Case Studies

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The Client
Keewatin Air has operated in the rugged Canadian Arctic for 40 years, logging over 120,000 hours of medevac airtime in some of the most challenging environmental conditions in the world.
Keewatin Air’s main focus is and has always been air ambulance service to the artic. Whether it is moving passengers with medical needs on their charter aircraft or transporting a critically ill patient on their air ambulance, Keewatin Air has made medical travel their specialty.  Keewatin Air’s air ambulance program is recognized as one of the best in Canada.
“We wanted a system where our team, employees and management, were more aware of opportunities and that would allow us to team together to become more efficient.”
Jason Kendall – Director and Person    Responsible for Maintenance (DOM/PRM)
The Need
Keewatin Air’s management team recognized there were opportunities to improve efficiencies and gain team synergy in its maintenance area.  The management team sought to enable each employee to understand how the employee’s day to day job contributed to the success of the company.  In addition, Keewatin Air sought to implement a proven, world class system to aid employees in recognizing problems, and having accountability to rapidly take actions to contain and correct problems.
The Approach
Establish team boards within the maintenance department.
The Approach Included:
  • Develop : A Standard Operating Procedure for the installation and ongoing use of Keewatin Air’s Management Operating System via Team Boards.
  • Develop : Effective performance review process for the maintenance team.
  • Develop : A method of auditing the maintenance area’s adherence to the Team Board Operating Standard.
  • Deploy : Training the maintenance team regarding the Team Board Operating Standard, and Keewatin Air’s new problem solving process.
  • Deploy : Determine key metrics, and install team board in the maintenance area, providing team and individual coaching to maintenance area supervisor and to operations management.
  • Deploy : On site go-live support for each team board owner.

The Results

  • Employees have taken full ownership of their job and their area.
  • Fast and effective communication between staff and management.
  • Staff is fully engaged in understanding how the short term and long term success of the organization depends on their work effort.
  • Synergy in the maintenance area has allowed the team to focus on shared goals.
  • Everyone is pulling in the same direction.
  • Department is more efficient.

“The Team Boards have brought the team’s attention to where we had inefficiencies.  We now can document and rectify issues at the front lines.”

- Dariusz Kopala : Production Manager, Keewatin Air LP


CESD Services can help you too.

The Client
Enduron Custom Inc., based in Winnipeg, MB, Canada, manufactures aluminum, nonferrous and steel alloy parts to precision specifications for the aerospace, defence, and transportation industries.
The Need
The company had outgrown the informal collection and distribution of information meaningful to the shop floor due to rapid business expansion.  The link between strategy and shop floor performance was missing.  The company was seeking a method to make critical problems highly visible to employees, and enhance the front line employees’ authority and responsibility to solve problems.
The Approach
Establish team boards and an effective a self-sustaining performance management process.
The Approach Included :
  • Develop : Effective performance metrics for the manufacturing cells; creating an Enduron Team Board Operating Standard.
  • Develop : A method of auditing the manufacturing cells’ adherence to the Enduron Team Board Operating Standard.
  • Deploy : Training all the manufacturing cells regarding the Team Board Operating Standard, and advanced problem solving process.
  • Deploy : Determine key metrics, install a team board in seven production cells, providing personal coaching to cell supervisors and operations management.
  • Deploy : Training for cell leaders and operations management in problem escalation processes.
  • Deploy : On site go-live support for each team board owner.
  • Deploy : On site go-live support for operations management for auditing each production cell’s adherence to the Team Board Standard.
  • Deploy : On site support for escalated problem solving.

The Results

  • Effective team board reviews to set work priorities, help in the allocation of resources, and provide a focus for daily management of problems.
  • Effective measurement of inputs, outputs, and process efficiency visually identifies opportunities for improvement in performance and reduces potential disruption of work processes.
  • Upstream identification and resolution of problems where appropriate.
  • Improved engagement of workers to solve problems within the cells resulting in improved team performance.

“We are now able to visualize problems rapidly due to the team boards.  We can target improvements, and make improvements which immediately are reflected in our results.  The Team Boards give us visibility and accountability at the front lines to determine solutions that will solve the root cause of problems, not just put a Band-Aid over them.”

- Julian Kulbacki, General Manager, Enduron Custom Inc.


CESD Services can help you too.


The Client
Gardner Aerospace manufactures machined and fabricated parts for the aerospace industry. Capabilities include 5-axis machining, turning, sheet metal fabrication, non-destructive testing, surface treatments, final assembly, and kitting.
The Need
The management team identified day to day operational problems were preventing the organization from effectively and routinely progressing strategies, plans, and performance improvement.  The team recognized the need to develop a single point of accountability and capability to support strategy deployment and performance improvement.
The Approach
The primary goal was to develop a self-sustaining business plan deployment and coaching capability in a member of the management team designated as the Change Agent.
The Approach was:
  • Develop : Effective transfer of knowledge and practical lean thinking to create self-sufficiency for the implantation.
  • Develop : One to one coaching of the Change Agent to develop a contextual appreciation of how to implement planned improvement activities and an understanding of the impact of the changes.
  • Deploy : Hands on practical demonstration of implementation tactic knowledge and tips, enhancing the overall capability of the change agent across a wide range of improvement situations.
  • Deploy : Specific training in lean management tools and the development of training material and user guides.
  • Measure and Sustain : On-going coaching support for the Change Agent.

The Results

  • Clear standards established supporting routine, frequent, and formal measurement of operational performance.
  • Daily tracking of key performance indicators supporting rapid problem recognition and improved management focus.
  • Improved management control of operational performance and choosing operational priorities.
  • Improved delivery and quality performance with reduction in outstanding customer returns and improved “on-time and in-full” delivery.
  • Balanced measurement of inputs, processes, and outputs to align improvement actions and results.
  • Standardized diary defining “drumbeat” reviews, improving the review process adherence and quality.

“This support has helped us to focus the management team on the key measures of performance and the need to rapidly solve day to day problems.”

- Karl Lee, Site Director, Gardner Aerospace


CESD Services can help you too.

The Client
Argus Industries produces engineered electrometric solutions for the aerospace, defence, and general industry. With a customer base spanning North America, Asia, and Europe; Argus ‘seals’ the world.  As one of Canada’s first companies to attain ISO9001:2000 and AS9100 quality certifications, the desire to continually improve is paramount.

“At Argus Industries, we welcome every employee, customer, and supplier into our “Tribe”.  The Tribe means members do world class work using world class systems and processes that makes profit the result, not the focus.  We run a smart, LEAN based organization focused on the process flow and the customer’s needs.”

- Michael Easton, President and CEO, Argus Industries

The Need
Argus is an industry leader in material process technology, advanced injection molding, and die cutting processes.  But how did it measure up against its world class competitors? CESD Services Benchmarking Process could answer that question, and provide a road map, and compass points to focus improvement efforts in key business processes.
The Approach
The primary goal was to develop a self-sustaining business plan deployment and coaching capability in a member of the management team designated as the Change Agent.
The Approach was:
Based on the CESD Services Competitive Edge Program and the 5 Levels of CESD Services’ Learner to World Class Model, a Benchmarking of 11 Foundational Business Processes occurred.

This included:
  • One-day of data collection by two experienced CESD Services Benchmarkers that engaged both the senior management team and the operations staff.
  • A comprehensive Benchmark Report which highlights the findings of each of the 11 foundation processes, detailing how the company measured up in each area, and what the company’s strengths and opportunities for improvement were.
  • A half-day facilitated feedback session to identify and align the strategic priorities of the organization to the opportunities to key foundation processes.
  • A half-day of facilitated discussion to conduct action planning to develop process capability in the identified key foundation processes.

The Results

  • A comprehensive analysis of business strengths and opportunities from a baseline measure supported by comparative data.
  • Information to identify gaps in capabilities and identification of coaching and training needed to close the gaps.
  • Existing collaboration of the Argus Industries senior management team was further increased due to the Benchmarking Process.  The collaboration has also percolated from management to the shop floor.

CESD Services can help you too.

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