The way we want to do business

Operational Excellence Conference Kicks off Refreshed Effort to Improve Performance

In an effort to ensure a smooth, aligned and focused start to 2023, top operational leadership from across Martin Marietta gathered in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the company’s first Operational Excellence Conference.

Held over three days in December, the event brought together company leaders to discuss operational excellence, its many impacts on Martin Marietta’s business and culture, and how teams can best support and strengthen its application across the company.

“One of the greatest aspects of the conference was that we brought everyone together in a single room,” said Joe Reilly, one of the conference’s lead planners. “Getting people together creates a sense of community and purpose, and that’s important as we further our culture of best practice sharing. This is especially so when we realize that despite our geographic differences, we share many of the same issues, challenges and opportunities.”

Reilly, who served as vice president of operations services until his retirement at the end of the year, planned the conference alongside Senior Vice President of Enterprise Excellence Oliver Brooks and the Operational Advisory Committee, a cross-divisional team of operations experts.

Working together, the group designed a conference featuring presentations and panel discussions covering a variety of common operational goals and processes, and highlighting a number of success stories and available resources.

“During the conference, there was a high level of excitement in coming together to discuss best practices,” said David Jordan, regional production manager for the Rocky Mountain Aggregate District. “Now, leadership can develop and implement new and efficient practices within their own operations based on what they learned.”

Beyond sharing best practices, the conference served as a notable step in what will be a years-long operational excellence journey, said Brooks, adding that leadership is working to create a common framework for operational excellence that will ultimately strengthen every Martin Marietta team’s performance.

“It starts by defining operational excellence as a goal that safely creates the greatest sustainable value for the enterprise,” Brooks said. “We are building the most durable, best positioned, and safest organization in the industry.”

Though still early in the work, Brooks said a key goal of Martin Marietta’s operational excellence effort will be to improve performance by focusing on three foundational operational elements: availability, throughput and productivity. Updated operational key performance indicator (KPI) reporting was recently launched in the divisions to provide consistent and timely information, he said. In addition, teams are working to provide best practices for areas from mine planning to mobile equipment.

While acknowledging there are a variety of methods to improve in those areas, Brooks said the opportunity is to do so in alignment with the people-focused culture Martin Marietta has long fostered. That means all improvements must also be safe, ethical and sustainable while factoring in employee and community well-being.

“Each day, every team member has the ability to make our company safer, our facilities more productive, our customers more satisfied, our communities more enriched, and our careers more meaningful,” he said. “This effort is not a short-term, one-time set of initiatives; rather, it’s the way we want to do business, and we expect to build momentum every year for the foreseeable future.”

Oliver Brooks speaks to attendees of the 2022 Operational Excellence Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.