Although this company was seeing improvement in some of its production
processes, as well as cost savings and increased output-they had a variety
of other problems where they could not determine the root causes and
therefore could find long-term solutions. They hired HMC
to help them identify the causes of their production variations and
implement a fix that would further increase production efficiency and
achieve sustainable improvements.
The first step HMC took was to identify
variations in output by running a detailed diagnostic on the entire
production process. Every activity was measured and recorded, paying
particular attention to documenting problems and inconsistencies on
the line, no matter how small or trivial they seemed. This process continued
for several weeks, giving the HMC team
an immense amount of valuable information with which to assess the production
process and the inter-relationships between numerous production variables.
The diagnostic uncovered the major sources of the factory's problems
and helped HMC identify key target areas
for improvement. It also helped to identify the causes of variation
in outputs. By putting the production line "under the microscope,"
the team was able to get a sense of the entire manufacturing process.
HMC took the process
even further by reviewing maintenance schedules, repair and cleaning
procedures, and even training. The procedures that the HMC
team devised and implemented at Cigarrera Bigott have been aggregated
into a list of "Ten Commandments" for production personnel,
that everyone now adheres to.
Crucial to the success of the project was the revamping
of the companies production training programs. Supervisors are now involved
in employee training, which is helping them to better understand the
manufacturing processes and personnel. It is also enabling them to incorporate
standardized training on machine operations. This has had a great impact
on reducing production variations.
The work that was done with Cigarrera Bigott led to increased
outputs and efficiency improvements of 10-12%. Working directly
with the Bigott staff, HMC was able to
reduce cycle times and increase the yield, while facilitating a philosophical
change on the factory floor enabling shifts to work together
to solve problems. Cigarrera Bigott management particularly liked the
fact that the HMC team worked together
with their personnel and stayed on the factory floor until the problems
were successfully resolved.
The HMC team went on
to train the Cigarrera Bigott staff on the processes and methodologies
that were implemented so that the results would be sustainable and transferable.
These improvements can now be incorporated into other production facilities
as desired. HMC not only provided added
value to this client, but also delivered measurable results, by changing
the technologies and human systems so that changes can be maintained
long-term. For Cigarrera Bigott, the improvements were seen directly
in the bottom line!