Thursday, February 28, 2019 Fabio Mazza, Operation Director of Spina, brought the company’s experience to the workshop dedicated to SMEs “Non sono cose da Grandi: I vantaggi della Lean Organization per le PMI” (“These are not grown-up stuff: the advantages of the Lean Organization for SMEs”) organized by Assolombarda
As part of an initiative to disseminate best practices among the associated SMEs, Assolombarda – the association of industrial player of Milan, Lodi and Monza Brianza – has proposed us to present our testimony regarding the company’s growth path linked to the development of a Lean and management support systems implemented in the last few years.
Certified ISO 9001 since 2011, Spina realized that it was necessary to streamline the main processes regarding the core activities in order to grow. The approach towards a lean organization was made possible thanks to the strong sponsorship of the management oriented towards a further improvement, who was able to successfully transmit to the employees the winning choice of believing in the lean organization approach. Involving all employees as a team and make them aware that their contribution is important and is valued as such has always been the secret of Spina.
Adopting a lean approach means thinking in a perspective of continuous improvement of processes and products according to an iterative management method, also known as the Deming Cycle. This approach is based on a strict action planning leading every action, followed by data analysis on existing processes to understand if it is necessary to review the individual phases. This method pursues a concrete philosophy that aims at achieving the highest quality through the interaction between research, design, testing, production and sales.
The approach towards a lean organization has led to the introduction of an ERP management system to support purchasing, sales and logistics processes, which has allowed to centralize information, create KPIs for process analysis and reduce time and resources. It has drastically reduced times in terms of order fulfillment and has allowed to double the number of closed offers in a year. The ERP system also allows the exchange of complete production data, work orders, manufactured pieces and all the qualitative parameters by creating an effective traceability on the lots produced.
By using the Spaghetti Chart mapping to visualize the physical flows of materials, people and documents, we have highlighted all the movements made, the meters – or sometimes the kilometers – traveled during the production cycle and the movements relative to offices and warehouses. The results of the analysis led us to identify a more functional re-organization of spaces and lay-out of goods kept in our warehouses to reduce the time required to move the semi-finished and finished products. In the same way, we re-thought the layout of the offices based on the interactions between areas in order to favor the work of inter functional groups and between team leaders and their collaborators.
Thus, concludes his speech Fabio Mazza: “It is extremely important not to stop and believe that you reached all your goals, but to analyze the data collected to move towards better control and greater quality. Sometimes a “Let’s try” is better than a “We’ve always done this way”.