Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


In the year of the 40th anniversary of the founding of CGS, the management in their relentless drive towards excellence felt a new impetus was necessary to make CGS fit for the next 40 years. They wished to increase the company’s ability to serve customer needs as well as to maintain its position as the premium supplier in the market.

The challenges identified to achieving this were both internal and external to CGS. On the customer side, the customers were requiring ever more flexibility with ever more demanding delivery schedules while maintaining CGS’ quality standards. In the factory, there were space constraints. CGS management had recognized that the previous approach was not systematic enough and while staff were very motivated, a high amount of effort was needed to achieve the desired results and resolve day-to-day issues. They also recognized the need to empower staff so that continuous improvement or ‘Kaizen’ is enabled at CGS.

An external view, through Four Principles consultants, was brought in to challenge the team to help them challenge the status quo. Firstly, the team was taught Lean principles to help them understand their own situation and also the potential for improvement. The detail current state analysis was done together with CGS staff and the consultants to identify specific potentials and quantify them. The Lean principles (Pull, One-Piece-Flow, Takt and Zero Defects) were then applied by the team to design the solutions for the issues identified. The solutions were then piloted and refined together by staff and consultants on the shop floor. After refinement, the final solutions were implemented and the necessary standards defined to maintain the improvements.

Aside from the implementation of specific improvements, the enablement of staff to maintain the improvements and improve processes further themselves was a priority. The majority of CGS staff are both loyal and long-serving with 20 years or greater of service being the rule rather than the exception. Through learning about Lean from the consultants and then applying the theories and tools for themselves, the maximum learning was ensured. As part of this, the team then learned key Lean tools, such as Problem Definition and Root Cause Analysis. The team also learned to measure and analyze KPIs for themselves. Through this the knowledge and capability passed from the consultants to CGS staff. The mindset changed significantly and staff now empowered and further motivated to continue improvements.


Using Lean principles, the team of CGS staff and consultants designed and implemented an assembly flow line in the CGS plant in Riyadh. This resulted in a lead time reduction of 43% and therefore improved customer service, greater flexibility to meet customer delivery schedules, better ability to control production and ensure quality, reduced space requirements and an increase in efficiency of 13%.

Four Principles is a Lean / Operations Management consultancy based in the Middle East specializing in the region and the typical type of implementation problems encountered in the Middle East. Four Principles has a strong reputation built though having worked with large recognized brands in the region as has had considerable success improving processes for companies in the region assisting them in particular to implement improvements on the ground quickly. These improvements have covered processes in Development, Procurement, Manufacturing, Distribution Sales and Administration.



    Final result was that our sales net promoter score increased by 25% and the service net promoter score increased by 5%

    Dr. Khalid Alkarimy, Managing Director, Operations

  • Retail Sector Sustainable Improvements

    The in-store inventory was reduced by over 30% while maintaining an availability of core items of over 99%

    Waleed Alkhaldi, Chairman

  • Astonishing improvements

    Take-out customer wait times dropped from over 20 min to below 2 min

    Eng. Abdulsalam A. Alarify, VP Business Development

  • Space Reduction

    We were able to achieve a 47% space reduction in our production areas and warehouses

    Nasser Gharama, General Manager Lamina

  • A Clear Structured Approach

    With Lean we are now structured and work systemically and that ensures quality, besides efficiency and productivity

    Marcel Grünenfelder, Managing Director

  • Short delivery times

    We improved the preparation time for home delivery orders and dropped it from 31 minutes to 16 minutes

    Eng. Abdulsalam A. Alarify, VP Business Development

  • Continuous improvement

    We have completed implementation of the Lean principles on more than 50% of our machines. Our indicators are very positive with machine output varying between 17% and almost 90% improvement

    Aiman Al-Masri, President and Chief Executive Officer

  • Improved manpower utilization

    We have managed to avoid losses of over 300 productive manpower hours per month

    Aiman Al-Masri, President and Chief Executive Officer

  • Unlocking potential

    We were able to achieve something that we thought is beyond our abilities

    Sinan Al Saady, Vice-Chairman CGS Group Saudi Arabia

  • Reduced customer waiting times

    We reduced the time the customer spent waiting in our reception area by 55%

    Bernd Schwendtke, Senior Managing Director

  • The Perfect Store

    Today, the entire Zohoor Alreef team has understood through Lean that the “Perfect Store” is a shared aspiration that can only be achieved through Kaizen or continuous improvement.

    Jim Ragsdale, Chief Executive Officer

  • Increased output

    We have increased our output from that machine by 20% and the availability of the machine by 32%

    Aiman Al-Masri, President and Chief Executive Officer

  • Significant Lead Time Improvements

    Transfer of vehicles from and to branches dropped from 15 days to 1 day and the insurance approval lead time from 7 days to half a day

    Hani Alsaleh, CEO Arabian Hala (AVIS)

  • Reduced lead times

    We were able to reduce our lead times by 43%, which means we were able to produce almost the same amount of products in half the time

    Sinan Al Saady, Vice-Chairman

  • Better Space Utilization

    We managed to reduce our inventory which resulted in a 28% space reduction in the distribution center and the branches

    Ahmad Almoliki, Business Development Manager

  • Improved on-time delivery

    We improved on-time delivery to the guests by 113%

    Bernd Schwendtke, Senior Managing Director

  • The real success

    We can now produce for customers based on demand, and this ability and flexibility allows us to save time and money. That’s the real success here

    Sinan Al Saady, Vice-Chairman CGS Group Saudi Arabia

  • Sustainable cost reduction

    We achieved product cost reductions of up to 7% and have also reduced our inventory over 60%

    Wadah Ali, Plant Manager

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