注册 登录  
 加关注
   显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭

论老子

道,领导也。领导必需要不断呼唤,教导下属以及以身作则。下属的过和错皆因领导懒惰。

 
 
 

日志

 
 

Chapter 6: Rework  

2012-06-24 12:42:05|  分类: Buffer Mentality |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

On his fourth day in Bintan, that was on May 22, 2008, John Zeneski and I had just concluded a mutual sharing session on the topic, Operating Equipment Efficiency. During this session, I explained the difficulties in determining the Operating Efficiency of a production cell.

The Operating Equipment Efficiency of individual pieces of equipment within a production cell no longer applies. It is the Operating Equipment Efficiency of the entire production cell that is the determining factor for the effective capacity.

At the end of the sharing sessions, John came to a realization that determining the Operating Equipment Efficiency is not as simple as the model explained in the lean expert workshop. John was in awe of my practicality in the application of lean production techniques.

John asked, “Eric, can you enlighten me how you can manage a rework center? Rework occurs as a single step at an individual workstation. Of course, there could be many similar rework stations. I had tried to apply all the lean production techniques to the rework centers. However, none of them seems to apply here.

A few months ago, I was put in-charge of turning around a rework center. It has been holding more than US$18 million worth of units under repair for months. Despite several attempts, I was not successful in reducing or abating the ballooning inventory.”

I replied, “You got the right person to brain-storm with to figure out how best to manage the operations of a rework center. Before I share my thoughts, can you share some of the key problems that you find uncontrollable?”

John explained, “First, the rate of fresh units that failed at the production line did not decrease but grew gradually over time. It seems the production personnel could not control the quality of these units which were recently released from the Research & Development department.”

Second, a common practice among the rework technicians is to rework the fresh units coming off the production line. Most of these units are much easier to diagnose and repair. At the same time, the engineers want to know the root cause of the failure.

By adopting this practice, it was generally believed that this is the fastest way to reduce the inventory of rework units. If the technicians were to work on the hard-core failure units, they could only repair a much lesser number of units of rework per day.”

These two statements were sufficient for me to grasp the critical issues that constrained the performance of the rework centers. I said, “John, the problem lies with allowing the production test operators to remove the rework units immediately to the rework center. You should instruct the test operators to re-flow the first-time failed units back into the production line.

Why do I suggest so?

By forcing the re-flow of the failed units into the production line, the most important impact upon the production line is its output will be proportionately reduced. When the production output fails to meet the planned output number, the manager who is in-charge of the rework center will be forced to look into the reason(s) causing the short-fall in the daily output quantity. He is forced to seek the root cause(s) on why the centre is not able to meet the day’s targeted output.

With his prompt findings, he would approach the relevant party to pressure them for immediate solutions. If the relevant party fails to address the problem(s) quick enough, the manager of the production center will continue to miss his daily output target. This is tantamount to placing needles on his seat.”

John interrupted, “Eric, wait a minute, do you mean the creation of a rework center is a wrong move?”

“No, John. This situation is not that straight-forward. The crux of the matter is not whether to set up a rework center or not.

First, complicated failures definitely need highly skilled technicians to trouble-shoot, diagnose the failure, and to repair them. Simple rework or false failure units would be better re-introduced into the production line and reworked at the production centre.

Second, the main point of my discussion is not about the technical issue of the rework units. I want to convey to you how to spot a widespread form of buffer mentality.

When all the failed units are automatically moved to the rework center, nobody ever wants to know the root cause(s) of these units that are being pushed into the pile of rework units. The rework center has effectively become a buffer that shields the engineers and production folks from analyzing the root cause of the failed units immediately when they occur.

You might also want to say that the manager for the rework center was under pressure from the rest of the managers or R&D engineers to buffer them from the need to attend to the mushrooming failure rates, and to identify the root causes of these failures.

Pushing all the defective units immediately to the rework center is pure buffer mentality.”

“Wait a minute,” said John, “I have just completed the lean expert workshop. It does not mention anything about buffer mentality. I cannot understand how buffer mentality is related to lean culture.”

“Well, as far I understand the lean production system as taught in America and outside Japan probably missed out a very important point: the principle behind the Toyota Production System is to surface wastes. The Toyota Production system drives every employee to work towards eliminating all the 7 different kind of wastes. Buffer mentality is tabooed in Toyota right from the CEO to the operators at the shop floor and suppliers alike.

Buffer mentality is the worst kind of organizational behavior and it is the reason why most companies are not able to mimic Toyota’s success. Almost all of the companies outside Japan are managed by managers who love to buffer themselves without knowing its disastrous consequences.

Let’s come back to this simple example of the rework center. Over here in Bintan, all the 19 production cells have an E-tech workstation where the failed units are sent for trouble-shooting, diagnosis and repair.

John, let’s adjourn the meeting for lunch. I will invite an E-tech technician to join us tomorrow afternoon for a discussion on how to set up a management report. I believe very few if there is any rework center ever uses a management report to manage the performance of the rework center.

I will use this example to share with you how a well designed management report surfaces problems whenever they arise. This is called the magnifying glass effect. If such a report is designed with a buffer mentality, it covers up problems instead. This is called an eye-mask effect, instead.”

John looked at his watch and agreed it was time for lunch. He stood up and said, “Eric, I want to hear you out. Management reporting is widely used in every American company. I would like to listen to how you differentiate a good management report from a poor one?”

I smiled at John and said, “John. my former company, NatSteel Ltd spent S$1.5 million to learn this skill from an American management consulting company, Alexander Proudfoot (now Philip Crossby). You are very fortunate. You learn it for free.”

The next day, I invited Afkar, the E-tech technician from Kansas line #4 to the meeting together with John Zeneski, Asep, Matthew Ong and Steven Tan.

I started the meeting by welcoming Afkar, the E-tech technician to the meeting. I said, “Afkar, thank you for joining us in this meeting. Do you know why you have been invited to this meeting?”

“I don’t know,” replied Afkar.

I explained, “Today my topic of discussion is to design a management report for the E-tech station. Does anyone here know what a management report is?”

John volunteered to share his thought. He explained, “Top management uses management reports to manage the company’s performance. In this report, several key management indicators are reviewed monthly. These key management indicators are usually cascaded to the next level of management who may make use of it in their monthly or weekly reviews. This goes all the way down to the front-line supervisors.”

“Thank you, John. This is precisely how most companies make use of the management reports. It is top-down. However, I would like to share with you a slightly different perspective of how management report should be designed. Would you like to hear my opinion?”

“Yes, we want to hear your opinion. Since you specially arranged for this discussion, there must be some learning points,” said John.

I asked, “Afkar, who fights in a war? Is it the general or the soldiers?”

“How can a general fights alone and win a war? Of course the soldiers fight the war. The soldiers win the war for him,” explained Afkar.

“Assuming the CEO is the general and the managers are his colonels, majors and lieutenants. Based on that line of thought, do you think it is more important to develop a management report for the operators than for the managers?”

“Management report must be for management team. How can it be for the operators?” said Steven Tan.

“You are probably half right. Let me put my argument from a different perspective. Afkar needs to manage his work load and resolve the problems that occur at this work station. Doesn’t he need some form of a management report?” I asked.

The meeting room was dead silent for several minutes. Perhaps, this was a mind-boggling question. Perhaps, nobody had ever thought about it from this perspective.

I continued with my explanation. “First, Afkar needs to know his output for the day, namely the number of units diagnosed or repaired. I can classify these rectifications either as problem identified, problem not identified or problem solved.

He too, needs to count the number of failed units sent over to his E-tech station for diagnosis. After deducting the number of units repaired, the difference is the balance quantity remaining at the E-Tech station as Work-in-Progess (WIP).

There is a need to categorize the WIP quantity by the failure types for each unit held at the E-Tech workstation. For example, wrong parts, solder problem, open circuit, reversed component, etc.

Depending on the nature of work done on the rework units, we should compute his productivity for the day. First, the rework can essentially be segregated into two categories. One, time spent to diagnose the failed units. Two, time spent to repair the failed units.”

“How do you measure the productivity?” interrupted Matthew Ong.

“Sorry, Matthew. This discussion is scheduled for two hours. I am afraid I am not able to cover how the productivity is computed during this session. The objective of this discussion is to outline the major key performance indicators that go into the management report to be used by the E-Tech technician. Essentially, he is equivalent to a front-line soldier,” I apologized for not being able to explain this topic at this juncture.

“Okay. We can discuss this subject later,” said Matthew.

“Thank for your kind understanding,” and I asked, “What other performance indicators do you want to use to measure Afkar’s performance?”

“The quality of his work?” said Steven.

“Yes, units returned from customers are a good indicator of his workmanship,” I agreed, “But not all units returned by the customers are valid.”

“Agreed,” said Asep Supriyatna.

I further asked the audience, “Do you think there is a need for Afkar to seek help from the engineering or procurement department?”

“This is the most important missing element so far. It seems like nobody is giving timely attention or support to the E-Tech technician,” said Matthew.

I concurred, “Good. We will add a section called ‘Support’. We want to bring this to the attention of everybody; Afkar should not be left to do his work alone. He needs support.”

“What about having a Rolling Action Item List (RAIL)? This will assist Afkar to follow up on who is responsible for an action item and when an action is due,” suggested John.

“Yes, the RAIL spreadsheet can be appended to the Management Report. It should be up-to-date to reflect the most current status,” I agreed with John.

“What about the ageing report?” asked Asep.

“This can be added at the end of the report. Perhaps, this is optional. It all depends on the WIP level and the effectiveness of completion and closure of the action items in the RAIL spreadsheet,” I explained.

      Figure 6-1: A sample Management Report for the E-tech technician


 

 “I think I have designed the full management report for Afkar. John, do you think this report is designed with buffer mentality?”

“This is a good question. Let me think over it for a few minutes,” said John.

Three minutes later, John explained, “I believe this management report is designed without buffer mentality in mind. Great job, Eric. Indeed, you have designed an excellent management report from scratch.”

“Thank you, John. This could be a good management report for the rework technicians designed with no buffer mentality. However, when Afkar’s supervisor was to compile from several E-Tech technicians’ reports submitted to him, he may design a totally different management report.

Do you think he would design it without buffer mentality in mind? As far as I know, most supervisors want his management report to show that he is doing fine when in fact he might not. These types of management reports is said to be in-built with buffer mentality. As the management report rolls up the hierarchy and reaches the CEO, it can only get worse.”

Exclaimed John, “Now I know why most of us do not bother much with the results reported in the management reports. We hardly identify there is a need to take action to resolve an issue. It actually did not surface an underlying problem at all.”

I smiled and continued with my explanation, “It is common place for most of the management reports to be designed with buffer mentality in mind. Very few people will question how a management report is designed, especially the purpose of each of its indicators.

Is the management report designed with buffer mentality in mind or with zero buffer mentality? 

To my understanding, most lean workshops do not teach the importance of eliminating buffer mentality. This is the reason why you do not question the presence of buffer mentality in the management reports. Until I asked you the question, you had not thought about it.

Let us make an analogy. The principle behind the Toyota Production System is to surface problems so that they are acted on immediately and not being swept under the carpet. This is the holy goal that all lean production systems are supposed to achieve.

Likewise, a good management reporting system must surface problems and must promptly draw the attention of the management team to act on them immediately.

Of course a management report that was built with buffer mentality in mind would have swept most of the problems under the carpet.”

“Eric, you are simply marvelous. Nobody had ever put two totally different tools together like you did. A Japanese philosophy behind the hughly successful Toyota Production system and the American-developed management reporting system; a tool adapted from the concept of Management By Objective that originates from the Harvard Business School,” explained John in total admiration.

“But back here in Bintan, Samuel is very proud of his persistent drive to push for a pigeon-hole kind of rack that keeps track of the E-tech WIP with colorful tapes that identify the age of the WIP. Mind you, each rack can hold more than 25 units. That is about 5-day worth of WIP.”

“Anything wrong with that, Eric?” asked Asep.

“If Sam were to stand at the front-end of the line and see the status of the E-tech WIP from afar and walks off soon after without asking why the WIP is there, do you think anybody cares to reduce the E-tech WIP to zero?

He is replacing the management report that we had discussed just now with this buffer mentality that ‘I know the E-tech WIP status at the back of my finger tip. It is alright. Everything is within my control.’

Well, within control means what? Control the WIP status or control the entire rework operations in getting all the units repaired as soon as possible?”

John concurred and sighed, “Now I know why I failed in my last job when I was running the rework center.

First, I did not have a management report like we discussed now. It is a really useful tool to engage the rework operators to manage themselves. I did not know that is required to ensure all the operators are focus on reducing the WIP.

Second, all along I was merely trracking the status diligently everyday but failed to focus on zooming down to get the support to resolve the problems faced by the rework operators. Simply because without a detail management report such as this one, I could not pull in all the other supporting functions to be fully committed to help run down the rework WIP.

As a manager of this rework center, I have failed myself. I must admit I am incapable.”

I summed up the discussion with this note, “It is for the benefit of all Honeywell sites to learn this management reporting technique. But this is unlikely to be the case. Unless I managed to implement it in Bintan successfully, I can’t present it as a success story to share with all the other sites.”

John said, “Eric, you must try to push for the implementation of such a useful tool. You walk the talk. You lead us.”

I just smiled and called the meeting to an end.

Five months later, none of the E-tech technician implemented it despite I had repeatedly asked the operations manager, Woon Kit to pick one or two technicians to implement the management reporting system. He merely replied to me he had already assigned 3 technicians to implement it.

Of course, he was paying me lip-services. Back in his mind, he must implement the E-tech WIP rack shown below. This is what Samuel wanted. Samuel rejected the implementation of the management reporting system because he knows if it is successfully implemented to monitor the performance of the E-tech operations it will be implemented across all the other operations.

Then all of a sudden, every operation shows up as highly inefficient and that he had been managing the entire plant poorly.          

 Figure 6-2: E-tech WIP in Bintan

  评论这张
 
阅读(223)| 评论(0)
推荐

历史上的今天

在LOFTER的更多文章

评论

<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

页脚

网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2017