About

Success Stories

The success of our customers, clients and community is intertwined with Obeikan’s success as a company. Here are some of their stories.

Transformation Journey Yields Double-Digit Efficiency Gains

FMCG company Gulf Union’s operating results were good, but the company didn’t want to stop there. Gulf Union aspired to greatness. Surveying the competitive landscape, Gulf Union could see that operational greatness would be a minimum requirement for success in the future.
Gulf Union asked Obeikan Digital Services (ODS) for help in implementing its ambition. The project started with establishing a vision of business process excellence to be absorbed by everyone, from the on-the-floor team to leadership. Clarity about what excellence looks like is essential; since no one person can be responsible for all the details, everyone must understand the goals and take responsibility for achieving them.

Once the destination was clear, ODS consultants coached Gulf Union in setting a roadmap. New Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) across the value chain, tracked with real-time data collection, would help the company assess whether it was on course to achieve its ambition. New practices like root cause analysis and loss trees provided insights into opportunities for improvement.

Project teams worked hard to build a culture of finding and solving problems on the factory floor. Floor operators were empowered to take ownership over equipment, starting with inspections to identify defects and restoration to correct them, and then on an ongoing basis with a “5-S” initiative. A Reward and Recognition program put the spotlight on exceptional individual performance and raised morale even further. A detailed billboard for excellence, illustrating pillars and displaying KPI dashboards, reinforced that every single employee had a role to play in process improvement.

As new habits began to take root, the gains in efficiency and productivity were clear:

N

Unplanned downtime was reduced by

31%
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Planned downtime was reduced by

14%
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Overall equipment efficiency improved by

11%
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Plant productivity rose by

21%
Soon those gains flowed into Gulf Union’s financial results. Optimizing resources and reducing waste lowered the cost of goods sold and increased gross margins—objective proof of the transformation that occurs when assets, processes and people are all aligned in pursuit of manufacturing excellence.

And possibly most importantly, Gulf Union has acquired lasting knowledge, skills and technological savvy that enable continuous improvement, no matter what the future holds.

Establishing a Culture of Continuous Improvement Increases OEE by 20%

FMCG company Tchin Lait had enjoyed two decades of growth in its home market of Algeria, but wasn’t satisfied with the status quo. The company was keenly aware that past success is not a guarantee of future success. Ready to take their performance to the next level, they turned to Obeikan Digital Solutions (ODS) for insight.
Establishing a shared understanding of what performance improvement would look like was the first step. ODS consultants coached Tchin Lait in formulating a vision and mission, and disseminating it across all levels of the organization, from the pinnacle of management to the teams on the shop floor.
Uniting everyone around this common vision set a unified standard for every decision made throughout the manufacturing process, every day.

The next step was to identify their unique drivers of performance excellence and establish objective measurements for each, so that performance could be readily evaluated. The output at this phase of the project was a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) covering all of the identified drivers of the business:

Z

Quality

Cost

Volume

Delivery

Safety

Environment

Motivation

Innovation

Those KPIs became the foundation for a Performance Control System governing the entire production chain. And to reinforce their importance, they also formed the basis for a new Reward and Recognition system.

Once the KPIs were established, it was time to design a system to monitor them. With ODS’s help, Tchin Lait revamped its data collection system, and used the initial data to conduct a deep loss analysis on the KPIs. Machine operators used the data to identify and correct machine defects that contributed to losses. Technicians set standards for maintenance and cleaning, even optimizing spare part inventory.

From there, the data collected was used to identify further activities to eliminate losses and close performance gaps. Equipment efficiency measurement and root cause analysis were implemented. The result? A striking 20% increase in Overall Equipment Effectiveness, or OEE.

Performance gains of that magnitude flow through the entire value chain. Increased OEE bolstered production capacity, which improved on-time product availability, which reinforced the sales process and service value proposition.

Tchin Lait is well into its journey from old-school manufacturer to smart factory of the future. With the mindset and habits it has acquired, the company can compete more effectively today, and is on a strong footing for tomorrow.

The World’s Biggest

Architectural Fabrics Project

Ensures a Safer Pilgrimage

The Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, is a sacred spiritual journey made by millions of faithful each year. Accommodating pilgrims in conditions of health and safety is essential.

Following a tragic event in 1997 in which tents housing pilgrims caught fire, Obeikan was moved to help ensure it would never happen again. Accommodation constructed from special technical fabric was the answer.

Technical fabrics are textiles engineered to perform specific functions that go beyond the capacity of regular fabrics, such as protection from fire, water and other elements. Tents made with fire-safe technical fabric are much safer than traditional canvas tents, and offered an ideal solution for secure housing during the pilgrimage.

Over a whirlwind 18 months, Obeikan conceived and executed the world’s largest architectural fabrics project. We designed a durable fire-safe tent prototype made from polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coated fiberglass fabric. We constructed a plant for manufacturing this fabric under a new subsidiary, Obeikan Technical Fabrics (OTF). OTF produced 40,000 tents covering an area of two million square meters and another new subsidiary, Obeikan Tensile Structures (OTS), produced the structural supports and installed the new fire-safe tents at Mina Tent City.

For more than 20 years, these tents have accommodated millions of pilgrims in safe conditions. Obeikan is honored to have the opportunity to execute a project of this size and sustained impact, that supports the faithful on their precious journey.

Cultivating a Saudi Workforce Ready for Jobs

Saudi employers often lament that they can’t find enough skilled, prepared candidates for job openings. As a result, jobs go unfilled, which suppresses business growth, or are filled by expatriate candidates, which keeps the unemployment rate of Saudi youth at a concerning level.
Obeikan Investment Group observed this skills gap too, and saw a path of action: establishing the Riyadh Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in collaboration with the Human Resource Development Fund.

RPI offers two-year technical diplomas to Saudi high school graduates who want to pursue jobs in primary industries. Students choose a diploma track from eight different options, ranging from Electromechanics to Sales. In the foundation year, students improve their English language proficiency and digital literacy and acquire both quantitative skills and softer skills like workplace behavior and time management. In the second year, each track’s curriculum focuses on the practical, hands-on knowledge needed for job readiness. Graduates are guaranteed employment in the manufacturing sector.

Obeikan has supported RPI through developing and continuously refining curricula with input from leading manufacturers; providing instructors and trainers; and organizing professional development events that complement the study program.

Since RPI’s inception, more than 1,000 young Saudi men have graduated and transitioned into employment. With an eye toward even closer ties with manufacturers who will employ RPI graduates, the campus has moved to a strategic location in Riyadh Second Industrial City.

RPI opens up new opportunities for young Saudis, cultivates a job-ready workforce that supports the Kingdom’s economic growth, and helps employers reach their Saudization targets. Obeikan prizes the opportunity to contribute to these important societal goals.

Reforming Education to Put Countries on a New Course

Innovation and advancements in technology are reshaping the world and reordering economies. Educating young people for roles in this world means ensuring that they graduate math- and science-literate, technologically adept and equipped with skills in addition to content knowledge. Reforming math and science education is a key to future prosperity.
It is also a massive undertaking. Reform requires not just a new vision for curriculum, but updated methods for teaching it, which means reform is also a human resources project involving teacher training and evaluation. Reform changes textbooks and classroom materials, so it’s also a publishing and logistics endeavor. With the advent of tech-enabled learning, reform also has a significant IT component.

To tackle the challenges of math and science education reform, the governments of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and UAE have all turned to Obeikan Education (OE). In OE, they found the complex set of capabilities needed to execute a marquee project that can change the course of their economies and societies.

OE, with its partner McGraw-Hill Education, developed curricula that re-envision the scope and sequence of math and science education from Grade 1 through Grade 12. Throughout their general education, students acquire relevant content knowledge in a logical progression and continually polish their analytical and problem-solving skills.

Developing educational texts that align with the curricula was the next step. OE translated textbooks, resources and ancillary materials into Arabic and localized them to ensure cultural relevancy. Since these projects began, OE has produced 500 million physical copies of hundreds of textbooks and educational resources.

OE established online portals for digital learning, which host more than 3,000 resources like videos, slideshows, reference materials, podcasts and quizzes.

Coupling the new curricula with a shift away from rote instruction, memorization and drill is essential. OE designed and implemented a three-phase professional development program to train 10,000 teachers and supervisors on the new curricula and the facilitation of active learning. Equipping teachers with strategies for differentiated instruction, assessment and cultivating critical thinking has ensured that the content of the new curricula is taught effectively.

Math and science education reform has the potential to transform our region from a purchaser of innovations developed elsewhere into a generator of innovation. It empowers our youth to be responsible citizens in a knowledge society. Obeikan is honored to have contributed to these ambitious once-in-a-generation initiatives.

Sharpening Emergency Response Performance in the Kingdom

The officers and staff of the Civil Defense Department are our country’s first responders to emergencies. Their teams find themselves in all kinds of challenging and dangerous situations—some of which are rare or unforeseeable.
Keeping the response team as safe as possible is paramount. Establishing structured, repeatable safety practices and measuring their implementation improves the safety of the team, as well as that of the civilians they are protecting.

When the Department learned of Obeikan’s focus on industrial safety and continuous performance improvement, they saw a potential opportunity to acquire new insights that apply to their field. While our respective activities are different, we share a focus on preventing problems, mitigating those that can’t be prevented, preparing for eventualities and responding confidently with a clear playbook.

Obeikan conducted several focus groups and discussions to understand the Department’s needs and on the basis of this information, designed a customized training program, Safety and Performance Management, for officers and staff. The training included lectures and practical activities to put learning into immediate practice.

After the training, the attendees demonstrated marked enhancement of their knowledge and ability to put structured Safety Management methodologies into practice in their workplace. Obeikan is proud to have shared its expertise with the people who make our country safer.