Jun 26, 2014 | Posted by Ben Thompson
Last time I talked about kaizens of processes with long cycle times. About observing a good chunk of progress of the process breaking up and timing the work elements in order to be able to categorize them into value added and non-value added grouping. We aim to increase the time spent completing value added work and decrease the amount of time doing Non-value added work. If we organize and prepare a work station for success we can reduce non value added work elements to the bare minimum needed to produce the product.
For a specific example at one of our clients we observed a of a job for ~22 hours in that time we observed that only 35% of time working was value added. By kaizening the preparedness and staging of tools and parts; in just ~18 hours of observation, thats ~15% less time, on a job with 28% more work content we saw 45% progress.
We targeted a set of simple truths, the team member needs parts and tools to complete their work. So, the further away parts and tools are from being ready and within reach of the team member, the more wasteful the process is. Therefore, By having all tools and parts ready and within reach the kaizen resulted in a reduction of the non value added work needed to complete the value added segments of the job.
Sometimes the simplest solution is the best, more often then not its a great place to start. So don’t let a long cycle time get you down. Just approach it with a little ingenuity and let the kaizen process do the rest. Don’t get overwhelmed at the shear size of a problem; just,