Our impact, Their voices

Renewed attention to health and safety risks and quality assurance procedures during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis leads to profitable business processes and enhanced workplace cooperation.

ILO SCORE Training’s focus on continuous improvement sets a Tunisian manufacturing company on a path to improved safety and sanitation protocols, upgraded production systems and practices, and most importantly well-established worker-manager communication in its factory.

Article | 28 January 2022

Company Profile

Helioflex, OneTech Group
Enterprise SectorManufacturing
Year Established2003
LocationZaghouan, Tunisia
No of employees29 (28% women)
ProductsPrinted and unprinted packaging for pharmaceutical drugs

Helioflex is the first flexible pharmaceutical package manufacturing unit in Tunisia. It is located in the Djebel Oust town in the Zaghouan region. Founded in 2003, it manufactures primary packaging for the pharmaceutical and para pharmaceutical industry. It specializes in printed and unprinted packaging for capsules and other drugs.

Helioflex operates under the stringent regulations of the pharmaceutical industry, which means that its products have to be of highest quality and safety standards. The company understands this, and invests significant resources, effort and time on staff trainings. Prior to SCORE intervention too, Helioflex organized various workshops for its workers to improve production techniques and procedures, and deliver high quality products. But in order to embed safety policies into workers’ day-to-day activities and establish a safety and quality assurance culture in the factory, the company decided to invest in SCORE Training.

It implemented two SCORE Training modules – first the ‘Workplace Cooperation’ module followed by the ‘Business Continuity Planning and OSH’ module.

As part of Workplace Cooperation module, the SCORE Team conducted a baseline assessment. Based on the results of this assessment, an Enterprise Improvement Team (EIT) was set up to design an Enterprise Improvement Plan (EIP). EIT and EIP are a key feature of SCORE Training that identify existing issues, and opportunities for improvements. At Helioflex, the EIT included men, women, workers and managers from different units and levels, who focussed on kickstarting trends within the factory to improve working conditions and productivity. To this end, they identified “low hanging fruits” and addressed them using easy-to-implement solutions. For example, the EIT set up a ‘Team Improvement Board’ comprised of an idea box and an idea sheet to be filled by all staff members. This led to establishing a system of employee suggestions and put in place a foundation for continuous improvement. Not just this, the company also set up a display board with performance indicators, objectives and daily messages in production workshops in order to ensure clear communication, information sharing with operators and increased worker motivation.

Bulletin boards at the Helioflex factory after SCORE Training
“(SCORE Training) is about creating an EIT, made up of women and men, and setting up a continuous improvement system planned by this team. The objective of this training programme is to work on a few improvement projects at a time in order to arrive at the first trends towards improving productivity, by improving working conditions. It is then up to Helioflex to continue this process by deploying the system at all levels of the company.”
Marwa Boujallabia
Head of Quality Management

The company also implemented and socialized the 5S approach (Sort – Set in order – Sweep – Standardize – Self-discipline) of the Workplace Cooperation module in its maintenance workshops. Led by the EIT, the company made provisions to enhance production operators’ skills to carry out maintenance and repair work on a pilot machine in order to gradually build their capacity. It also took active measures to stack all materials, stocks and supplies safely, and ensured that all storage items were marked appropriately. Additionally, it also cleared all passageways/aisles of any obstructions in order to allow easy movement of goods and people.

Maintenance workshop before SCORE Training (left) and after SCORE Training (right)

To complement the new improvement projects and realize the full potential of quality and communication gains from the Workplace Cooperation module, Helioflex decided to adopt the SCORE Business Continuity Planning and OSH. The first change that the company introduced after the module workshops was to appoint a Safety Officer who would be in-charge of implementing and monitoring safety assurance practices on the factory floor. To achieve this effectively, the company organized an Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) training workshop for the Safety Officer. Not just this, they also promptly moved electrical cabinets to a more secure location, assigned clear labels to all machines and products used in the workplace with immediate warning of risks (where applicable) and provided up-to-date information about occupational safety and health hazards and risks associated with existing products and machines to all staff members.

Machines and products with clear and appropriate labels at the Helioflex factory

Helioflex has always committed itself to safety and health standards in its factory, and ensured that its products meet the quality requirements of the pharmaceutical industry. But it was Covid-19 that pushed it towards a renewed strategic direction for the company; one that promotes autonomy, continuous improvement and greater competitiveness. To this end, the company designed a Business Continuity Plan with the support of PACKTEC (ILO SCORE’s implementation partner in Tunisia). Helioflex is currently implementing this plan in its factory, and hopes to continue participating in other SCORE Training modules in order to sustainably promote cost control, safety and health, working conditions and productivity at the workplace.
“Helioflex greatly appreciates (the SCORE Training) approach, which contributes to developing the autonomy of SMEs for continuous improvement and greater competitiveness.”
Marwa Boujallabia
Head of Quality Management