Our consultants were engaged by a global manufacturing client to improve safety, throughput, maintenance effectiveness, rail logistical agility, and organizational effectiveness. Given the facility’s large size and its operational complexity our consultants designed a staged, multi-year implementation to help our client Turn Potential Intro Reality and become a true operational industry leader. We are proud to report that our client achieved all-time record safety and production performance by the end of 2017. An outstanding result for a well-established operation!
These results are no accident. The results above showcase a 10% improvement in production and a staggering 53% reduction in the Safety Recordable Rate compared to the baseline from prior years. This transformation was facilitated by an accelerated implementation of the following key elements:
- Short interval controls. Our philosophy is that an operation should be managed by short interval controls at each layer of the organization to achieve overall safety, quality and cost objectives. Although we focused attention on every layer of the organization, we focused significant attention to developing the right short-interval controls on the shop floor to achieve consistently safe production, particularly around the production bottlenecks and safety at-risk areas. As with all our engagements, the relentless focus on shop floor activities and behaviors yielded a significant portion of the operational results.
- Management System. Time is the most valuable asset for employees, and it should be optimized to quicken decision making speed. To optimize time and the quality of decisions made by the organization, we developed a consistent management system to drive discipline and structure in the form of standard KPIs, meetings, and roles & responsibilities. Moreover, we developed a system of trigger points that would highlight the need to conduct rigorous, medium or informal root cause analyses. An organization cannot focus on all the problems that come up, but this system of triggers provided a systematic approach to prioritize and focus problem-solving efforts.
- Maintenance Excellence. We improved the wrench time of craftsmen by 70%. Our implementation focused strongly on installing a standard maintenance workflow and measurement system, which included improved planning & scheduling, and the active engagement of the front-line Maintenance Supervisor and Production counterparts. The increased effectiveness of the Maintenance organization led to improved capacity to perform preventative and predictive activities so that failures could be averted.
- Practical front-line leader training. Our training model is based on short, practical training exercises followed by significant on-the-job training and coaching to ensure that front-line leaders adapt to and incorporate the learnings. Our consultants are very active in the field, coaching front-line staff and molding their behaviors to provide sustainability to changes implemented. Supervisors are the key drivers of changes, and as such our implementation focused heavily on their development.
- Prioritization of projects. Our consulting experience demonstrates that project execution speed increases by limiting the number of project-in-progress. In such a complex operation there are always competing projects that can be implemented to improve results; however, the key is in picking not only the right projects but also the right number of projects to avoid overwhelming the organization. Therefore, we created a quarterly process where organizational leaders review potential projects and commit only to the ones that they believe will increase returns while not choking execution capacity. As a result, the organization better manages its priorities and its employees have an ingrained sense of commitment and accountability for results.
The tools & methodologies implemented enabled the organizational transformation for our client, and they provided the foundation to drive a behavioral shift at every layer of the organization to focus on safety, reliability, and consistency of operations. Given this cultural shift, we are confident the site will continuously break its safety and production records in years to come!