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Report on Creating Pull for Flexibility Workshop

Piyush 2014-09-15

Workshop on Creating Pull for Flexibility held on 13th September, 2014

The sixth session of the Lean Leadership Workshop on Creating Pull for Flexibility was held at Hotel Sagar Plaza on 13th September, 2014. The Workshop was attended by participants from Kalyani Forge, RSB Transmission, Alfa Laval India Ltd and 3MIndia Ltd.

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Mr Anup Gandhi, Principal Practitioner took the Workshop in four sessions. The participants were distributed Handbooks consisting reading material and sheets to work out the exercises.

The program was well organized by Vedzen Institute for the benefit of Lean Leaders in Industries waiting to take a big leap into the Leadership. The workshop mainly focused on understanding how the shop floor currently operates and how Pull systems can be created across the manufacturing flow! It also gave them an insight to the new paradigm that would increase their capabilities to make changes happen across functional and departmental boundaries.

In the First session, Mr. Gandhi discussed the conventional Push systems of production. He interacted with the participants and shared his experience to introduce a simple, standardized method so that the organizations could reduce waste.

He explained that in traditional manufacturing set-ups produced parts or sub assemblies are pushed to the next level irrespective of the demand from the downstream processes leading to large inventories. Anyhow the Customers want their suppliers to be flexible enough to adjust deliveries and quantities to meet their changing needs. Thus organizations face rising cost, increasing competition and adopt planning systems like MRP, ERP, SAP etc. so as to combat these problems and to grow their businesses. The participants shared their experiences and convincingly agreed that still, firefighting happens. The advantages and disadvantages of such production systems were also discussed.

The Second Session began with a Simulation Game to explain the concepts of Pull Production. The full Value Stream was recreated in a playful manner to resemble a manufacturing line. Then different departments were designated and roles were defined to involve the participants in the production process. The Game was played in three rounds. The constraints put in the game were similar to what the day to day operations at any manufacturing facility would look like.

In the first round, the participants could not produce the requirement and lost several orders to the competitor. They also lost many requirements during Quality inspection and also due to improper planning. For the second round, the participants took the learning and then planned. They discussed the analytical steps, gathered data and arrived at decision points like eliminating sources of defects and delays, identifying bottlenecks, strengthening the processes to produce only valueOne Piece flow etc. It was evident from the results that Organizations overproduce because material is dump on the assembly line.

After having improved their planning, the participants played the second round of the game. They could produce the requirement but they still had to lose much business. Hence Mr. Gandhi explained the concepts of Pull Production. The key variables in Pull systems like Lead time and demand, relationships of Takt time and Batch Size were explained to design better and more effective production systems. The participants were given options and rationale to develop matching production system capability to customer demand. An analysis was done to know which finished goods to stock and which to manufacture. Further they were taught the withdrawal and signal Kanban and selecting Pacemaker operation from which production pull and replenishment signals are calculated.

The Third Session began with playing the third round of the game, the participants were asked to improve the process by applying the concept of Pull Production. The results were impressive and the participants succeeded in creating a Pull in the production that was flexible enough to produce a cost effective, high quality product with on time delivery to the customers. Everybody noted the learning and Mr. Gandhi stressed on achieving greater levels of productivity and improved key operational metrics.

At the end of the session the participants were asked to take a quiz to determine their understanding of the session and everybody was able to answer them.

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Following are the important feature of the Workshop:

  1. The participants could define the creation of Pull in the Production system.
  2. All of the participants committed to implement “Creating Pull for Flexibility” in their organization.
  3. Though a few of them were new to the concepts of Lean – Kaizen, they asked relevant questions and got their answers.
  4. The participants of the Workshop will now be presenting a Case Study based on the exercises given on the tool.
  5. At a very nominal cost we will visit these companies to help them in implementation of the tool thus virtually closing the loop.
  6. The participants went back confident and appreciated the concepts they learned in the sessions through Examples and Case Studies.

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