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nies that fall
short is the
result of not
having a de-
all about improving the business. On the
learning line side of this process, understanding the current state is key.
At Chrysler, the company’s top 40 executives participated on the shop floor,
improving every part of the business as
part of a one-week Kaizen blitz. Chrysler
president Bob Lutz was on the shop floor
for five days, improving the brake process
on the production line. He came up with a
prototype for line workers to get parts to
vehicles with less walking.
Over the years in implementing the five-phase approach, we have benchmarked top companies
such as Danaher, Denso, Ford, Honda,
Chrysler and Mercedes.
At Ford, for example, John Fleming, the recently retired executive vice president of global manufacturing and labor affairs, taught the
production principles of the program.
Ford is a learning organization. All op-
erations reviews on the shop floor are based
on their production system and balanced
score card (red, yellow, green) SQDCPEM
Learning Boards. Top management con-
ducts shop floor assessments, and each
corporate and shop floor subject matter
expert assesses operations. Each principal
has a five-year strategy on shop floor SQD-
CPEM. Ongoing system assessments and
team leaders run the shop floor, problem
solving, team boards, and startup meet-
ings. Supervisors coach team leaders.
The evidence of the importance and impact of having alignment around a standard operating system is clear. Fiat Chrysler provides another example of what can
Since a world class manufacturing program was implemented at Fiat Chyrsler in
North America in 2009, more than 2.4 million improvement suggestions have been
submitted and approved. The company’s
target was to save about $400 million in
North America in 2015. The company conducted 56,307 Total Kaizen workshops,
which produced an annual savings of $305
million, and a FTC (First Time Capability)
13.2 improvement, compared with 2009.
The bottom line for any manufacturing
company is that if your company implements an operating system as outlined, the
odds are that next-generation leadership
will be prepared to succeed. Without one,
the likelihood is that future leaders will fail.
“It is not enough for leaders to understand
the concept of their production system, they
must understand to the point that they can
teach and coach,” says Fleming. “The ‘why’,
the ‘what’, and the ‘how’ is key so that teams
understand just how important the production system is. This is the only way in our extremely competitive world to have sustainable
success and develop a culture of continuous
Ford’s Production System
seven areas of