Kitchen company Magnet, then part of the troubled Enodis Group, turned to Pentacle when rising manufacturing costs and a confused view of their future customer base highlighted the need for a radical overhaul of the business. The company, based in Yorkshire with 5 factories and 190 retail outlets, was run on very traditional hierarchical lines. Survival dictated different methods of thinking and doing business from the Board to the store staff. The challenge was getting people to believe they could move forward by learning to work in new ways.


Dave Williams, Project Manager in charge of the three year change process, had already worked successfully with Pentacle and believed Eddie Obeng and his team would provide the help needed to identify a route map for change, match it to the people needed to achieve it, identify what had to be done by whom and successfully challenge each individual to achieve the new goals.

This was what Pentacle describes as a foggy project

First the challenge was broken down into manageable chunks of change. Board level brainstorming identified the major problems and opportunities. They needed to manufacture more cost-effectively,

improve data flow and information infrastructure, make more from sales to jobbing builders and improve consumer business with the introduction of attractive new products.

More than 50 managers were identified as vital to the change process. Traditional boundaries between manufacturing, marketing and sales were broken down as multi disciplinary teams focussed on each chunk of change. Pentacle’s group working methods introduced a whole new way of working. Individual coaching was also used to successfully challenge and stimulate managers more used to keeping their heads down and knowing their place.

   Magnet put on 100 million turnover over the period


Commenting on the process David Williams explains, "This was what Pentacle describes as a foggy project. We started not knowing what the market wanted and how to get from where we were to where we needed to be. By breaking complex business issues into manageable chunks Pentacle coaxed us through the process of identifying and verifying what we had to do. We knew we needed outside help to convince people that change would work and to encourage managers, who had been keeping their heads down for months of bank administration, to contribute to the turnaround. Eddie Obeng has the ability to challenge individuals into flexible new ways of thinking and working together, identifying the desired end results and how to achieve them."

Out of the fog emerged several major changes: traditional businesses such as joinery were outsourced; Magnet went into the bathrooms market to capitalise on its customer base and meet consumer demand; information systems were overhauled; a company-wide training programme was introduced.

...the need for a radical overhaul of the business

David Williams sums up, "The organisation became more flexible. People believed they needed to know more, a major achievement from a company where tradition had been so ingrained."



Improved motivation and morale were not the only results of change. Magnet put on 100 million turnover over the period and saw a rise in return on sales from 2% to 9% and on return on capital employed from 5% to 30%




For further details please contact Sheila Hart on 01386438681/ 07786266585