A high-end electronics assembly product line was experiencing long lead times, poor delivery performance, and high labor costs. The Fortune 50 manufacturer was experiencing chaos on a critical product set. Evidence of the chaos included the following;
- Low first-time yield
- Long and unpredictable lead times
- Poor delivery performance
- High labor costs
- Disappointed customers, both internal and external
This is a critical product line for the company, as it is the major supplier to the integration assembly process that follows this step in the overall process.
Flow Consulting collaborated with the company to develop a unique Lean Sigma Green Belt training/mentoring program. The program is unique in that the class attacked an entire Value Stream instead of a series of point projects. Flow customized the curriculum to cover topics very specific to the needs of the company and the Value Stream.
The class of 24 Green Belt candidates were divided into coordinated sub-projects, focused on the product line; the Front End (Capacity Management, Executable Orders), the Middle (Kitting through Pre-Test), and the Back end (Test through Shipment).
This was an expanded Green Belt course, taught in four three-day sessions across four months. In addition to the training, Flow Consulting provided extensive on-site mentoring between the training sessions, to ensure success and knowledge transfer. In support of this effort, Flow Consulting also trained ~120 leaders across the business, as most resistance to moving to a lean process comes from middle management.
The teams progressed through the DMAIC phases of Flows LeanSigma methodology. In just five months, entirely new physical and business processes were developed and put in place, from Order Drop to Shipping. Trials were conducted, cultural and leadership issues were addressed, and staffing and support levels were modified to match the product Value Stream. The product line was fully implemented, stabilized and measured.
|Cycle Time (median)||6.1 Days||3.6 Days||41% Decrease|
|Cycle Time (P95)||14.2 Days||7.2 Days||49% Decrease|
|Wait Time Median||36 Hours||24 Hours||32% Decrease|
|Wait Time P95||170 Hours||109 Hours||38% Decrease|
|Space Utilization||5100 Sq. Ft.||3450 Sq. Ft.||32% Decrease|
|Fixed Cost||~$1.2M||$600K||50% Decrease|
NOTE: In short, the product line is moving twice as fast, in a third less space, at half the cost.
This Green Belt effort was the second ‘wave’ to attack significant opportunities at the company. The first wave approached a slightly smaller Value Stream, with equivalent results. Flow Consulting is now delivering the 4th wave of GB trainees, and is on the 2nd wave of developing Black Belts.