At work we use a variety of methods to solve problems and which almost always also results in some sort of cost savings. We have access to twenty three decision making tools that can be used to investigate, decide and implement a variety of problems from, personnel issues, office workflow, manufacturing, delivery, root cause analysis and much more. This particular work related example has to do with a request from a customer asking that chemical handling costs that our company was currently providing be reduced. A team was assembled and scheduled to meet at the work location for five days and use a tool called Kaizen Manufacturing. This tool is applied in a shop or manufacturing environment that uses a small cross-functional team of people assembled for short period to address a specific problem. They apply simple tools to chart distance, movement of people and material and sequence of events in order to identify and eliminate non value adding activities.
The first step taken by the team was to identify the problem. The problem as the customer describes it is that we were charging too much for handling chemicals. The team mapped out the entire process on large sheets of paper that tracked all the movements of personnel and materials. They decided that there goal would be to eliminate or restructure movement of personnel and products to be more effective. Many problems were quickly identified such... [continues]
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