So we’re starting where many of us have started: firefighting. Actually I chose a campfire, because this is not a manual, it’s a story about why we’re doing lean at this point. Give and Go is an industrial bakery company, less than 20 years old, with just over 1,000 employees in three facilities. The company grew rapidly for the first 12 years, then started to automate in a big way over the last three years. I’d say we’re now at the point where the demands of our technology are straining our people systems, and we need to evolve to really sustain the productivity gains.
So to put it mildly, I came to this company thinking that I already had the prescription: you want to know what maintenance needs? Just ask me, I’ll tell you! In excruciating, geeky-boring detail! Been there, done that, this place is no different, OK?
This is very normal: we expect to see increased costs temporarily, as an initial investment in people, tools and facilities eventually moves us to a lower-cost mode of operating in the long term.
There was NO scope to increase costs – too many areas were over budget, and the maintenance departments were expected to pitch in – at the same time that we were expected to change and improve!
Just to add to the fun, two of the key guys I’d rely on to drive both the message of austerity and to lead the charge, are gone.
“Learning to See”, by Mike Rother and John Shook, is written as a workbook so you can start Value Stream Mapping right away.
Value Stream Mapping is about understanding the real-world flow of MATERIALS and INFORMATIONMATERIALS flow from SUPPLIERS, through our PROCESSES, to our CUSTOMERSINFORMATION travels from our CUSTOMERS, through our management PROCESSES, to our SUPPLIERSWhat is the primary guiding principle of Lean? Simple: only do those things that your customer would be willing to pay for.
We don’t make widgets, parts, assemblies. We deal in repair time, but hours can mean different things depending upon the task.
First off, WHO ARE OUR CUSTOMERS? Is it simply production? Or are we PARTNERS with production, with our customer being the supply chain? Second, what is our product? Is it uptime, reliability, hours worked, jobs completed, failures avoided?From where does the demand for our “product” come? What is our inventory: backlogged Work Requests awaiting planning, backlogged Work Orders, or excess maintenance labour awaiting dispatching?
Much like this session today, I went to a conference: MARTS, and attended a one-day workshop called “Value Stream Mapping for Maintenance”, put on by LAI Reliability Systems. We have not contracted LAI Reliability Systems to do any work for Give & Go, and they were very generous in sharing their methodologies and tools at the workshop. One of their approaches is to use Six Sigma tools like DMAIC to help organize their clients’ improvement activities.
Here’s what a Value Stream Map for maintenance looks like, based on the idea of the “product” being skilled trades, or “craft” hours.Pretty crazy, right? Luckily, it starts with some basic building blocks.
I interviewed people in production, logistics, sanitation, administration, engineering, product development. I wanted to know what they truly expected from the maintenance team. And it boiled down to two main themes: Predictability (stuff works when we want it to work), and Communications (we know the status of requests and ongoing maintenance work).
Quick Repair Board: requests are written on the board, with a tag placed directly on the relevant machine. Every shift, the maintenance supervisor or lead hand reviews the board and plans to complete as many items as possible. The maintainer records when the job is done, but does NOT remove the tag – the originator verifies that their request was met, and then removes the tag and clears the board entry.
We are mapping it now, to have an idea of how well we’re utilizing our tradesmen for this REACTIVE work.
The repair board process demonstrates true Customer Focus. We are responding directly to what they stated they most wanted from maintenance. We’re not doing maintenance for the sake of maintenance, we’re doing “what the customer is willing to pay for”.
Our next step is to review and model our PLANNED tasks: corrective and preventive maintenance.
One goal of measuring the current state, is to justify the purchase of a CMMS based on how it will truly make us more efficient. We don’t want to get caught “serving the machine”, we need it to serve us!
CMMS Pros: prioritizing, scheduling, inventory control, purchasing, asset histories, deeper analysesCMMS Cons: NVA data entry labour, automated paper generation, back office support work, hidden information
Dover 9th Reinventing Maint - Developing a Lean Maintenance Strategy