Awesome kaizen hidden under the desk |
Kaizen Consultant Yukio Kakiuchi web site

Awesome kaizen hidden under the desk     2017.08.09

Let me continue the stories of Kaizen that a part time worker carried out. There are many impressive Kaizen stories done by part time workers in my mind.
I show you a case of the company Y, a famous measurement instrument maker. Company Y asked me help to stop a big trouble of delivery delay because of the bad production flow in the plant.
There were many assembly processes with many skilled operators and the total processes were divided into five or six small processes. And there were specialized workers for each process.
The production lot size was 50 and 50 units were not handed out until all of them completed by each process, it makes so long time for finishing all the final products. Company Y often faced a big delay on delivery.
When I was discussing with the plant manager on the shop floor, I was aware of a part time worker watching me and I thought she wanted to say something. So, I asked a question to the part time operator Ms. B, “Do you have any good idea?”
Ms. B answered, “I’m sorry, maybe the plant manager gets angry, but when the production is very behind the schedule, I do all jobs by myself piece by piece. In fact, this is much faster but as I do it without permission, I seldom do it.”
“Thank you very much Ms. B. It is excellent! “, I said to Ms. B and asked “Could you do it just now in front of us? I am sorry to ask you suddenly.”
Then Ms. B took out a secret wooden work stand from under the desk and gathered necessary parts and started to assemble products.
What happened? A production time for one piece was only 20 minutes. The plant manager said it took at least a week to finish the products (although the lot size was 50).
The plant manager was surprised to see the production speed and then and there he started the Kaizen to change all the production way from dividing process to assemble by one worker as Ms. B did.
The delivery delay problem was solved in a short time. Ms. B was worried to be scolded, but needless to say, she was praised very much.
This is often the case, that the real solution is staying on shop-floor.
Awesome kaizen hidden under the desk