The philosophy of Lean Thinking
"The nature of a company is determined by the needs of its consumers, which are fulfilled when a product or service is purchased. Customer satisfaction is the mission and purpose of every company. The answer to the question what our business is can only be found by looking at it from the outside, from the perspective of the buyer and the market." – Peter Drucker
"All we are doing is looking at the time line, from the moment the customer gives us an order to the point when we collect the cash. And we are reducing the time line by reducing the non-value adding wastes." - Taiichi Ōno
The ideas contained in the above-cited quote are the pillars of our company’s activity. The key to success is to look at the problem from the perspective of the purchasers of our Clients’ products, in order to help them notice and effectively eliminate the loss of:
When you realise how much your company loses each day of production, you will understand how much you can gain thanks to our activity. This is where Lean Thinking begins.
The manner of IMPLEMENTATION
1. Precise determination of the business objective
This is a crucial phase. It’s not us but the Client who determines in which area they require support and what effect is required.
Examples of business objectives:
2. Analysis of the current situation
The analysis of the current situation is the longest phase. We perform a series of audits:
3. Determining the target state and ways to achieve it
The analysis results in DETERMINING THE TARGET. The target state assumes what level should be achieved by all the components of a given business objective, with respect to the current situation.
THE WAY OF ACHIEVING THE TARGET STATE includes:
IMPLEMENTATION is carried out efficiently thanks to two factors:
5. Verification of the stability of results obtained
PROGRESS IS VERIFIED IN TIME and after confirmation of its stability Leanhill receives remuneration based on the successfee principle.
Almost100%of work performed in the location of the physical implementation of the process and with the operators of the process.
At our plant, the Leanhill company increased the efficiency of the agrochemicals unit’s liquid and crystal fertilizer handling. The goal – increase productivity by 50% – was achieved in four months by changing the unit’s working process according to Lean philosophy. The resulting solutions did not generate any investment expenditure, did not increase crew numbers, and didn’t even increase the amount of work for the employees there. What’s particularly valuable is that the Leanhill consultants worked on the plant floor directly with our employees 100% of the time, developing practical and not only theoretical solutions, testing them and winning the machine operators over to the new way of working. We recommend the Lean company as a guarantor of achieving your project objectives.
The result of our work with Leanhill was a 38% increase in the efficiency of our assembly area for chosen products, within 9 days. This increased efficiency was achieved through reorganization of the work processes according to the Lean philosophy. It was not associated with investment expenditure. With the new way of working, our employees’ workload is actually lighter, meaning they assemble the products faster. Leanhill’s consultants worked directly with the operators and the head of the assembly area on the floor, thanks to which practical, immediately-implemented solutions were elaborated. Crucially, they were developed jointly, so there’s no problem maintaining them.
Daniel Rękas and Andrzej Kaniewski worked with us on Lean implementation projects. They showed not only a deep understanding of the topic but also great commitment and responsibility for the outcome of the project. Honest in their assessments that were often harsh for the Client – but they always provided the diagnosis together with possible solutions.
Daniel worked in my team for a year. We worked on the implementation of TPM in a factory in Bieruń. One of the most important projects was the introduction of employee groups to address the problems. During our cooperation Daniel always paid attention to the possibility of maintaining operational standards in their daily work. He was always outspoken about the dangers emerging in the projects, which allowed us to find optimal solutions. Cooperation with both managers and operators was very good.
As Project Manager for all Xella plants in Poland, I have collaborated with Andrzej Kaniewski on implementing savings and investment projects at the production plant in Radom, where he was Plant Manager. I appreciate Andrzej for his passion in reaching the root causes of problems, his diligence and commitment. The plant changed radically under his guidance. This was especially noticeable in the mentality of the whole crew.
I worked on the team with Andrzej Kaniewski as part of the Optimisation Group at Cemex Poland – Aggregates Division for Poland and the Czech Republic. What stood out about Andrzej during that time was his analytical approach, effectiveness, creativity, reasoning always based on calculations, as well as his enthusiasm and dedication to working almost 24/7.
During my work at Danone I had the opportunity to cooperate with Daniel on several projects carried out in my area. I can clearly recollect one of his projects, in which instead of the usual shortening of machine washing time, we decided to extend the washing time. We did this to ensure proper quality and develop new operational standards by changing the indicator from ‘shortening of machine washing time’ to ‘developing a washing standard, after which the machine would start/launch in less than 5 minutes’. Extending the washing process noticeably improved the quality of process execution, and we reduced technical problems to such extent that the productivity of the packaging line increased by 4%. I recommend cooperation with Daniel exactly because of his ability to notice opportunities in places where no one would ever look.
During our cooperation, Andrzej Kaniewski was responsible for the Toothpaste Department. He was a pioneer of Lean solutions in this area. If he was convinced of the rightness of any action, he undertook it immediately, and he worked all of them out together with his subordinates. He understood very well the essence of the relation between planning-production-storage-shipping.
My cooperation with Andrzej Kaniewski concerned optimisation measures in the field of production, quality, sales, and new product implementation at the Sibelco plant in Bukowno. Excellent relations with subordinates, exceptional persistence in the pursuit of improving the plant’s performance, openness to cooperation, and creativity – this is how I see Andrzej. After only a few months, the plant under his management has changed beyond recognition in every aspect of activity.
Working at Sibelco was an opportunity to cooperate with Andrzej Kaniewski. The object of this cooperation was preparing the plant of which Andrzej was the manager to meet the quality and performance demands of a new strategic customer.
He fulfilled the task very well, all the while not avoiding honest communication regarding the risks related to the project.
Z I worked with Andrzej on behalf of the technical department and Maintenance Division. It was fun to cooperate with someone who is not afraid of responsibility and recognises solving problems at the source as his main task, not sweeping problems under the rug. Andrzej hated unproductive meetings and computer systems, and he spent most time at the production site, solving real problems of the Department. He understood that the purpose of the enterprise is not just to produce goods, but to generate income.
Cooperation with Andrzej and Daniel revealed to me the world of Lean. Thanks to this, using the tools and the Lean approach, we definitely improved and stabilized the department’s results together with my subordinates.