From a small family run business in the aftermath of World War II to becoming the largest automobile manufacturer in the world by 2008 a position it still holds, the incredible story of Toyota’s rise has captured the imagination of thousands of organizations all over the world. The growth has been steady even in the face of adverse market conditions and environment. More importantly, each time that Toyota has faced a dip or crisis, it has emerged stronger from the experience.
The bedrock or core foundation on which this growth is built is its operations philosophy named as Toyota Production System (TPS) which has been widely studied and popularised by western researchers as Lean. Today businesses around the world irrespective of size or sector in which they operate are attempting to implement this unique system .
Lean is a philosophy, a way of life which espouses “Doing More and More with Less and Less”. The lean paradigm focuses on making the most effective use of available resources (man, machine, material, information) and this is measured through improvement in the parameters of Productivity, Quality, Cost, Delivery, Safety and Morale.
KIAP guides organizations on their lean journey through practical implementation of lean concepts and principles in the supply chain processes giving the twin benefits – people “learn by doing/implementing” and the process improvements translate into direct business benefits for the organization as well.
The key to success in implementation is to be able to look at a process or activity from the Lean paradigm. KIAP implements LEAN through a simple three step approach.
Step 1 : Lean Diagnostic
Top management goals are set down and the current state of the operations is assessed under lean paradigms. Established Lean diagnostic tools like Value Stream Map and Material Flow Diagram are used; in addition KIAP measures key metrics relating to resource productivity. The outcome is a Lean roadmap detailing the improvement route to achieve the stated goals.
Step 2 : Create Flow
KIAP conducts repeated Focused Improvement Workshops over a span of four to six months to establish new paradigms and change the way people think and behave
- In each workshop, specific process improvements and problem-solving projects from the roadmap are implemented and the results verified. Typical lean techniques deployed may include single piece flow, SMED, Jidoka, problem solving, pull systems etc.
- Fortnightly reviews to ensure pending actions are completed, course correction (if any required) is done and planning for next round of improvements.
Step 3 : Sustain Flow
KIAP experts take up initiatives for standardization of improvements made and ensuring the processes continue to remain lean without undue stress. This includes implementing concepts of error proofing, standards, 5 S & visual management as per the need of the specific industry through regular hand holding and review visits. We also establishing a performance monitoring system to keep track of the process and output deviations on a daily basis.
The organization with start realizing some of the Typical benefits of a Lean intervention during Step 2 itself and be able to consistently achieve the goals set out by the end of the intervention.