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A Rapid Method of Improving Your Processes
The concepts of Lean Thinking achieve many of the
objectives that have been associated with the team environment.
Empowered, flexible workers, reduced set-up time, layout based on
process not on function, a clean, neat work area, and many other
benefits are the results of applying Lean Thinking.
Through out the 90's many people discussed how to
improve the productivity of the workplace and suggested creating an
empowered workforce. But over time many of these suggestions have
merely stagnated without delivering the promised improvements in
quality and productivity.
By embracing the lean concept, organizations have found
they achieve higher quality and productivity. The various concepts are
applied, as needed, buffet style, so you get what is most effective for
you. The concepts can be used effectively in the office or the
manufacturing area, in fact, they bring results to all types of work.
We have worked with a variety of organizations and have
found them to achieve real gains in a short period of time. By applying
either Standard Work or the 5S's many problems can be eliminated. These
two concepts alone can make a major difference for your people. In some
cases 5S has made a 50% improvement in quality and productivity. By
adding Standard Work after the implementation of 5S, you could achieve
another 50% improvement. That's over a 75% improvement accomplished
within a month after implementing just these two concepts.
Using other concepts such as Pull, JIT (just-in-time),
or Value Stream Mapping, you can dramatically impact the organization
and achieve major improvements in quality, delivery and productivity.
With over 45 years of combined experience, we have never seen such
quick change and dramatic impact as is achieved by these concepts.
Some of the results we've observed after initiating lean
thinking have been astonishing. We’ve seen doubling, tripling or
even quadrupling the output of a given area after realignment based on
these principles. Here are some examples of what we’ve achieved
for our clients.
We started our work with these principles with
organizations like General Electric - Electronics Business. Our goal
was to assess their processes and help them reduce set-up time when
switching from one product line to another. The plant in Morristown, TN
was comprised mainly of punch press operations. We piloted the changes
in the 2nd shift and the results were dramatic. We were able to train
seven managers to continue the set-up reduction process with their
production lines after our project was completed.
During 1992, we worked with the Production Supervisor of
a building supply manufacturer based in Des Moines, IA to assist them
in JIT Purchasing. The logic of not warehousing large quantities of raw
materials but negotiating smaller, more frequent shipments tied in with
production schedules, led EVERCO to also investigate the principles of
JIT manufacturing. This success led them to initiate set-up-reduction
in production changes. The next step was for them to develop a
curriculum of supervisory skills for production supervisors to empower
problem solving by all associates, ultimately realizing nearly
self-directed production teams.
We were involved in a preventive maintenance audit at a
St. Louis newspaper printing operation. We identified areas where
simple scheduling of preventive maintenance, locating materials and
supplies in logical sequence and labelling storage of supplies (all
elements of 5S) minimized expense, lost press time and employee
frustration. The project was proclaimed a 100% success by upper
management and adopted as policy upon the completion of our project.
This past fall one of our clients was experiencing large
amounts of WIP (work in progress). This resulted in 3 costly problem
areas: 1) thousands of dollars spent in storage costs, 2) a warehouse
with too much of what wasn’t needed and not enough of what was to
be shipped, thus constantly experiencing late deliveries and 3) quality
problems with products that had been produced weeks, even months
earlier. We held four weeklong process improvement events to redesign
the workplace and improve flow. In some instances we created work cells
where a complete product was produced, while in other situations we
just improved the flow of material through the area. Early estimations
are that the client’s return on investment will be between 5 and
10 dollars per dollar invested in us.
Just recently a client faced 1.5 to 2 hours of downtime
per shift on a production line due to faulty processes at a cost of
$175 per minute. Annually this accounted for over $10 million in
unwarranted costs. Since we’ve led a process discipline weeklong
event, the expectation is that no more than 1 hour of planned down time
will occur with the work force productively filling that time. For
every minute saved, the client should reduce their cost by $350,000.
Each minute saved will be returning over $10 per invested dollar.
As often as possible we will be updating this site with
additional events and the results they achieve so keep checking back
from time to time.
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