Fedden-USP has been working with Siemens Magnet Technology for a number of years and in September 2015, the company won the overall Factory of the Year 2015 prize at the Best Factory Awards in London. Siemens also scooped the People & Skills Development Award as well as Best Engineering Plant Award. Operations Manager, Frazer Mackay firmly believes that Lean working gave the company the edge over its competitors on the night!
Lean training at Siemens has continued throughout 2016 and as part of the high-performance culture within Siemens, any Cell leaders who have successfully completed the Level 2 NVQ in Business Improvement Techniques are offered the opportunity to progress to a Level 3 qualification. Fedden-USP currently has ten Level 3 learners who are happily taking this step in their own personal development.
By using their own experience of completing the Level 2 programme and working in partnership with the Fedden-USP trainers and assessors, they are able to assist in mentoring, supporting and guiding any new Level 2 learners in-house. By using the method of Level 3 leading a Level 2 group helps to ensure that the Lean knowledge that has been gained and subsequently put into practice can now be rolled out to the employees who they are currently managing on a day-to-day basis, with the additional benefit that the Cell leaders are also developing their own leadership and team working skills.
A team of Level 2 learners, led by a Level 3 learner will agree an improvement project with team members assigned individual responsibility for completion of the improvement alongside documented evidence that will be used within each of their NVQ portfolios. The Cell leader will be responsible for co-ordinating the projects and assigning tasks to show contribution from all Level 2 team members. They in turn will also be collating evidence to show how they have led the team to completion of a successful business improvement project which shows quality, cost and delivery benefits.
Frazer Mackay, Operations Manager at Siemens explains:
“Here at Siemens Magnet Technology we focus hard on productivity, which is a constant challenge but one we have to achieve. Productivity, in our experience, requires everyone and this means embedding a Lean culture throughout the company.
“We initially ask for volunteers to learn and develop via Lean training. We embed their understanding by implementing the training into real projects called LIPS (Lean Improvement Projects). Our learners’ Level 3 NVQ projects are also their LIPS projects, which means they add business value, as well as personal growth as they learn.
“With the support of Fedden USP, in 2013 we introduced a web-based tool called the Lean Personal Pentagon. This offers our employees a Lean score and gives them an opportunity to make measurable improvements in their Lean development. The spider graph approach uses five criteria – Education, Implementation, Broadening, Saving and Coaching – and this allows our team to tangibly score themselves and develop their areas of opportunity and growth.”
Neil Fedden, MD at Fedden USP concludes: “We have been delighted to be able to help and embed Lean principles more thoroughly at Siemens and continue to support the team in advancing their Lean culture and enhanced improvement activity”.
Currently, Fedden-USP has a Level 2 and Level 3 cohort running consecutively, all working towards the achievement of the qualification. Using this method of support ensures that the Lean knowledge is used effectively to encourage the continuous improvement journey that will ensure the achievement of modern manufacturing demands within Siemens.