Corus was created in 1999 through a merger of British Steel and Koninklijle Hoogovens, a Netherlands-based company. The company was experiencing under-performance and operational problems for a period of time. It needed to change in order to turn-around the whole company and restore its competitiveness. The change was initiated by two business strategies, Restoring Success and the Corus Way Programme, which focused on continuous improvement. It was only after the successful implementation when the company became profitable again. It became attractive that today, it has become a part of the Tata Steel Group.
This paper aims at exploring and evaluating the continuous improvement strategies in Corus. It focuses on how Corus used its knowledge and experience of continuous improvement to win new customers and find new ways of achieving its objectives from limited resources. The paper has identified some key environmental, economic and social imperatives that drove the company to implement improvement strategies. It has disclosed several quality tools that the company has utilised in order to improve its business processes and performance. It has also pinned down the system of managing quality in the company's production sites.
Several years ago Corus bid for a Royal Navy contract for steel in one of the navy's destroyer vessels project. The project was considered as the largest Royal Navy contract awarded in history. Corus failed to acquire the project because the Royal Navy project consultants established that the company has no capability of meeting the high quality specification of steel plate required.
Banking on the loss of the biggest contract, Corus management decided to invest in quality management and improvement of its machinery and processes. It has invested millions in their steel plate mills in order to be ready for any similar contracts in the future. Today, the steel manufacturing company focuses on meeting the needs of its customers and providing innovative solutions.
In 2003, three Corus employees and four contractors were fatally injured on Corus sites. All serious incidents were cause for the greatest concern and were thoroughly investigated. Recommendations were being made to prevent recurrence, improve job satisfaction and maximize health and safety.
The top management committee continually leads the company's initiatives of improving safety performance. They aim to have a continuous reduction of serious accidents as measured by lost time injury frequency rate.
As a steel manufacturer, Corus believes that good environmental performance is critical to the success of its business. The company aims to improve such performance continuously. It places great emphasis on contributing to a sustainable society and carry out its business in a responsible manner.
The climate change is a significant global issue. Corus recognises its role in contributing to the reduction of the problem of green house gases. Emissions to air and discharges to water were focused for