Team story

Operational Excellence Award 2019 winning team, Wärtsilä

Dhaka, Bangladesh

62 years at Wärtsilä

Originally from Bangladesh


Team delivering customer delight

Together we’re stronger and achieve even more impressive results. And as the 185X campaign is winding down, we wanted to finish off the anniversary year by showcasing some of our awesome teams. This story is about one of them.

They may not work in the same team on an everyday basis, but they still form a team that has achieved spectacular things together. Meet Mostafa Zahed Hossain, Mohammad Enayetul Karim, Mahedi Kabir Miah, Md Shafiul Islam, Md Ferdous Zaman and Md Neamul Islam who got together for a six-month development initiative and won Wärtsilä’s internal Operational Excellence (OE) Award in May 2019.

OE Award is an annual competition where teams all around Wärtsilä submit their applications aiming to convince the jury with an improvement initiative the team has accomplished during the past year, transforming the way of working with significant customer and business impact. This year’s winning Bangladeshi team focused on enhancing the revenue for a local customer. “Our team went after so-called total efficiency improvement as we wanted to optimise downtime for a customer,” describes Zahed who called the team together.

Zahed got the idea for the initiative in Wärtsilä’s customer listening seminar where the customer representatives expressed their wish for further optimisation. After the seminar, Zahed called some of his trustworthy colleagues inviting them to brainstorm together; as the customer wasn’t facing real issues, the challenge for the team was to fully understand the customer’s key performance indicators and how to add even more value to its business. ”We aligned the initiative with Wärtsilä’s overall operational excellence agenda and used these agile principles when working together,” Zahed tells.

After putting together this cross-functional team, they worked intensively with each other for six months; from the planning phase to the final customer delivery. It might sound like a short lifespan for a team, but the members are convinced that their team truly was a team; the shared spirit was there right from the start, and it was clear that everybody joined together to work for a shared goal.

“Our team got working together on the project right from the planning phase where we also involved people from the customer organisation. It was crucial to start our team’s work by understanding the customer’s business needs. These learnings from the customer formulated the script for the development journey; from creating the action plan to delivering the service. It was the way to ensure our development work reached their expected revenue,” Ferdous tells.

The real reward

Even if working as a team for a common goal was the most enjoyable aspect of the project, the best moment took place when the customer organisation recognised the work of the team, confesses Shafiul. “All the work got more meaning when we received the appreciation email from our customer’s top management. Of course, it came only when we had successfully achieved the mission but was still the best recognition and motivation for the future,” he recalls. And soon after, there was another moment of pride as the same customer made a new service agreement with Wärtsilä.

Now, also rest of Wärtsilä knows the awarded team as highly committed ambassadors for customer loyalty. “I think we simply wanted to deliver a delighted experience to one of our valued customers. And to reach this goal, we needed to enhance our performance on the side,” Mohammad describes. After the award was announced, there were immediately colleagues congratulating the team members. “It was very encouraging to get the recognition also from our own top management all over the organisation. We had also a small award ceremony when our Quality Vice President visited Wärtsilä’s Bangladesh office,” Zahed adds.

All taken together, the team had 62 years of experience with Wärtsilä. And even if originating from different functions, there were several common nominators within the team mates – in addition to the fact that they are all from, and based in, Bangladesh. “Our team consisted of experts with a wide range of experience – for example, I’ve been with Wärtsilä 14 years whereas some of us have been here fewer years. However, we learnt quickly that we have several things in common; we are self-motivated, thrive for achieving common goals, and have passion and faith in Wärtsilä’s brand value and promoting it in the industry,” Mahedi describes. “In addition, our team had open communications right from the start as we were sharing individual work achievements that we gained in our ‘home function’ and shared also more personal family-related occasions.”

So, how would you summarise the success recipe of this team?

Neamul has the answer ready as he sums up, “We managed to make this improvement thanks to open day-to-day interaction and discussion we had in the team and with the customer. We understood the business needs of individual customer functions, saw opportunities in their eyes and supported each other as a team all the way.”

So, the big question remains; what happens now? As the team was created for a period of six months – will there be any joint activities now that the team has accomplished its ultimate goal. “The team is, of course, working together regularly, just like before the OE initiative. The vision hasn’t changed; the team and all individuals locally are always aiming to reach the highest customer satisfaction – it’s a goal that needs to be reached multiple times, continuously,” Mahedi says and lets Zahed continue: “It’s true that we have the common goal. We truly work cross departments, so whenever a requirement comes, we don’t think which department should handle it, but the customer-centricity guides us to handle it with a sense of urgency.”  

Even if now working again full-time in their home teams, all the OE team mates are eagerly following up how Wärtsilä is continuing its transformation journey and business diversification. “With the enormous vertical business growth in the local market and the ample opportunity to learn about managing technical updates, failures as well as customer expectations, helped us to build this agile team. We learnt that creating a team or a development initiative can start with the employees – we don’t always need to wait for the line organisation to tell us what to do. Who knows, what this team can be used for and what successes other cross-function teams reach in the upcoming years,” Zahed concludes positively.

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