Process Business Improvement

p.s. the international company is Interface and we are applying to Auckland University of Technology (AUT)


In six weeks time you will graduate successfully from your Unitec course in BPI. In anticipation of your success, you have gained employment from mid-December in a medium-sized New Zealand company. The position requires you to introduce processes for raising the company’s productivity through applying several principles of BPI. Your specific focus will be product development, process improvement, and environmental sustainability.
In preparation for your new position, you have decided to conduct an investigation to identify lessons for your prospective employment that can be learned from an exemplary global company, such as Interface Global (
Interface is an exemplary US-founded company. In 1994, Interface, under the leadership of Chief Executive Ray Anderson, embarked on a ‘Mission Zero’ to achieve a net zero environmental impact from its operations by 2020. This was an extraordinary ambition for a company that, until recently, manufactured ALL of its product (floor coverings) from virgin fossil-fuel-based resources (plastic polymers).
Your mission
Select an exemplary international company that has committed to achieving minimal environmental impacts comparable to those of the company Interface.
Write and present a technical report that describes how lessons from Interface and your exemplary company could be applied to a specific New Zealand small/medium organisation’s product (service) development and process improvement. Your particular challenge is to demonstrate how win-win outcomes could be gained for both organisational productivity and environmental outcomes for the context of a small-medium NZ enterprise.

Getting started
Project Proposal – Assignment 4 (a)
1. Skim read the relevant chapters of your text, Heizer & Render, (2013) Supplement 5: Sustainability (pp. 223 – 239), and Chapter 5, Product Design. Review Chapter 2, The Global Environment and Operations Strategy.
2. Review secondary sources of information about Interface (include Interface’s own corporate sources, and those of other authors and commentators. You will also be provided with exemplary assignments on the topic of Interface from previous students.)
3. Explain WHAT motivated Interface to adopt ‘Mission Zero’
4. Explain HOW Interface introduced, developed, and extended its ‘Mission Zero’ programme
5. Discuss the RESULTS that Interface has achieved from pursuing ‘Mission Zero’. Note especially results related to productivity improvements, new product developments, sales growth, and environmental impact. Include illustrative EXAMPLES.
6. Select and justify your choice of an exemplary international company that has committed to achieving minimal environmental impacts comparable to those of the company Interface.
7. Identify a specific, willing TARGET company into which you could introduce your new- found competencies identified from this assignment

Part B
Conduct and report the investigation – Assignment 4 (b)
1. COMPARE and CONTRAST the approach taken by Interface and your selected international company to achieve ‘Mission Zero’ (or similar)
2. Discuss the advantages, disadvantages and CHALLENGES of applying the approaches taken by your international company in your TARGET small-medium New Zealand company.
3. Identify specific SOLUTIONS to the challenges you have identified.
4. Summarise your findings, and present RECOMMENDATIONS to the small-medium enterprise target.

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