I could say ‘another testimonial’ (zoom to read), but the thing that makes this special is it was given to me on 26th January the day when the highest gallantry award winners receive their citations from the President of India! Humbled to receive this one.
Early 2017 I was called in to assist a great group fix one of their strategic business units (SBU) that was having problems – not able to meet delivery schedules, lots of rejections, too much rework, too many breakdowns, systems not visible, no standardization, poor teamwork, blame game, huge inventory, faulty processes, disputes between the SBU & HO, losing customers etc., and was asked to turn it lean. This SBU manufactures products exclusively for exports to first world countries. Products belong to Hygiene, Healthcare and Beauty segments. The textile faculty call this industry as Technical Textiles. And they had never heard about Lean Manufacturing or Toyota Production System (TPS). All they knew was that Toyota was a car!
How long does it take to turn a loss making SBU profitable? This one took eight months, a little behind my work at the Bridgeport JV which had taken six. Credit really is due to the team there that did the work, actively led by their MD & Plant Head taking the entire factory along. Sometimes not having heard about lean and TPS is a blessing in learning it new. Lean is complete strategy and the journey needs to be designed for each organization, something what the tool trainers fall short. Although the journey to become lean is an ongoing one, they have accomplished many significant things and are on their way to become the first lean technical textiles company – a few credits to mention are:
- Doubled output by working less than fifty percent of previous time and turned the operations profitable.
- They restructured, reorganized work processes to be able to produce the doubled output with less than three fourth of the original manpower.
- Throughput time that was ‘anything to I don’t know’, is now less than two days!
- There are different process lines delivering different types of products. Output improvement seen here ranges from 100 to 600 percent.
- Time lost due to breakdowns reduced by 95 to 98 percent.
- Quality Circles have solved hundreds of problems; the staff have added more solutions. Now engaged in solving problems every day.
- Almost two thirds inventory reduced
- Motivation and moral is high, and much more.