IMI Eye - page 10

business improvement
In 2015 we outlined the 8 priorities
of IMI Precision Engineering’s FIX8
agenda that ‘TOGETHER’ will provide
a solid platform for the business to
grow. We needed to FIX the basics.
The ‘R’ in ‘TOGETHER’ represents
Rationalise - we need to reduce
significantly and standardise our
product offering.
Our Rationalise Team reviews and
revises the Precision product portfolio so it
is more closely aligned to market needs,
easy to understand, can be effectively
supported and does not incur excessive
Alan Cooper
IT Project Manager
IMI Precision Engineering
Racing ahead on the
Rationalise road!
cost. To help achieve these goals the
FIX8 Rationalise project seeks to radically
reduce the number of part numbers to
create room for growth and enhance our
customer offering. This simplification is
measured in the reduction of part numbers
– over the past 10 months the team has
worked hard to take the number from
450,000 down to 155,000 with more
reductions to come.
Reducing part numbers on this
scale prompted many questions and we
recognised conference calls and bulletins
would be ineffective in getting the positive
message across. The team therefore took
the lean ‘Go to Gemba’ approach, to see
first-hand the issues and concerns being
raised by our sales teams. From this, the
European road trip was born – a trip that
took the team out to ten Precision sites
across Europe to present our approach
to the sales teams, take questions, and
improve understanding on both sides.
Team members with experience of product
management, logistics, data control,
purchasing and IT delivered the sessions
conveying the messages of business
simplification, creating room for growth
and offering benefits such as reduced
manufacturing costs; reduction of raw
material and work-in-progress stock; fewer
quality issues from legacy products with
old tooling and out-dated manufacturing
methods; easier to find the right product
to satisfy the customer and releasing
engineering time to focus on delivering
new products.
We experienced great participation
and buy-in from the local sales leaders who
often did the translations for their teams.
As always, when you get face-to-face with
teams there was great dialogue and it
enabled us to allay many of their concerns.
In IMI Precision Engineering we knew we had to improve
product quality across our businesses. We had to take
more notice of what customers were telling us and respond
to any concerns. Expecting customers to be satisfied with
waiting up to 60 days for a product issue to be addressed
is not acceptable. These are fundamental problems that
FIX8 initiatives are designed to address.
The FIX8 ‘Transform’ programme includes the Factory Floor
Quality System which is designed to keep problems from ever
reaching our customers, and ultimately prevent recurrences.
We’ve developed quality standard operating procedures (SOPs)
– these define and standardise the work required within the
factory floor quality system with aligned metrics, reaction plan
requirements, and visual management. We are also using a
technique called Gemba walks (Gemba is a Japanese word which
translates to ‘the real place’) to help management quickly and
clearly understand, monitor and drive progress. Effective lean
and quality go hand-in-hand and really enable improvement.
It’s all about the engagement of great people, using well-defined
and standardised processes and tools. The engagement of
plant leadership is especially important and really does make
a difference as managers and supervisors engender the quality
culture in their teams every single day.
Across the four pilot sites, we’ve been sharing ideas and
experiences. Site leaders and key personnel have visited pilot
Zdenek Sitar
Divisional Quality Manager
IMI Precision Engineering
FIX8’s ‘Transform’ – making
quality work on the shop floor
sites seeing first-hand how the system is working. It’s great when
the business starts to see the first real signs of improvement,
including, for example, a reduction in scrap and the establishment
of an effective problem-solving process for customer issues.
It’s particularly encouraging to see people understanding
the interaction between different processes and putting all the
pieces of the improvement jigsaw together, and GREAT to hear
the site leader say
“I really do like the new procedures and visual
management; they help me to immediately understand what´s
going on at the shop floor”.
Whilst standardisation is critically
important, it will not stand in the way of improvement.
Implementation has now spread from the four pilot sites to twelve.
Many improvement suggestions across all regions have been
received. These all go through a controlled review and approval
process and a second update of SOPs was done in January.
Based on the early successes at these pilot sites, the
division’s regional managing directors have decided to implement
the system at all Precision sites by 30 June 2016.
Complete customer satisfaction is our goal. The service
we provide customers before, during, and after the sale of our
products will determine our success. We have a vision for the
future, we know what we’re aiming for with FIX8 as we roll-out
the quality standards to other sites and make IMI Precision
Engineering a GREAT business that always delivers high quality
products and services capable of satisfying our most demanding
The IMI Newsletter
Issue 4
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,...24
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