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The KaiNexus Difference: Continuous Improvement at Westland Milk Products

Posted by Morgan Wright

Apr 29, 2022 10:00:00 AM

One of the most exciting things about working with customers at KaiNexus is getting to hear stories about how organizations have approached continuous improvement (CI) and asking them about their challenges, successes, and plans for the future. I recently met with Gareth Mitchell, Head of Digital and Improvement at Westland Milk Products, to discuss how a successful partnership with KaiNexus has helped them on their improvement journey.

Westland Milk Products is one of New Zealand's largest dairy processors located in the regions of West Coast and Canterbury. Westland manufactures milk-based products, ranging from milk powders and butter through to bioactive products. Westland is one of the largest employers on the West Coast and a key economic driver in the region. Westland Milk Products has been a KaiNexus customer since 2020.

Motivation in Improvement Work

Before KaiNexus, Westland was already running a successful continuous improvement program. The only thing missing was a piece of technology to effectively facilitate that work. 

"KaiNexus is a part of their daily routine now. There are so many processes that employees know to complete within KaiNexus. For example, change management as a formal process is now solely completed using KaiNexus."

When asked about how Gareth motivates his organization to participate in improvement work, he shared, "The entire business is already pretty motivated in improvement as we move along a substantial transformation journey. So when we introduced KaiNexus, they already saw the value of how it could help them with their improvement work - as a tool to capture and drive transformation."

Benefits of KaiNexus 

After becoming a KaiNexus customer in 2020, the Westland team quickly rolled out KaiNexus to their organization. "The biggest benefit KaiNexus gives us is the ability to track & execute actions and emphasize tasks. Rather than chasing people via other means such as email and phone calls, it is clear with KaiNexus what is required and when/if something is delayed, it is simple to escalate."

Almost two years later, KaiNexus has been Westland’s most successful software rollouts to date. Gareth explained,

"Adoption levels have been huge - it really is a great success story. From the executives to the frontline, KaiNexus is used throughout our entire business."

One of the most unique benefits of using KaiNexus is the unfettered access to a fantastic team of individuals providing hands-on support specific to our customer’s needs. “Lori and Noah provide outstanding support and always want to do what's best for Westland. We think of them as part of the business and love seeing them each week so we can learn a little more about Texas and we can teach them a little more about the quirky nature of working with New Zealanders.”

Importance of Executive Buy-In 

Gareth stressed the importance of Executive buy-in to ensure a successful rollout.

"Getting executive buy-in and then driving from their pace is key. KaiNexus is such an intuitive system, so ensuring our team got their initial training was all they needed. Our COO pushed for KaiNexus to be THE new way of doing things, which trickled down to the rest of the organization as the "new standard" of how we do our improvement work."

Gareth wrapped up the conversation by sharing his high aspirations for the future of their improvement program.

"The momentum is so high with what we are trying to do I doubt anything will slow it down in the next five years."  

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