Bank NZ, a subsidiary of NAB, have introduced a CI program across their business banking unit. Team leaders are responsible for driving small repeatable business improvement events that are shared via a web based, national, CI message board and acknowledged via a monthly 'celebrate the win' recognition process.
Hills Laboratory provided a very clear example of the challenges of adopting standard CI practices across multiple sites in different regions. The Christchurch facility have struggled with the earth quakes over the past 6 months, a rapidly growing business, moving sites and many new employees. Putting these conditions aside, there is still a visible and sustainable effort in 5S principals and standard work.
The Labmax program was first introduced to Hills Labratory in Hamilton, and over time has gained momentum across the businesses regional sites. Craig Radford highlighted that maintaining momentum of Labmax relied heavily on keeping it simple, relative to the individuals work place and ensuring it is very meaningful. To the credit of the Christchurch team they have remained engaged in CI, whilst dealing with some very difficult business conditions.
Synlait (synergy of milk) has been the first business I have visited where CI practices are being introduced across the entire value stream.
Farm gate practices are delivered in the business program called Insync, which has been in operation for 6 months. All staff have been presented a series of 'in house' CI lessons centred around 5S, visual management and standard work. The Insync ethos is ' think and work smarter, faster, safer' which forms the centre of their CI lessons. A very simple but effective lesson concerned setting up an electric fence in a paddock of grass. By ensuring all materials and instructions are clear they have been able to save 15 minutes doing this job. 15 minutes does not sound a lot, but when you are milking 13500 cows, producing over 1 million litres of milk annually, across 13 farms, 15 minutes can add up to a lot time spent on jobs that are not getting done.
Synlait milk manufacturing have been processing milk for 4 seasons and have experienced a rapid increase in volume, culminating in 80,000 tonnes of milk powder for the 2011-12 season. CI is imbedded in the business and is very evident with words like ' it's just the way we do things around here' referring to their daily stand up meeting boards and standard work documents.
They are having some trouble with contractors however, the shadow board below has had its tools removed, as during maintenance periods external contractors have a tendency to borrow but not return.
During the past 2 weeks I have been introduced to some amazing grape growers, machine contractors, laboratory managers, plant pathologists, statistician and business managers, that are all excelling in their fields. All of them are using CI, even if they don't know it, as all of them are concentrating on improving their business environment, measuring how they are going and celebrating their achievements. A fantastic two weeks with some cracking ideas to trial and consider on my return.