Organizational Opportunities from the Frontline Story 8: Establishing Full-Kit | Operational Excellence Quick Hits
Quick Hits share weekly tips and techniques on topics related to Operational Excellence. This week’s theme relates to establishing full-kit. We hope you enjoy the information presented!
Speaker 1 (00:06):
In today’s session, we’re going to continue on the series of organizational opportunities, stories, and lessons learned from the front lines. Today’s story comes to us from a company that is an engineer to order environment, a company that was experiencing long lead times, poor delivery performance, along with quality issues, and lots of work in process. There was many jobs release production and many were missing the necessary things to complete the jobs. How did we improve productivity in this situation? Today we’re going to talk about establishing full-kit.
First off, I want to talk about poor flow and what are contributors to poor flow, and I want to use an example of traffic. If I look at this traffic here, I have a bunch of jobs which are represented by cars. I have these motorcycles represent expedited jobs and when I play the video you can see that the motorcycles are moving a little bit faster, most jobs are stuck, some jobs are moving at a slow pace, and this is typically what we see in a manufacturing environment.
What are the contributors to this? First of all, too much work in process. If we have too many cars on the road that represents work in process, it just clogs up the system. Then we have delays due to missing input so something’s missing for the job and I can’t complete it because I’m missing something or waiting for a decision to be made. Or there’s re-work that’s taking up valuable time and other jobs are stuck behind that job that’s being reworked. Or we’re working on expedited jobs and not working on other jobs, and resources aren’t always available so these are the contributors that we see to poor flow.
If we look at a process and we look at the generic format of a process using the IPO model input process output, basically a process is a series of actions or steps taken to convert inputs into desired outputs. I like a quote here by Deming that says, “If you can’t describe what you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.” If we look at a system as a series of processes, then what are process inputs? The inputs are the resources invested to accomplish a task. In this case, the resources that they needed to complete a task were the materials, the instructions, the drawings, the skilled labor, the tooling, equipment, and programs so if one of these things are missing then we can’t execute the process.
What does good flow look like? If I use an example of a car race of good flow, what we see is that cars are moving at an accelerated pace and there’s good flow, there’s no stoppages, there’s no delays, and we’re completing from start to finish in the most effective manner. That’s what we look at for good flow. Now, if I establish full-kit, what is full-kit? That’s basically everything that is needed and we say necessary and sufficient so it’s not only having the necessary things, it needs to be sufficient, means that they need to be correct.
It doesn’t do us any good to have the necessary things but not being correct so we need both conditions and it’s everything that we need to complete the work before starting the work. It’s not having everything to be able to start the work on time, it’s having everything to complete that work once you start it. This improves flow by eliminating any delays due to excessive work in process, removing jobs that are stuck waiting for whatever, being able to start and finish work each step most effectively, and reducing defects associated with re-work due to incorrect inputs. Establishing full-kit creates better flow.
What are the mindset requirements for full-kit? First of all, don’t start work until you have everything that is needed to complete the work so that’s a huge change in mindset. Also, focus on ensuring that all the preparations are completed and sufficient before starting the work. Use your efforts to focus on the preparation so that when it’s released it can go start to finish in the most effective manner. If you want to finish earlier, establish full-kit and start later and focus on flow.
That’s our session for today. Connect with me on LinkedIn, visit our website, futurestateengineering.com or go to our YouTube channel where we have videos on multiple topics that you can learn from.