Process Improvement plays extremely important role in any organization. In our last article, we had written about the Fundamental Principles of World Class Manufacturing (WCM) which describes how WCM philosophy will help organizations to achieve success. It was followed by another article on Steps to achieve WCM which talks about Faber’s proven framework that helps organizations become proactive and not remain reactive to the changing market dynamics.To follow this series on WCM, in this article we will discuss important improvement tools and techniques that are deployed by several transformation leaders and have reaped fruits for organizations across the world in the continual improvement journey. Details of few of the powerful tools/methodologies deployed successfully by Faber Infinite at several client locations are as follows:
- Lean Facility Design – This is a preventive tool that applies lean principles to organization’s future projects so that waste (muda) can be prevented at an early stage. This detailed step by step methodology has been devised by Faber Infinite based on its experience of various elements of industrial engineering, lean and challenges faced during new facility set up, expansion or relay outing existing setup. It is a strong enabler towards highly efficient world class set up from day zero.
- Light House Exercise – Yet again, this is a framework devised by Faber Infinite that helps to determine or develop organizational goals and provide a suitable direction to achieve those goals. It is a robust framework for goal setting and building its linkages to all the layers within the organization; and policy deployment.
- Autonomous Maintenance – It is one of the main pillars of the Total Productive Maintenance Framework. It helps to enhance the operational excellence journey and imbibe the continual improvement culture on the shop floor or gemba. It not only helps to improve the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) along with availability, performance and quality ratios; but helps in creating a culture of ownership amongst operators.
- Quick Change Over – This tool can help bring down the setup time by as high as almost 50% by the implementation of an effective approach of Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED). Even with its classical methods, this tool has never failed to deliver results where low volumes and high variety is need of the hour.
- Value Stream Mapping – It is an effective tool which helps the organization to identify the significant prospects for process improvement, cost reduction, productivity improvement and improve efficiency thus saving time. It can further help organizations to improve their performance using existing resources. It is a paper-pencil tool which encourages participation from the shop floor members along with the leaders to zero down on the real issues with the larger picture in mind and not focusing on localized improvements.
- Small Group Activities (SGA) – Such tools help in enhanced financial returns and stronger cultural impact. They are also known as Focussed group activities based on continuous improvement. This is based on a Japanese term called Kobetsu Kaizen. This is a structural method of problem-solving and it prevents reoccurrence of the problem. The members of the group are taught problem solving skills, team work, decision making so that they can help each other to grow and improve.
These are few of the proven strategic excellence process improvement tools, new or old but have delivered results to the organizations. There will be few more to follow in our next article.