Design and implementation of a new management system now serves as a base for driving corrective measures and continuous improvements. Volumes increased by 23%, while costs decreased.
The company is part of a larger group and a global supplier to the automotive industry. Its cooperation with Mantec started with a three-week pre-study analysing operations, during which the following problems were identified:
- production lacked proper planning and follow-up;
- existing plans were not updated to take into account capacity and available time;
- no corrective measures were taken with lagging orders;
- focus and cross-functional cooperation was missing from the management group (which was new) and the shop floor; and
- discipline was lacking.
After the pre-study the client decided to work with Mantec in a project designed to realise the identified improvement potential. The cornerstones of the project were:
- increased understanding of the production process;
- improved planning;
- increased availability in production (increased capacity); and
- improved work discipline.
Key focus areas for the project
Increased availability and understanding of the production process
A new method for problem solving was introduced. At the same time a cross-functional group was set up with the remit to come up with ideas to increase available time and lower cycle times. More than 200 actions were implemented as a result, and the group also made recommendations on how co-workers should act in different situations.
A great deal of effort was put into changing staff behaviour at the lines, which at the start of the project was not satisfactory. Supervisory functions were trained in how to manage daily work and deal with confrontation.
A management system containing goals, reports and a structured schedule of meetings was implemented to better control operations. This involved creating a common platform for structured data collection and measuring principles. Thereafter plans were updated to reflect the new and more accurate data, for example slack and security margins were removed. Finally a system for deviation handling was developed and implemented through a follow-up process containing appropriate reports and structured meetings.
To help first line managers cope with the new and tougher demands, a number of workshops were conducted and followed up with individual coaching. The training material included details of management systems, planning, production follow-up, and ways of dealing with confrontation.
The new management system now serves as a base for driving corrective measures and continuous improvements, and has created a new level for the work around productivity. All employees now have a better understanding of their own processes, productivity and use of the management system, as well as an increased understanding of other processes throughout the organisation.
Headline benefit to the client has been that it has exceeded its own tough goals of a 25% increase in volumes and a 30% reduction in direct salary costs.