Measure to know what to improve in order to realize growth to fulfil customer demand.
In the past 5 years, the company from Emmeloord has grown from nearly 20 to 75 employees and, after two major renovations, now has a production area of 750 m² and a sales and service office in Germany. An impressive growth that necessitates the optimization of processes. Where previously everyone was aware of every part of the process, now work is done in departments. Knowledge and updates must be recorded. The goal remains to be able to develop and deliver new soil drilling machines with the same passion and innovative strength. On time and with the same exceptional quality.
Why 5S / CI at Conrad Stanen?
“Just like 5S / CI Company, we take the people on the floor as a basis. We build our processes from there. The organization is formed bottom-up, with the direct advantage that working methods are immediately improved and work motivation is strengthened,” says Gert-Jan Karman, General Manager of Conrad.
Conrad asked 5S-Company and CI-Company for help to continuously optimize efficiency and at the same time to keep focus on the core business. The objective: minimizing waste and – with that – the lead time. A wonderful challenge in the dynamic world of mechanical engineering, which we are willing to improve!
The implementation of the CI rollout
The implementation at Conrad consists of 2 phases. The measurement process and the recording of the current processes and the determination and roll-out of the necessary ingredients to achieve the goals with the use of the right lean tools. Phase 1 has been completed. Together with the Team Leader and Gert-Jan Karman, we looked at how the processes were progressing at that time. What are the problems and waste that the workplace encounters? How do we continue to grow, guarantee continuity and how do we keep up with market demand? After each measurement, the biggest bottlenecks were tackled, analyzed and included in the action plan for the complete improvement process.
“CI Company uses a unique and practice-oriented method for this in which everyone on the shop floor is involved,” says Karman. “We were included in the updates every week and the teams were trained in identifying and reporting waste at every level in the process. The results of the measurements have now been presented to the team and the management and we have set to work ourselves with the quick-win insights.”
Measure to improve at Conrad Stanen
“Phase 1 has given us insight into how we can improve things. It also became clear that we needed more knowledge in certain areas, which meant targeted internal training. The great thing is that our knowledge and improvement processes are now synchronous,” says Gert-Jan Karman. “Together with 5S/CI we are working on the second phase: devising and implementing improvements, new measures and the choice of targeted lean tools to help with this. We focus on three topics: eliminating rework, deadline & milestone planning, and training & implementation. This is how we determine step by step the way work is carried out and workplace organization (5S).”
The big challenge according to Conrad? “Involving the people on the workplace! They must themselves put forward the improvement opportunities, be aware that they can influence the process. The improvements must then be visible and tangible for the people in the process. Without that positive support from the team it is impossible to improve. That is why it is nice to see how CI-Company supports this. In particular, accessibility, being able to level at every level within the organization and being able to think and act in a practical way are invaluable. You have to be a chameleon to master all those parts, and that proves to be CI-Company.”
Conrad, thank you for your trust! Are you curious about the results of phase 2 and the next steps in this lean journey? Then keep an eye on us.