Let’s revisit the chicken or the egg.
Should we focus our lean efforts on our existing value streams or on the new model coming in? Chances are that you need to do both. This is why they call it a lean journey and not a race. Today’s year over year cost and productivity pressures, force you to Lean out what you have. Consider it an opportunity to learn with your team, and not a chore.
New Model Lean
If you think you will have all of the machine builders in tune with you, think again. They might actively participate in your 3P event and shake their heads up and down, but they will still need extensive follow up from you. More is better for them. They may not always have your best interest at heart.
My experience is that you will have to do constant follow up with your support departments like purchasing, engineering, and materials. The HR department will have to support you in the planning and execution of training, including standardized problem solving.
The new model application of our lean principles is just like having a long kaizen follow up list of open issues. The operator interface is extremely important when we talk about load station safety screens, run buttons, load fixtures, and material handling. Do not forget about the MHI location for quick response. If there will be changeovers applied to the cell, then design it into the initial process for success. Do your 3P and make sure you hard hit the lessons learned.
Existing Lines for Kaizen Opportunities
Reducing lead-time on the Model Line and taking away all the extras in the cell is a wonderful way for you to highlight and force the right issues to focus and get them fixed. It's not always an easy task, and for many of us it takes some practice.
It should be the goal to rotate many people on our team through workshop events. This allows them to get the exclusive time to study and understand what type of things happen in production on a regular basis. Let them see for their own eyes the different nonstandard conditions that we need to muscle through, and how more containment and paperwork does little to solve any root cause issues.
Focus on the engagement of our cell colleagues so your kaizen team begins to appreciate how good your people really are.
This is where we actively roll out TPM and AM principles to our current running operations.
This is where we train everyone on 5S and problem solving. We should have regular down and dirty scoreboard and pacing board meetings to learn how to manage the improvement process.
This is what a model line is all about.
With our limited time and resources available to us today, we must do both to change our culture and compete. It's important to prioritize balancing the challenges between the current state and new model and recognize the importance of both. To do this, we may need to manage upward and ask for launch funds and early personnel release so as to participate in both endeavors.
How do you and your company commit to the new model and maintain your current journey on existing production lines?
How formal is your 3P process to design lean principles into your new production?
Do you have monthly kaizen events on your existing processes?
We at Dynamic Improvement Group believe in both, and we are here to help you get it done.