Smith & Nephew

Engaging a rapid supply chain


Smith & Nephew plc is a British-based multinational medical equipment manufacturing company.

The Supply Chain & Operations function had an ambitious business plan and strategic commitment to the wider organisation. They characterised their culture as slow and bureaucratic, moving at pedestrian pace with little engagement from staff. There was a significant gap between what they wanted and what their culture could yield.


We partnered with directors of manufacturing, supply chain and HR to build a leadership and middle management programme to achieve two key objectives. Firstly, to transform the culture to a ‘can do’ attitude, increasing speed of delivery and customer focus. Secondly, to gain employee engagement to take collective ownership for the ambitious business plan.


  • Reduced cost base by £7 million (35%)
  • Increased customer service from 80% to 97%
  • Department won ‘Manufacturer of the year 2007’ for Operations and Supply Chain
  • A positive culture shift across the business to one of high responsibility
  • Creation of high-performing teams who subsequently coached others across the organisation
"Achieve Breakthrough have transformed the spirit and enthusiasm of our teams, enabling us to change more rapidly than ever before. No other approach or consultancy has been as effective." Global Logistics Manager, Smith & Nephew Medical Devices