Maintenance Technology May 2015 - (Page 19)

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT WHY IS IT THAT IN 2015 we still find organizations unable to grasp the fact that if they don't improve their quality, cost and delivery, they will soon be gone? They probably have all the functions in place to manage their processes-Accounting, Engineering, Operations, Quality, Maintenance, Human Resources and others-so what's the hold up? Lean subject-matter expert Bill Kirkpatrick of Life Cycle Engineering uses the following story to answer. It's set in an obscure part of a factory, where the lean crew hangs out with their maps, racking system and 5S supplies. They typically perform one-off projects (kamikaze kaizen) that have little impact because the project may only address the smoke when the fire is elsewhere. These projects are usually directed by a department head in dire need of improvement due to a quality issue or poor productivity leading to profit loss. The good news is that they're usually adept at what they do. But something's missing. Even with these folks, the plant still struggles to make the numbers that in the past were never an issue. Who's in charge? Look at this type of group more closely. Kirkpatrick says it's usually directed by Engineering or resides within Maintenance. Or it could report to Operations- which many might agree is the last place you'd want the continuous-improvement (CI) team to reside. Under Operations, where would this team's activities be focused? Granted, Operations is usually a prime locale for lots of improvement opportunities, and Kirkpatrick believes that if an organization was a wheel, Operations would be at the hub. But if the spokes don't properly support the wheel, the whole system will struggle under the weight of customer demands and competitors. In Kirkpatrick's opinion, the problem is twofold. First, the improvement organization doesn't always report to the correct level in the organization. Second, they don't have a sustainable process to direct their actions. Trying to sell ideas left, right, below and above within an organization is a daunting challenge for any professional in any setting. The obvious fix, he explains, is to have the CI group report to the site leader and make the group's lead individual part of the staff responsible for one thing and one thing only: improving "flow" across all processes in the organization. Having this position at the staff level allows the bridging of functional groups or process teams that aren't always focused on flow. Flow must occur in any and all processes, and any impedance to flow must be identified, communicated and eliminated using a sustainable process. Think of what impedes flow within your organization: The Continuous Improvement group's lead individual should be responsible for one thing: improving 'flow' across all processes. MAY 2015 MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 19 http://www.MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM

Maintenance Technology May 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology May 2015

Maintenance Technology May 2015 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology May 2015 - Cover2
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Maintenance Technology May 2015 - Cover3
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