10 Aug 2017

CarWorks – Supply Chain Management and Lean Process Improvement

WYN team conducted CarWorks – Game Based Business Simulation trains participants for Lean Process Principles. It sets the participants to run a successful car manufacturing company, wherein they need to deliver high quality cars to their distributors.

With times changing, the car industry is becoming increasingly competitive, and consumer demands are changing. Competitors seem to be able to get their products faster to market. CarWorks must innovate their products to retain a position in the market. But to stay competitive, they must also streamline the way they produce cars.

Between rounds the teams learn to execute their processes: Planning, Purchasing, Finance, Sales or Production. As a team, you will design and execute your processes to produce cars to meet the sales contracts. However, market and customer demands change, and rapidly. Increasing demands, increasing opportunities to succeed….or fail. As a team, you must streamline your processes to reduce costs and wastage, you must also innovate new processes to meet the changing market needs.

The learning objectives are dependent upon what the organization is trying to achieve, where they are on their Process improvement journey and the problems and issues they are trying to solve.

Key Reflection: Learnings & Takeaways

  1. Managing Outcomes Vs. Outputs: The team focussed towards the output which was in terms of the number of cars manufactured versus outcome as number of customer requests serviced and profit realized.
    Internal process of the team would have benefitted if they had clarity about the number of customer requests.
  2. Quality Check Process: Ensuring quality measure is addressed at each step is required to avoid defects from percolating from one stage to the other and eventually causing delays due to rework. Agility vs Quality
  3. Its OK to Say NO: The Sales role realized that his production team was running at full capacity and were already behind orders and could not handle additional load and hence, did not take customer orders further and said No.
  4. Importance of Preplanning & Forecasting: by Sales team would have helped the teams to prepare for the orders. Procurement team did show proactive planning and the team gave them a round of applause for the same. Each team reflected that they could have also prepared for large orders by either sharing load or resources.
  5. Orders Visibility to Production team: The Production team would have benefitted or optimized their processes if they had a visibility to the upcoming orders in queue.
  6. Minimize Burn Down Rate: Certain roles were running at full capacity and this was causing bottlenecks within the process.
    Portability of Roles – Increase Velocity: Identifying the same and mitigating controls such as 3:1 and 1:3 would have helped minimizing the burn down rate. By increasing flexibility wherein, 1 task can be done by 3 other employees and 1 employee can do 3 activities.
    Ask for Help: Many issues would be resolved if the teams simply had asked for help rather than working in silos and getting burned down
  7. Value Stream Mapping: In order to improve the process, the team required to map the process through post its, analyse current state, Ask: which steps bring no value to the customer?, which steps bring value? And then improve the process.

Recognizing these reflections is one thing but what can you do to address them?

We introduced the concept of TIMWOODS : TransportInventory, Movement, Waiting, Over Production, Over Processing, Defects and Skills

The team feels the frustration and we discuss how to avoid this. During this exercises, we practice the ANDON and KAIZEN principle. We teach the team to find the ROOT CAUSE of this situation. Then we discuss how to IMPROVE the performance by using KATA. The team defines the small steps to improve the work.

Through the day we introduced to the team lean concepts such as:

  • 5s to organize the workplace,
  • Cell Design to improve work environment
  • Timwoods 8 aspects of waste
  • 3:1 and 1:3 rule for training and increasing flexibility
  • Lean Gemba walk
  • Andon Stop the process, solve the problem, continue…
  • Voice of the Customer: What the customer asked?, Do we focus on the customer during the production process, Is the customer in our head?
  • KANO
  • Value Added activities, Value Added activities and Necessary Non Value Added activities
  • KATA: small improvement steps
  • KAIZEN continual improvement
  • Kanban: Planning the workload
  • 90% Rule: Plan workers for 90%, 10% for ‘other’ or unexpected things…

We let the team then define and test a solution and see, feel and experience the results. 1 day. No risk, no wasted costs.

Participant Feedback

In this 5 hours workshop, ALL LEAN principles came by and gave me a total picture of the essence of LEAN

It was really important to PRACTICE in this realistic environment. I realize that it’s not easy to USE the principles in your day to work. But….. DOING it will bring the real value.

For me the link from this exercise to many ITSM processes are now easy to make. I recognized lot’s of improvement opportunities.




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