Worcester-Bosch produce high efficiency gas and oil-fired boilers from their state-of-the-art production facilities based at Worcester and Clay Cross, Derbyshire. They employ in the region of 2,000 associates and started the implementation of LEAN back in 2002.
Within the Bosch Group they have customised the LEAN principles to create the Bosch Production System (BPS).
The organisation was constantly looking at ways of:
- improving build quality.
- reducing lead-time, so that stocks can be reduced.
- improving productivity, so that margins can be maintained.
Neil Fedden trained just under 100 of Worcester-Bosch’s supervisors and team leaders in the principles of LEAN. In groups of approximately eight people, attendees undertook a 5-day Lean ‘Bootcamp’ with the specific aim of providing them with the skills and confidence to undertake their own improvement activities, within a manufacturing environment.
The topics covered included Workplace Organisation (5S), Visual Management, Set-Up Reduction, Line-Balancing, Standard Operations, Structured Problem Solving (8D) and Problem Resolution, etc.
The theory is taught using games and business simulations, which can be found in the products section of the website. Neil Fedden comments: “The games allow us to illustrate the theory in a fun and practical manner. We first get participants to link the Lean theory with the game and then we get them to link it to their own working environment. We have found that this approach facilitates a quicker understanding of the concepts.”
After the ‘Bootcamps’, a series of 1-day ‘hands-on’ practical workshops were held, which enabled the attendees to practically apply the theory they had learnt on production lines, carrying out live analysis and proposing a series of actions to help improve the process. These practical workshops included 5S, Value Stream Mapping and Process Analysis.
Each ‘Bootcamp’ group was also given a live project to complete, which in itself, lead to significant savings in terms of productivity improvements, stock reduction and changeover time reductions.