A leading international dental implant manufacturing company started their Lean journey by experimenting by implementing VSM, 5s through the workshop approach. The senior management recognised very quickly that there was benefit to be had but did not have the structure to maximise potential and maintain sustainability.
Trigger for change
The Business Excellence team considered that it was necessary to ensure the involvement of the complete management team in the definition of the strategy for change.
A two-day workshop with 22 members of the management team was executed with the combined objectives of providing coaching in best practices while also listening to the concerns of the employees and addressing the identified constraints. The key point was also to introduce a SFM concept.
Phase 1. Kick-off. Formal kick off meeting to all levels within plant to ensure understanding & commitment to goal. Driven by project Tactical Implementation Plan (TIP).
Phase 2. Analysis. Current status understanding of SQMDC as well as lean knowledge & management behaviour Target definition.
Phase 3. TIP development. TIP Created based on findings of analysis results for 3 levels of management.
Phase 4. Implementation plan. Implementation of activities through coaching, ensuring value added knowledge transfer.
Phase 5. Creating the “Pull” / Sustainability. Structured activities working with data identifying gaps & using practical problem solving tools to support continuous improvement.
Project delivery was monitored through periodic top-level management steering committees. The project had set objectives and KPI targets which were to be reached between meetings. This ensured that the project kept focus, direction & any road blocks or issues raised or escalated could be tackled in a decision making environment.
Project TIP & KPI review; TIP review for project time lines against predictions & anomalies discussed. KPI status reviewed & challenged.
Current activity status; Review of activities supported with ‘go & see’. This is confirmation of what benefit came out of project.
Issues & decisions; Issues or roadblocks discussed & decisions taken to support delivery.
Milestone buy‐off; Key project milestones reviewed for delivery against target.
Next steps; Next activities presented with confirmation of expectations & objectives were agreed & understood.
Objectives set for project were achieved – a basic SFM platform was established and a structured methodical approach to continuous improvement was implemented allowing a good foundation for future improvements.
SFM has given to date the ability to increase CNC capacity by an estimated 3%/year due to on-going improvements whilst reducing the number of operational CNC machines running by 24%.
The continuing improvement of the KPI‘s after the project official close demonstrates the success of the management team in maintaining a continuous improvement culture.
The structure developed within the project for running, monitoring and confirmation of activities is now utilised on other improvement projects taking place within the plant.
The next step to protect their investment and to maintain momentum is to introduce personal development plan to support the newly developed Expert and to consider what the global requirements are for expert training. From a local initiative in a single plant the entire Global Operations organization move step by step in a global Lean journey for manufacturing plants and support functions in HQ.