ABM MODULE 3 - TERRY WHITE - ASSIGNMENT 1
A current business challenge for Ascot Sign Systems is how to streamline production and remove any unnecessary production costs. The purpose of this report is to address the challenge, by demonstrating how the company can implement lean principles in order to maximise value and minimise waste. The intention is to focus upon applying the 5S quality system to the goods assembly / despatch process.
Lean production is a concept covering a range of methodologies which are derived from the Toyota Production System, with the core aim of maximising value and minimising waste. The feature of value is at the heart of ‘lean,’ being defined as an item or feature for which a customer is willing to pay. Anything else is regarded as waste. As pointed out in the UBT Coaching Book 5, Operations (1) ‘production…is where your business adds the value that turns your inputs into your final products / services.’ As expanded upon in the book Lean Thinking (2), lean involves actually defining what is of value, prior to identifying the stream of actions required to ensure the customer receives this. The aim is to create a flow of value-creating steps, then develop a ‘pull system’ for order processing in response to customer demand. The pursuit of perfection throughout this process then allows for continuous improvement.
5S QUALITY SYSTEM
One highly effective lean process for creating, maintaining and improving value flow is the 5S quality system. This consists of five steps as follows: 1) SORT – Identify what items are required and which are not. 2) SET IN ORDER – Items should be easily accessible.
3) SHINE – Work area is kept free from dirt and anything else not required. 4) STANDARDIZE – Continual improvement on the previous steps. 5) SUSTAIN – The maintenance of systematic organisation, visual placement and cleanliness. These five steps represent tangible actions and can be directly applied to Ascot’s goods assembly / despatch process, with immediate effectiveness in helping to meet the business challenge. To demonstrate this, the intention is to examine each step in turn.
Once a job order is passed to Ascot’s production department for processing, the team proceed to procure goods from a variety of suppliers. Some goods arrive fully finished, but most items require in-house assembly or modification, prior to packaging and despatch to site. This represents the ‘value stream’ of actions required to ensure customers receive quality, finished signage products. Goods are often bulky, and there are sometimes issues as a result of insufficient storage space. However, it is evident that a substantial amount of valuable space could be reclaimed by eliminating unnecessary items from the warehouse. These include pallet-loads of leftover goods and materials which are unlikely to ever be used. By sorting and removing all redundant items, the company can quickly and simply free up more space to effectively store new incoming goods.
SET IN ORDER
The production department uses a large variety of tools and fixings for goods assembly / finishing. At present there is a lack of order and consistency in the way these items are stored. Tools often seem to go missing and fixings appear to be in short supply. Upon examination, it is evident that workshop tools are being taken to site by fitters, who should have their own equipment. Fixings are simply difficult to locate. These problems are incurring expenses and inefficiencies as a result of unnecessary procurement and time-wasting. To address these issues, all tools and fixings should be set in order. All tools should be numbered so that they can be tracked. Workshop tools should be stored in clearly designated locations and replaced immediately after use. The most commonly used fixings can be stocked and systematically stored in well-labelled containers. All items must be clearly visible and...
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