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Can we use best practices as combination of Lean, TPM, TQM, Kaizen, Six Sigma?

By 5th November 2019 No Comments
Combination of operational excllence methodologies

Our answer is yes. Every tool/methodology has unique features that helps for every business. Seven Steps Business Transformation is in the field of helping organisations in their Journey of Excellence. As combination of business excellence and operational excellence, every company where we have helps got substantial benefits and improvement in their overall performance.

Quite often, we come across industry leaders who ask a common question …  “will this particular tool/methodology will be applicable for us”. Having worked with hundreds of organisations and multiple business sectors, we find that adapting best practices of all methodologies will certainly give edge in results. As you are aware, every religion has some of the best practices which can be adapted by every living being on this earth.

One of MNC having operations in India has invited us to help them in reducing Lead time of manufacturing which they felt can significantly help in improving ontime delivery performance which in turn can help them getting improved business. Core business model of this organisation was a high mix and low volume and non-stock production has been the need. Every order is a make to order type. Upon our in-depth study, we found that improvement is needed not only in manufacturing area but also in pre-manufacturing stage. i.e. from the time the order was received to the time the order was released to production. The process involved in designing the product and improving the effectiveness of design and process specialists. We find that the time taken for an order to get released to production has been nearly 80% of the total time in many cases. Lean product development methodology has been introduced along with waste elimination – primarily elimination of over processing in  pre-production areas. Lead time trackers were introduced with dashboards and visual tracking systems. Review of orders with highest lead time was done on periodic basis – Daily at operations level and weekly at management level (top 3). This resulted in reduction of pre-production lead time by over 90%.. from 20 days to <2 days.

Second focus area was to reduce Manufacturing lead time and alignment of ontime performance in line with Customer required date (CRD). Here, we find application of Value Stream Mapping tools, Bottleneck management, Single Minute Exchange of Dies –(SMED) which we have called as Quick change-over as generic name. Apart from this, Total Productive Maintenance concepts such as Autonomous Maintenance has helped in improved uptime of machines. Kanban – a lean methodology has helped in ensuring availability of regular RM and consumables. There were certain bottleneck operations which needed resolution where we had to use Theory of Constraints to handle this. After consistent application of This company not only made Indian operations a benchmark in their group but became most preferred partner for customers too

As the story goes about a mechanic who had used a hammer to tap the machine to make it working from breakdown, the key aspect is to identify where to tap. Even though there no limit of information available in the form of books, case studies etc., on various tools and methodologies, application of such tools, timing of deployment of the right tool becomes the key for success. There are some foundation tools such as 5S which is very essential before applying other tools such as TPM. Like wise, before even starting problem solving tools and techniques such as 7QC tools, orderliness and visual factory will help in minimizing major obvious defects. When there is need to set right basic conditions and establish basis stability, deployment of Six Sigma methodology becomes overkill.

In a nutshell, in order to deliver the customer what they need – in this case improved business results, we had to deploy combination of many tools/methodologies in the right sequence at the right time.

Seven Steps Business Transformation Systems is India based organisation helping organisations in their Journey of Excellence. We have consultants with wide experience in industry segments such as manufacturing, services, retail, logistics, food, construction, Information Technology, Education, Health care services. Our consultants are experts in deployment of Total Productive Maintenance, Lean manufacturing, lean services, Lean hospitals, Lean Health care, Lean Construction, Lean office.

We work with multiple industry sectors such as Automotives, Equipment manufacturing, defence products, pharmaceuticals, Aerospace components, high precision manufacturing, apparel to name a few.

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