Case Studies

Focussed Improvement Team Projects 

Date: 29th July 2014

Author: PMI

Leading building supplies manufacturer. 150 sites with 23,000 employees and a €5.6bn turnover


This client is an international manufacturer of building supply products who had previously dabbled with different improvement approaches and needed to use the same methodology to bring about standardisation of approach and make it easier to share findings/learnings. PMI introduced the organisation to a more concentrated Focused Improvement Team (FIT) approach. In first week alone, the team trialled and implemented changes to the process that resulted in a saving of £116,000 per annum in raw material costs.



Challenge


The client is an international manufacturer of building supply products. The 2 UK sites had previously dabbled with different improvement approaches and needed to use the same methodology to bring about standardisation of approach and make it easier to share findings/learning. Previous approaches had been to jump in and problem solve ( usually though the introduction of expensive engineering changes).

Five members of the management team at one site had been Green Belt trained by PMI, however due to competing priorities their beachhead projects had not been further advanced.



Benefits



During the first week alone, the team trialled and implemented 3 changes to the process resulting in a saving in raw materials of £116,000 per annum at one site.



PMI’s Contribution



After an initial assessment of the status of the projects by a PMI consultant, their recommendation was that several of the projects were good candidates for a more concentrated approach called a Focused Improvement Team (FIT).

This approach helps overcome usual work distractions and competing priorities. The FIT involves the Green Belt and process operators working full time for 1 week with a PMI consultant to complete on round of the Improvement Cycle to study, trial and implement changes to the process needing improvement.

This approach was used on the Standard project where the issue was consistently heavier than necessary board being produced due to incomplete understanding and management of the process of dosing the key raw materials.

During the FIT week PMI were able to demonstrate to the client that the first improvement idea one tries may not yield any tangible benefits and one just needs to persevere and try the next one. Also that improvement does not need to necessarily involve costly engineering change as the raw material savings were achieve at at no cost other than the time spent by the team and consultant during the FIT week.

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