The client is a supplier to a large ‘off highway’ OEM. As part of a commitment to developing their supply chain, the OEM and client have embarked on a major long term strategy that aims to support research and development, skills training and capital investment.

The Challenge

To potentially develop and win new business, the client needs to improve quality performance and operational control. As a business that has used parts of various lean tools in the past, the company Director acknowledged the need for an improvement programme by stating:

“By working on lean manufacturing techniques we can make our supply more attractive to customers.”

The Objectives

To educate key members of the business in the lean tools and techniques which will enable them to cascade this knowledge throughout the business. Team members must include senior managers as well as operatives.

The Industry Forum Solution

Industry Forum developed a 6 day up-skilling programme that was split into three sets of two day blocks to accommodate the operational challenges of the business.

Phase 1

After capturing expectations, the team dived into data collection and analysis. Once the information they needed to be able to manage the business was rationalised, the team drafted a visual management board which showed how the information was to be displayed.

The team then went through a structured approach to 5S Workplace Organisation in their chosen focus area.

Phase 2

Lean tools covered in this phase included Waste Identification and Analysis. Once educated on what the 8 Wastes are, the team then went out into their focus area and identified the wastes they could see, and came up with solutions on how to eliminate them.

Having identified, from the first phase, that there was an issue with unclear roles and responsibilities within the organisation, Industry Forum ran a micro workshop that aimed to focus the team on thinking about who is responsible and accountable for which processes within the organisation. This was then presented to the entire management team.

Phase 3

Over the course of a day, the team went through the 8D approach to problem solving and used it to get to the root cause of a real problem they were experiencing in the business. To round off the programme, the team covered change management and sustainability. This section was included to give the client the best possible chance of success in the future.

The Benefits

All team members stated that after the training they felt comfortable in continuing the roll out of the lean tools and techniques across the business.

Using the Plan-Do-Check-Act methodology, the company now hold daily reviews around the visual management board created during the programme. This enables key stakeholders to manage the business better and to react if performance falls below target levels

A 5S roll out plan was devised and a 5S champion allocated.

The Customer’s View

Dave Sharratt, Quality Manager

“The hands-on application of the continuous improvement course was delivered in a structured and professional manner. It was great to be hands-on getting dirty rather than sitting in a classroom for hours.”

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