MoC – continuous improvement through defined work processes

Professional management of MoC processes will help a company to continuously improve and to proactively deal with its risks. This is why AkzoNobel Industrial Chemicals set about to redefine the way it deals with MoC – over its different sites and plants in Europe.


changes a year

Create a standard

The first step was to create standard MoC processes that can be applied over the different sites. “Agreeing on MoC processes that will work for everyone has been quite challenging”, recounts Stephan Richter, Technical Services Manager at the Industrial Chemicals site in Ibbenbüren. “Each site brought their own solutions to the table, a very interesting exercise, because in this way we could really define the best practice.”

In the next step, these best practices and Unite Management of Change software suite were implemented at the sites in Ibbenbüren and Rotterdam to test and gain experience.

“In Ibbenbüren, we have been working with a paper based MoC system,” explains Stephan Richter. “This was sometimes slow, and keeping an overview of all changes was not easy. In particular, we had issues with determining the current status of authorization.”

Continuous improvement

Now, people are working with an IT-based workflow, the handling, including the necessary authorization steps, is standardized and structured. As soon as an authorization is given, the change will automatically move to the next step in the flow. In this way, changes cannot get stuck somewhere in the process. The next person in the workflow is automatically notified that action is required. “We can only improve, when we know exactly what happens to requests, and what the status of actions is,” says Stephan Richter. “We now have a clear overview of all MoCs, retrievable by anyone involved at all times, including a search function. If you consider that we have more than 300 changes per year, you can imagine how this improves our throughput. In addition, it helps us to identify the bottlenecks in our processes: continuous improvement built into the system.”

First time right

The changes have had implications on the role of the MoC coordinator, who manages the whole process. For example, he checks if a change request contains enough information. He can also easily recognize, if a request has been filed before so that changes which were rejected will not be brought in again. After approval, a change will follow the appropriate flow: minor, medium and major. Small changes require just a few steps, big changes have to go through more steps and align with the different functions involved. At the end, the MoC Coordinator will carry out a final check, to see if all required information is included and getting the process right at the first time.

We can easily prioritize our MoCs and make sure that we work on the most important things first.

Easy prioritization

“Eventually, MoC is all about risk management”, says Stephan Richter. “Unite Management of Change helps us to do the right things at the right time. With the system, we can easily prioritize our MoCs and make sure that we work on the most important things first.” This is supported by the KPIs and checklists that the system provides – they show very clearly which actions need to have priority with crucial activities automatically brought to the attention of the next responsible function/department.

Stephan Richter is happy with the new system, because it provides a structured tool and clear work processes. Roles and responsibilities are clear and not discussable. In short: it enables the site to learn from previous changes and gives constant input for improvement.

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