Successful experience of high-level improvement activities fosters human resources and creates a strong workplace

  • Productivity Up to 169.6% by 6 months of improvement activities
  • Now the customer can implement high-level improvements that they could not solve by themselves!

At this factory, they were promoting improvement activities by themselves, but they thought they did everything they could do on their own, so the activity was stagnant. Then, the Japanese president decided to outsource a shop floor improvement consulting to have their shop floor checked, and asked us, Hirayama Consulting.

Industry details
Auto parts
Company size
Employee: about 300
Routine improvement activities
Cost reduction
  1. Factory diagnosis
  2. Setting goals for improvement projects
  3. Improvement activity
Step 1 – Factory diagnosis

First, we conducted a “one-day factory diagnosis” to investigate how much waste is left at the shop floor.
When we went to the shop floor, we could see everywhere they improved hard by themselves in the past, but we couldn’t find the situation where they improved further at a higher level.

Diagnosis results
The following problems were left at the shop floor.
No standard man-hours Man-hours for each element work were not measured, so there was no standard man-hours.
Waste of operation ・A lack of line balance was neglected.
・Wastes of waiting, inventory, and motion were left.
・Wastes of premises logistics and material supply were left.
Insufficient Sorting and Setting in order 5S was insufficient and wastes occurred.
Insufficient Production Control
    Plan and actual production was not visualized, so the problems were hard to find.
We made a 35-page “Factory Diagnosis Report” with photos of the shop floor to explain problems clearly, and held a report meeting of the diagnosis results. Since we reported the above problems clearly and logically with photos of the shop floor, Vietnamese executives understood and thought that they would like to promote improvement together, and decided to terminate the consulting contract at the meeting.
Step 2 – Set the target of the improvement project

The purpose of this improvement activity is of course to increase productivity, but “human resource development” is also a major theme so that they can continue the improvement activities by themselves after this project is over. Two assembly workplaces were set as the target range, and we have decided to improve productivity step by step and ultimately aim for an improvement of 150%. The consultant decides the direction of the project and conducts education, and the local staff mainly gives advice to analyze the current situation, identify problems, and implement improvements.

Improvement project
  • Improvement of productivity
  • Human resource development
  • Target range Workplace A、Workplace B
    Insufficient Production Control
  • Set the standard man-hours: Jan. – Feb.
  • Productivity improvement
    March : Productivity 120%
    April – May : Productivity 130%
    June : Productivity 150% (Challenge)
  • Qualitative target
    • Development of human resources who are responsible for production and operation management and operation improvement
    • Creating a mechanism for continuous improvement
    Step 3 – Improvement activity

    The project started with a kick-off event and we analyzed the current situation (setting standard man-hours) in 1-2 months. In the 3rd month, we improved the parts supply method and the productivity increased by 120%. In the 4th and 5th months, we improved the line layout, operation, and line balance and productivity increased by 130%. In the 6th month, we conducted overall improvements including the SUB Assy and aimed to increase productivity by 150%.

    Master plan
    Educated contents and improvement items

    The project members studied the following contents by seminar, put their hands dirty in the shop floor, and practiced “Genchi Genbutsu (Go and see)”. The members enjoyed proceeding with the improvement activity involving the operators in it, and workers at other workplaces and production engineers who saw it also came to see this workplace to study when they had time.
    Some managers of other workplaces came to ask us if we could check their workplaces as well, and we could feel the improvement was spreading throughout the factory.

    Seminar contents

    1 What is waste?
    ①What is waste?
    ②Motion and work
    ③Waste of operation

    2 7 Wastes
    ①Waste of overproduction
    ②Waste of waiting
    ③Waste of transportation
    ④Waste of processing
    ⑤Waste of inventory
    ⑥Waste of motion
    ⑦Waste of defects

    3 Waste of motion
    3M – Muri (overburden)・Mura (fluctuation)・Muda (waste)

    5 Takt time, Cycle time

    6 Line balance

    7 Lot production vs. One-piece flow productio

    8 Single process handling, Multi process handling
    ①Manpower saving
    ②Obeya system

    9 Parts distribution, Parts supply

    10 Premises logistics

    11 Production progress management

    12 Reduction of tools and jigs

    13 Machine cycle reduction

    Gemba Kaizen specialist
    ITO, Akihiro

    Process improvement consultant

    He worked for JIT Institute, Tokyo for 20 years.( JIT: Just In Time). During this period, he has learned Just In Time philosophy and method of improvement of productivity in manufacturing plant. Continuously he has been engaged in effective introduction process of Production Management System to small and medium enterprise and even big enterprise.

    Consultants from major companies
    with experience in over 40 countries will respond.
    Please feel free to contact us.

    If you are in a hurry, please call us.

    (Japan time)
    Open 08:30 – 17:30
    Except for Saturday, Sunday, holidays, Year-End and New-Year holidays

    3 reasons why we are chosen REASON

    REASON 1

    Improvement experience of
    more than 1,500 companies in 40 countries

    There must be the shop floor issues that cannot be solved by your own company alone. Improvements and reforms for manufacturing industry to survive, regardless of country or industry, need development of your human resources through practical experiences of improvement, and strengthening of your production system base.

    REASON 2

    Consulting that shop floor workers
    acknowledge our superiority and be pleased

    In conventional consulting styles, there was a distance between consultant and the shop floor because it was promoted mainly consultant and management executives. Our consultant can provide a guidance without a distance between consultant and the shop floor through the guidance based on the “seeds of improvement” in a concrete way, instead of “finding fault” like a critic.

    REASON 3

    Continuous improvement will continue
    even after the end of guidance

    While strengthening “human resource development”, we focus on the “overall flow” from design to purchasing, manufacturing, logistics, and production control, and provide guidance that matches the actual situation of your company. Continuous improvement will continue even after the end of guidance through the guidance that is acceptable to the shop floor workers.

    Consultants from major companies
    with experience in over 40 countries will respond.
    Please feel free to contact us.

    If you are in a hurry, please call us.

    (Japan time)
    Open 08:30 – 17:30
    Except for Saturday, Sunday, holidays, Year-End and New-Year holidays