The six work groups (a total of 141 associates) raised 332 Kaizens during the activities, with 95% requiring minimal cost investment, and 82% implemented. The following were also achieved,
- Reduction in number of Processes from 47 to 39.
- 27 Associates and 3 Supervisors re-allocated to new manufacturing area saving the costs of recruitment and training.
Cost avoidance of £909,000 annually
The client was faced with increasing demand and would usually support this through hiring more labour. CLS were engaged to see if through the use of a lean approach we could reduce / eliminate the need for more investment.
Environment at the start of the Project:
Many improvement projects had been run over the years with little or no engagement of the employees that carried out the jobs. The business had undergone many changes and had a mixed work force ranging from new starters to associates with 20+ years of experience. The work force were jaded through being repeatedly asked to do more without access to additional resources. Other key issues were, getting through the red tape to get things done, (e.g. Process Changes and Tool Movements) all requiring multiple signatures. Poor Communication within and between some key departments.
The first step was to engage all employees and get them to sign up to a project charter agreeing the boundaries and what was expected. We then went on to video all associates across a 3 shift operation. By getting the associates off-line to review the processes we were able to create a standard job for each area. Once the standard was established we then sat down with all employees again to look at kaizen opportunities. Supportive to this were the following,
- Utilising the Plan – Do – Check – Act methodology to look forward and back over the work groups on the line to balance the processes more evenly.
- Applying Practical Problem Solving techniques to yield considerable benefits.
- Look at all the health and safety aspects of the processes and risk assess them before going ahead with the changes in the processes.
Type of Business:
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