build up a new management system.

Automotive Components Floby has been manufacturing products for the automotive industry since 1957. Thanks to its extensive knowledge and years of experience, its processes comply with the most stringent requirements of quality assurance standards for the industry. Following changes to its ownership structure however, AC Floby needed to build up a new management system. In conjunction with this project, its operations also had to be upgraded to maintain compliance with the new IATF 16949 standard. With CANEA as its partner, AC Floby’s hard work has paid off and the certification is in place. The company can now focus on developing a dynamic management system and implementing a programme of continuous improvement.

All clients and stakeholders with which AC Floby interacts require their subcontractors and suppliers to have certification in compliance with ISO standards, such as the IATF 16949 quality approval standard and the ISO 14001 environmental management standard. Since mid 2017, AC Floby has operated as a subsidiary of Volvo Cars and has therefore been required to introduce completely new functions including HR, purchasing, sales and sustainability. Although it had a file full of routines and instructions that were relevant to its business, it lacked a framework for the management system. In order to ensure future compliance and live up to its certification, AC Floby created a document management system in Excel while it was assessing what the needs of the new management system were - without certification, it is virtually impossible for the business to continue operating.

"We chose CANEA as a partner because we thought they had the highest levels of factors such as workflow, process, and document management, implementation time, ease of use and, not least, proficiency in standards such as IATF 16949, ISO 9001 and ISO14001. The consultants were incredibly knowledgeable in the standard requirements that we are certified against, and with practical experience in the automotive industry, it was an easy decision. We saw that CANEA could help us in our development and deliver a comprehensive solution that matched our needs", says Eva Rosén, Quality and Environment Manager at AC Floby.

CANEA kept the ball rolling and the project on schedule

In addition to the requirements of the international quality and environmental standards, AC Floby has set itself the goal and made it part of its strategy to continue developing the management system to apply a continual improvement approach, prevent errors and minimise losses.

“It is difficult to understand what a good structure you actually have when you are in the middle of a process like change of ownership, an entirely new organisation and other extreme conditions. Although it didn’t feel like it at the time, looking back on it now we realise how well organised it all was, thanks to the fact that we are constantly working to standards and the benefits this brings with regard to structure and getting the right things in the right places. We also realised the importance of engaging external services and support in the form of CANEA, which helped us with expectations and the structuring process. The consultants have been very attentive and responsive to our requirements, propelling us forward at just the right pace while also making sure that we haven’t lost momentum and helping us to stay on schedule.”

Process-oriented approach with more collaborative working

AC Floby and its employees have analysed in-house processes and revised procedures and instructions, which has resulted in new ways of working. They have been preparing communication and training plans and have used weekly reports and status updates as a simpler way of informing the organisation about schedules and changes to processes.

"We have learned to work with a more process-oriented approach and more cross-functionally across the organisation. As well as leading to increased efficiency, it has also meant that we have got to know our colleagues better! All process owners have also understood their responsibility to map the business operations and have become just a bit more aware of standards and requirements. Thinking in terms of opportunities rather than risks is something else that we have learned. The PEST (Political, Economic, Social, Technological factors) analysis tool that the consultant from CANEA introduced us to has been integrated into our way of working. Our experience of this has been very positive and we are now reviewing risk and external stakeholder analyses ourselves.

With the certificate in place, the next step with CANEA ONE begins

Implementation of the CANEA ONE business system in the organisation was carried out in parallel with the work of mapping processes. The system comprises an integrated handling of strategies, processes, cases, documents and projects and provides a connective thread in the day-to-day business operations. The users have been given training together with the project managers and the system has been tested and customised to meet AC Floby’s requirements. Now that the certificate has been updated and the IT support has been launched, the focus is on the interface and on tweaking and tailoring features together with the process owners. One success factor has been the creation of a new team with a process manager. Along with a number of dedicated individuals who know the standards, this team works solely on developing the management system, structuring and ensuring that the right things are in the right places and that they are working with the right things. This means that AC Floby has a good tool to enable continuous improvement and is well equipped for the future.

“Having dedicated resources to maintain a dynamic management system has been one success factor for us and we chose the right partner! CANEA has been incredibly focused on customer care and excellent when it comes to providing feedback. The focus has really been on us, its customer, and CANEA has shown the highest level of professionalism in all its dealings with us. Working together has been a lot of fun too - CANEA’s consultants are wonderful people who are easy to work with and although the recertification process has entailed hard work, we’ve enjoyed some good laughs along the way,” Eva says in closing!