In today’s economic climate with increasing competition and rising customer expectations, the requirement on organisations to become more effective couldn’t be higher.
It is with this in mind that this report looks at the application of Lean principles into Promax Plastics’ Tank Production process in its North Island factory. This report recommends the steps that need to be taken as Lean is implemented over the next four months. It identifies current business challenges such as excessive stock holdings, lack of flow and reliability. Fresh challenges that may arise from implementing these principles and as the new culture is established are also considered and steps made to ...view middle of the document...
Currently with no clear value stream map of the core process, the company is experiencing issues with reliability. This culture needs to change. The reason for this is there are no standards and deadlines which products must move to the next stage, this lack of accountability is leading to late shipments. The impact of this is increasing frustration from important customers, threating to take their business elsewhere.
It is essential that by the end of May 14, management have meet, mapped the complete processes end to end, gaining a clear picture of the current state. Having completed this, a future state map with non-value added steps should be created. This would have clear accountabilities and deadlines with which product must be scheduled and dispatched.
At this point it would also be beneficial to calculate the takt time of the factory. Takt time is the rate at which product is produced based on customer demand. The benefit from this exercise will mean production centres will only produce to the order of customer demand, freeing up capacity. This will also lead to reduction in inventory, lead times and operating costs due to over-production being eliminated.
Having identified value-added steps, the next critical step is to create flow within the production line. The aim of this is to make material and information move faster, by constantly cutting out wasted effort and time that is not adding value.
Current practice is that, because of the significant time it takes to change tools and dies, production is scheduled to achieve economies of scale. This practice creates large holdings of stock, simultaneously extending lead times as non critical orders are run.
To overcome this challenge, management will need to invest time, in investigating options on how to reduce the time it takes to change tooling.
Challenges could arise when attempting to sell any new idea to production, to change this practice. To overcome this resistance to change, it will be critical to involve the middle management early on. If the implementation of Lean is just left to a few senior managers, it will not stick, Lean is a culture that the whole organisation must embrace. To this end it will be critical to, create a team of change agents, to drive the new changes throughout the production line.
To support this step the implementation of 5s is recommended. 5s is comprised of a series of cleaning activities in the workplace. The implementation of this stage would be expected to take 6 weeks, with a target end date of Mid July.
• Sort (Clear out rarely used items by red tagging)
• Straighten (Organise and label a place for everything)