The Right Ingredients:
Keys to Succeed Implementing TPM and Lean Strategies
Just a few days
ago I received a call from Mark Hoffman that made me think a lot... Let me share it with
Given the fact
that only 10% or less of companies succeed at implementing TPM (and other
Lean Manufacturing Practices, I would add), what are the main factors
behind that success? Actually, Mark Hoffman is only interested on TPM, but
my experience has shown me that it applies to all of the other practices
What a good
implementers want our projects to be a success. So, what are the factors
that really help this to happen? We will also ask the opposite
question: What are the factors that keep TPM (and other lean projects)
support is perhaps the concrete factor in the teams with good
results. Some other positive factors will be:
at all levels of the organization Let us remember: TPM and Lean Manufacturing disciplines, while technical, are
more cultural. Everyone in the organization must receive a lot of information on the new culture. This awareness is
crucial to get all the people tuned at the same frequency.
and Mission Statements should include concepts like:
Our people are the single most valuable asset in the company.
All employees are our associates, or... are responsible for our success, etc.
All other actions will have to support such statements.
Management must be ready to complete the move all the way from the old image of
"power from authority" to "respect and admiration from
Job descriptions (at least for new hires)
should also be adjusted to reflect the new culture.
A good PM
program already in place: It is necessary to have a good Preventive
Maintenance program in place, so that we count on clear identification
of each piece of equipment and have some history. Also helpful
is any documentation that we find available on the
performance of each machine and the chronic failures or problems.
information about equipment performance: To begin a project, we research all possible information
about the actual, expected and designed performance of it. Some of this may be
documented in work orders. I strongly recommend establishing a very
good communication with the "owners".
That is the operator
of the machine, the area supervisor(s) and/or manager(s).
communication skills of the TPM coordinator or Continuous Improvement
Manager: This is the key person in the success of the program implementation.
The coordinator is in charge of creating a good image for the new
philosophies. His/her mission is not only to train the implementer
teams, but also to educate everyone else in the plant. He/she, has to become
an expert in this culture and explain it to anyone who wants to
listen. He/she must develop a creative broadcasting of the
person(s) assigned to those tasks: The lean
philosophies require continual dedication and training. This person
will have to attend a minimum of one seminar each year, (more than one
if possible). Many companies fail when they decide to just split the time of someone
who is already in charge of some other assignment or task.
UP: Once a project is delivered back to the "owners", we must
be aware that TPM has just begun for that particular machine or
system. The other 99% of the success will depend on the permanent
communication that the coordinator establishes with the operators. We
must make it clear that we are there to listen to them, they ARE our
customers. The few weeks following a project will be
crucial in terms of creative improvements to the machine and its area.
This follow up builds up the confidence that our
customers feel towards the project and the prestige of the program in
Passion! Indeed this and most other activities must be supported by a
passionate belief and dedication in order to really succeed.
From the previous
lines we can also define some of the obstacles that the project finds
just in the lack of support, dedication or discipline. Some other factors
can also undermine the program:
management: We have found that middle managers, supervisors, even
some lead people, feel threatened in their positions by these changes.
Again this is a matter of culture shift. These people must be
shown the advantages of sharing their knowledge and
responsibility with the production operators.
Maintenance Technicians: For years, maintenance has been conceptualized as a repairing force.
Now we must focus on maintaining the equipment in normal
operating conditions thus preventing failure. Many of the
technicians feel that keeping some technical secrets makes them more
valuable or their jobs more secure. This is not true. Under the
new way of conducting business, the more the operators get involved in
the maintenance tasks, the better the technicians can apply their
expertise to higher level operations. These include: equipment re-engineering,
predictive maintenance, area re-designs, installation optimization, and facilities
Production / Mfg. / Engineering: Must be made clear that TPM or other of these disciplines aren't an
extra burden on production, manufacturing or engineering, but are
instead, ways to ease the accomplishment
of their own goals.
As we can see,
the success of any lean implementation is for the most part a Common Sense
application. Devote the time and effort to build the new culture and the
results will show up immediately and at long term...