Successful implementation resulted in a 25 percent productivity increase within a year. The knowledge transfer from the project also gave the client the sufficient tools to continue the work cross-organisational.
The company, which has more than 4,000 employees including 1,500 in Sweden, is a world leader in its business. It is part of a large international group with approximately 40,000 employees world-wide,
One of the biggest plants in the group is located in Sweden with some 1,000 employees. It consists of seven manufacturing units, workshops (including a foundry), plus a number of staff. In spite of good profitability, management had set it tough cost-cutting targets, in order to be competitive with sourcing in Asia.
Mantec conducted a pre-study in the workshops to find areas for improvement and estimate the improvement potential. Based upon the results of this analysis, a project was defined with the objective to improve productivity by 20% Two important prerequisites were that the company should participate actively via a number of internal consultants, and that Mantec should transfer knowledge, methods and skills on improvement processes throughout the project.
Mantec created a special project model for the work to be carried out, the so-called MWL-model (More-With-Less), which consists of four phases: Pre-study; Identification; Implementation; Follow-up. This model was integrated with the company’s own Six Sigma-work (Define; Measure; Analyse; Implement; Control).
The project had the following sub-projects:
- establishing a daily management operating system (MOS) in the workshops to connect to the overall production MOS;
- instituting measurements of availability and efficiency, and monitoring of non-conformance;
- creating an action plan for improved productivity and reduced costs;
- establishment of a model for the improvement work;
- coaching in leadership for workshop managers and foremen;
- improving personal efficiency and time utilisation; and
- putting in place a model for measuring productivity on a weekly basis.
Due to the relatively large size of the project, it was decided to roll out the improvement processes successively in the plant.
The successful implementation of the project has brought the client a number of benefits, including:
- workshop control has moved from per week to per day and the follow-up is now on a weekly basis rather than monthly as before. Or as one production manager put it: “We have moved from budget control to customer order control! I feel the pulse of my activity now and I am more frequently out in the workshop which is appreciated by all!“
- a model for the improvement process has been established and integrated with the Black Belt organisation;
- productivity has (one year from project start-up) increased by 25% and is still increasing. Locally in the workshops there is a spread of between a 2 % and 46 % improvement;
- the project ROI reached 400% within the first year;
- six internal consultants who participated during the various project phases have acquired a good knowledge of the methodology and techniques used.
The achievements in the project have been duly noticed in the group and as a result the Swedish plant was rewarded Chairman’s award for Operational Excellence. In addition, the company has started up MWL in the Distribution Centre, supported by Mantec.