We have shared updates on the kaizen journey at Procon Engineering of Karachi, Pakistan from time to time (TPM story, COPQ story). S.M. Junaid has been very patient with me over the past few months, sending me news which I have not posted. While the delay in posting these was regrettable, placed together the updates below tell the remarkable story of a company that seems to be turning the corner on their kaizen journey. Procon is doing this by putting an emphasis on respect for people, engagement of the total workforce, motivation and recognition.
A breakthrough towards motivation of team members
The target at Procon Engineering is nothing less than to develop a culture in which every front line team member will give at least one kaizen suggestion each month.
I believe that if we take the work not only of the team members’ hands but also their minds, then we will successfully curtail the culture that “only the boss knows everything” and we will gain the active participation of grassroots team members.
I think that every team member’s participation is the secret of successful companies.
Red Ribbon Campaign
Sometimes it can be difficult for people to find improvement ideas, and setting a target such as one kaizen idea per month can put on pressure. It is helpful to give people a focus when looking for ideas, in specific areas such as safety or production losses. At Procon a campaign has been initiated for saving compressed air losses in the heavy press shop and new weld shop.
These are hidden types losses which are very dangerous for company growth because these losses are at the bottom of iceberg and not easily observed from the water surface,
In order to raise awareness and promote involvement, Procon held a “Red Ribbon Week” to encourage active identification of compressed air losses.
More than 25 locations were identified and red ribbons were tied where compressed air leakages were found. The benefits have been:
• Saving of compressed air
• Saving of electricity
• Saving of compressor maintenance cost
• Minimized compressed air consumption
• Precision in operations where compressed air required
• Minimizes noise pollution
Respect for People
Junaid uses a simple story to help his team understand Lean.
“Once I visited in a butcher shop and ask the sale man please give me fresh boneless meat without any fat, he offer me a meat which he called “LEAN” I ask him why he called it lean, he replay because lean is without waste”. This interpretation is helping us to easy understand what is lean manufacturing? “Lean means manufacturing without waste”.
It is necessary to keep the idea of Lean very practical rather than theoretical because literacy rate in the region is very low. Junaid also realized that a successful Lean implementation would depend on building a social culture based on respect for people. The lean system flow diagram below starts from respect of peoples up through the successful lean implementation.
An important part of this effort to create a Lean social culture within the company is to have a system of recognition from senior management. The first quarterly ceremony for the recognition and honoring the “Man Of The Month” winners was sponsored by middle management in their role as a bridge between top management and team members. The team members were inspired by this motivational sentence, “The cooperation between workers and management is very important in achieving the operational excellence”. The senior management participated and gave words of thanks and encouragement.
With concerted efforts at taking many small steps like these, consistently encouraging and recognizing the contribution of employees at all levels, and placing respect for people first in the order of business in Lean implementation, Procon Engineering has laid a solid foundation for long-term success.