Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) – A critical, yet often neglected step in business efficiency improvement.

A critical, yet often neglected step in business efficiency improvement, is the final step – standardising the improvement. Standardising the improvement ensures it is sustained and prevents it from reverting to former, inefficient practices.

Your business systems are your assets – they are the gears and levers of your business. If these assets aren’t captured and recorded, then they don’t physically exist. They only exist in the minds of you and your employees, which leaves the question of how many (if any) of your employees understand the correct version? It’s easy to see how this can become a problem, especially if a key employee departs your business.

What is the value of your business to a buyer if these systems are not standardised and are not recorded?

You need to protect your investment in people and systems by:

  • Having all your SOPs documented, up-to-date and complete
  • Maintaining your SOPs and changing them to reflect new procedures, systems, circumstances and regulatory requirements
  • Ensuring your staff have the knowledge to perform their tasks using best practice

Download our Free PDF to learn more about the Value Pyramid and improving your SOPs.

Contact us to find out how we can implement efficiency tools to help you achieve your business improvement goals.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Statistical Process Characterisation & Control (SPC) is a method of monitoring a process during its operation in order to control the quality of the products being produced, as opposed to relying on post-production inspection.

SPC involves gathering information about the product, or the process itself, on a near real-time basis. This enables the operator to take immediate action on the process if required. The approach helps identify unique causes of variation and other non-normal processing conditions, thus bringing the process under statistical control and reducing variation.

Vative runs SPC programs to introduce participants to phases of process characterisation using common statistical techniques and problem-solving methodologies.

The Statistical Process Characterisation & Control (SPC) Program covers the following:

  • Developing a Histogram and checking for normality
  • Calculating Standard Deviation, Mean Cp and Cpk to quantify the ability of the process, in order to respond to customer specifications
  • Developing Pareto Diagrams, Cause & Effect Diagrams and Multi-Vari Charts for process optimisation
  • Developing Variable and Attribute Control Charts for process monitoring

Download our Free PDF to learn more about Statistical Process Control.

Contact us to find out how we can implement Statistical Process Control to help you achieve your business improvement goals.

Statistical Process Control

What are Time & Motion Studies and how can they help my workplace?

Vative Time & Motion Studies will provide your business with an overview of value adding processes and how they are balanced between process steps. Time & Motion Studies are used to improve processes including Quick Change Over (SMED) and Standard Work.

Using Lean techniques, we teach your team about:

  • The importance of improving change over times
  • Details of change over including internal/external time, preparation and after tasks
  • Efficient sequencing of the change over
  • Identifying waste in the current process
  • Effectively implementing systems to eliminate waste
  • Monitoring the performance of the change over
  • Continuing the process for other types of change overs
  • Quick Change Over, Standard Work and Labour Balancing information

To learn more about how a basic time study operates, download our free PDF.

Contact us to find out how we can implement Lean techniques to help you achieve your business improvement goals.

Time & Motion Studies

What is Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and how will it help my workplace?

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a maintenance program which involves a newly defined concept for maintaining plants and equipment. The aim of TPM is to increase production while concurrently increasing employee morale and job satisfaction. TPM considers maintenance as a vital aspect of the business, ensuring it is no longer regarded as a non-profit activity. Downtime for maintenance is scheduled as a part of the manufacturing day and, in some cases, as an integral part of the manufacturing process. The goal is to keep emergency and unscheduled maintenance to a minimum.

There are 7 steps to implement Total Productive Maintenance, which provide a structured methodology to reduce your machine waste. As you implement TPM, you should see an improvement in your Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE):

  1. Perform initial machine cleaning and inspection
  2. Repair machine defects and leaks
  3. Develop Operator and Maintenance PM schedules
  4. Productive Maintenance activity performed by the Operator
  5. Productive Maintenance activity performed by the Maintenance Personnel
  6. Build 5S system for all machines
  7. Monitor OEE and set improving goals & actions

Download our Free PDF to learn more about Total Productive Maintenance (TPM).

Contact us to find out how we can implement Statistical Process Control to help you achieve your business improvement goals.

Total Productivity Maintenance (TPM)

When the Value Stream Mapping (VSM) has been completed, and a list of kaizen (Continuous Improvement) opportunities are developed, the lean practitioner then re-designs the process and creates a Value Stream Design (VSD) which depicts the future state of the process, after all kaizen opportunities are implemented.

Without a proper plan, lean tools can be implemented sporadically. While fantastic projects might be achieved, you are at risk of developing “islands of excellence” – while materials and information may flow quickly thorough these areas, it may grind to a halt waiting for the next process. The result can be a business that doesn’t flow any better than before.

Running an efficient business first requires understanding your current state.

If you need help understanding your current inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement, contact a Vative Lean practitioner about developing a Value Stream Map (VSM) of your business system.

Value Stream Mapping (VSM)

What is Lean Six Sigma?

The term is derived from a collaboration of two proven business optimisation methodologies – ‘Lean’ and ‘Six Sigma.’

Lean and Six Sigma are business optimisation systems that have been used by successful Japanese, American and German companies such as Toyota, Motorola and Bosch. Lean systems educate people about process efficiency and instil a culture in the workplace that drives towards an overall growth strategy in flexibility, perfect quality, transparency, standardisation, empowering teams and Continuous Improvement. This helps your business become efficient by reducing wasted efforts and focusing on value added activities.

Six Sigma is fundamentally a business management strategy, developed originally by Motorola that is gaining worldwide attention and is being embraced by all types of organisations for its remarkable success in improving business process efficiency. Originally developed to improve manufacturing systems, for the purpose of reducing process variation and consequently reducing defects to near perfection. Since then, Six Sigma has subsequently been extended, in conjunction with Lean, for any process from manufacturing to transactional, and from product to service.

Employees who undertake Lean Six Sigma training and who achieve Lean Six Sigma Green and Black Belt status are well sought after by many organisations for their problem-solving prowess and are highly respected in all business sectors.

According to the Six Sigma Academy, Black Belts save companies approximately $230,000 per project and can complete 4 to 6 projects per year. General Electric (GE), one of the most successful companies implementing Six Sigma, has estimated benefits in the order of $10 billion during the first five years of implementation. GE first began Six Sigma in 1995 after Motorola and Allied Signal blazed the Six Sigma trail. Since then, thousands of companies around the world have discovered far-reaching benefits of Six Sigma.

What are the Benefits of Lean Six Sigma?

Those organisations that implement Lean Six Sigma correctly achieve significant benefits that contribute to competitive advantage and to changing the culture in an organisation from reactive problem solving to proactive problem prevention.

More specifically, the proven benefits include:

For the Organisation:

  • Bottom line cost savings (5 per cent – 20 per cent of turnover per annum)
  • Improved quality of product or service as perceived by the customer (internal and external customers)
  • Reduction in process cycle times
  • Development of staff skills and leadership
  • Common language throughout the organisation
  • World class standard

For the Individual:

  • Improved knowledge and skills
  • Ability to apply a wide range of tools & techniques
  • A status that is recognised worldwide

Contact us to find out how we can implement Lean Six Sigma to help you achieve your business improvement goals.

Lean Six Sigma