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How structuring organisations around processes contributes to their overall performance.


The core activity of HM.Clause, an international vegetable seed producer, involves the development of vegetable seeds in a sustainable and innovative way, while always prioritising quality. In order to guarantee the highest quality, HM.Clause has made the transition from a traditional corporate structure at department level to a corporate structure based on processes. For this, HM.Clause applies an all-in-one global software platform that combines all technical, functional and operational processes in the field of quality, compliance and operational excellence: Icologiq Elements.

Erik Postma, Global Head of Quality Management at HM.Clause, explains how the company is organised. “When we started with quality management, our company was structured according to a classical departmental structure. This means our company was organised into four operational departments and seven support departments. All these departments ofcourse need to worked together. The company would not be able to function without one of these departments. ”

This process map is structured according to a department-based approach.

The risk when working with a department-based company structure is that top management has little insight into the quality of the main processes, that normally require works to be done in several departments. Making improvements in one department does not necessarily mean that the whole process is optimised. It could be possible that the improvement in one department results in more work or a conflict in the works in other departments. This because the overall efficiency of the process is related to the efficiency of this weakest link in the chain. 

Erik explains. “Launching improvements related to a proces not only allows to to use the resources efficiently, but also enables us to measure the improvement directly to the final output of the process and not to individual improvements within each department. We use the ISO 9001: 2015 methodology as the standard for quality management within the company, which describes the role of processes as follows: 

This process map is structured according to a process-based approach.

Understanding and managing interrelated processes as a system contributes to the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation in achieving its intended results. This approach enables the organisation to control the relationships and interdependencies between the processes of the system, so that the overall performance of the organisation can be improved.


The importance of a structured way of working

Due to a strong growth of the workforce worldwide In recent years, it was discovered that the classic departmental structure was not optimal for companies. This company structure led to an increase in problems in terms of product quality, but also decreased the efficiency of the innovation process. “A company that works according to a departmental structure is actually divided into silos,” says Erik. “However, as we operate based on processes, we had to structure our company at a process level instead of a department level. Research has shown that companies working this way, can save as much as 5-10% in operational costs. Moreover, it leads to an improvement of the reputation: a company that delivers fewer dysfunctional products, receives fewer complaints. This in turn leads to lower costs and more satisfied customers, which increases the market share.”

Icologiq Elements ensured HM.Clause into a smooth transition to a process-based company structure.

About HM.Clause

HM.Clause is specialised in the breeding, production and sales of vegetable seeds. The company works closely with its customers to provide successful solutions for today’s agricultural challenges and to produce the highest quality seeds for the future. The global team of experts and modern research facilities enable HM.Clause to work side by side with growers to provide the most regionally relevant and reliable vegetable seeds available.

HM.Clause is a business unit of Limagrain, an international cooperative agricultural group specialised in field seeds, vegetable seeds and grain products. With a team of 2,800 professionals in more than 20 countries, the company is committed to the sustainable solutions for the country, successful products for its customers and intensive research and innovations for the future.

About Icologiq Elements

We advise and support organisations in their transition from a traditional quality management system to a digital one (eQMS). This often allows our customers worldwide to work more effectively and efficiently, reduce their costs and simultaneously show at any time that they comply with laws and regulations.

Icologiq was voted #26 in the Top 100 of most innovative companies in the Netherlands by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in 2019. Projects we carry out, lead to structural and sustainable organisational improvements and digital excellence. Our modern working and communication methods allow us to work effectively with our clients who have to meet high requirements and strict regulations. Severe sanctions are lurking, meaning our clients apply a strict regime of improvement management and operational excellence.

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