Towards a more efficient organisation
In Tasubinsa we were first interested in the methodology behind Lean Manufacturing in 2007 when we saw the returns our customers were getting who had already implemented the system. It was also in response to the need to adapt to an ever more demanding market which called for better levels of productivity, greater flexibility to change, improved response times… in other words, a more efficient organisation.
This project provides support to a total of 1,294 people working in 12 production plants, covering an operative area of 13,052 m2.
In order to set up a project of this scope we drew up a four-year action plan and, following this route map, “attacked” each of the production plants in turn. As the project developed, the other sections of the company were gradually involved. This contributed to creating a shared organisation among the different departments, with each section focused on every customer, with the aim of systematically improving their corresponding “Added Value”.
LEAN methodology “attacks” wastage at any point of the Value Stream by questioning, in a critical but constructive way, every aspect of the operations, tasks, departments, functions and even the professionals themselves.
In accordance with the deployment plan, and by means of a total of 79 processes, 8 of our plants have already carried out their “Lean Self-diagnosis”: Tudela 11, Beriain 6, Tafalla 13, Noain 11, Burlada 7, Orkoien 6, San Adrian 14 and Villatuerta 11.
By implementing “Lean Manufacturing”, Tasubinsa has challenged their entire production process by analyzing improvements in added value, always with the customers’ needs in mind.
The principle behind this analysis has enabled us to identify wastage, and once pinpointed, the methodology has allowed us to measure and study this wastage and to generate a plan of corrective actions and, in addition, a true calculation of associated savings.
Currently, the situation at Tasubinsa with the Lean Project is the following: an important proportion of square metres and people/hours have been freed up, leading to diversification in billing due to the appearance of new customers and, as such, an improvement in the Company’s “starting value”.
There are three key conditions for the success of the Project:
•A “person responsible for managing the factory” who is strong-willed and motivated – and who has become the “project owner” with “prime responsibility” for the results.
•A global and plant-by-plant vision of the feasibility of the savings made, and the positive impact these on the “social sector”.
•Apt, trained and experienced people who will ultimately become “project multipliers”. The methodology is based on people’s abilities and the responsibility they show in analysing day-to-day operations.
•Having a critical attitude / Identifying needs / Proposing actions
The main difficulty we have come up against has been the “huge economic cost of the project”, including training in the methodology and its subsequent integration into the work methods of our experts, and the investment necessary to substitute obsolete assembly lines with “U Cells”. In addition, it has been necessary to modify our warehousing and to provide internal logistics for specific tractors and trucks.
The future of the project:
1.Boosting the competitiveness of all “Operations”. Time-saving will ensure users benefit from an improved service and new operations will be integrated gradually as space is freed up by reducing existing operations.
2. Developing individuals’ skills through personalised support and work.
3. Increasing the tangible value of second-line personnel through acquisition of new knowledge and techniques.