The organisation has a well established set of teams who work on different elements of the end to end production process. Communication between the teams is paramount to ensure that the processes flow smoothly, and that the work is balanced.
However, they regularly found that bottlenecks were appearing, resulting in the teams who were operating the downstream processes waiting for work to be handed over. The bottlenecks were caused by a variety of problems, including poor quality parts, availability of the correct tools, and shortages of manpower. However, at the heart of the issue was the lack of communication between the teams, in order to understand on a regular basis the status of the overall process.
This meant that it was difficult to identify the priorities for each shift, and maintain the plan for delivery to their customers.
"We now have a clear view of what's going on, and can identify problems before they become big issues"
PMI were engaged to support the organisation with establishing visual management boards, and daily Start of Shift Huddles.
Each manufacturing team created a visual management board with sections focused on 5 key themes:
The critical performance metrics for each theme and the processes for gathering the data were agreed upon by each team. All boards included a header section to visually signal if performance was ‘normal’ (green) or ‘abnormal’ (red).
These boards form the focus for daily Start of Shift Huddles, attended by all team members with the purpose of reviewing the current processes and performance, sharing information, and seeking the support of others. Team Leaders then attend a collective huddle with the Manufacturing Manager, providing an overview of performance for the whole line.
As a result of this process, within the first 30 minutes of each shift starting, everyone knows the status of the entire production line.
The use of visual management boards and start of shift huddles has generated significant benefits for the organisation:
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