27 July 2023
A pillar of Lean Management, Short Interval Management (SIM) consists of regular, routine meetings sparked to track objectives and resolve issues encountered. This methodology, dubbed internally the “LACROIX Daily Meeting (LDM)”, has already proved its worth on LACROIX’s French electronic assembly site. Deployed a few years ago, it has been operating for more than one year, a digital turning point that optimises the quality of production thanks to an application with very promising results.
Prior to this solution, LACROIX operated using an LDM methodology, according to which meetings were called at regular intervals. The information flows were bidirectional, from management to the teams on the ground, or from production to top management, to escalate difficulties to the right management level.
Until the digitization, the medium of choice was a table that had to be completed manually to report specific information, either continuously, or as day-to-day trends. These were then printed out on paper each week, to create an invaluable archive about the production history.
After this first stage, entirely handwritten and essential for achieving a standard and an advanced methodology, the challenge became to reduce to a minimum the information loss – inevitable due to repeated deletions and modifications – and to prevent time wasted in archiving, then consulting the history.
What is important is not the tool, but what it contains. Everything now implemented in digital form is more ergonomic, more user-friendly and easier to access than the initially created tool, but the methodology has remained the same as before.
After a successful 6-month trial period, the tool’s use was suspended when the plant was relocated to the new Symbiose plant. For one year now, it has been operational again, much to the satisfaction of the teams.
The employees seized the opportunity to institute new mandatory communication standards and ramp up digitalization after arriving in the new factory.
The gradual deployment is under way in almost all the cross-functional departments of our plant, so as to improve quality at all levels. The tool is also being tested at other Group plants.
The operators are now equipped with smartphones so that they can take pictures and back up their conclusions more easily than in a chart completed by hand. As a result, during the LDM meetings, the support teams have all the information they need to get a full grasp of the problem and come up the right solutions more easily and more quickly.
When the teams come upon an issue on the ground, they can immediately turn to a production history. They can access it with the greatest ease, using keywords by product or by type of problem encountered. This makes for real time savings, compared to flipping through page after page of archived material.
Managers’ meeting preparation time cut in half
Fabriq speeds up and simplifies communication between employees. This is particularly useful during shift changes. In the past, the night teams did not always have the support services they needed at their disposal; with this digital solution, they report the problems encountered without needing to have their contact persons nearby.
From the very next morning, the cross-functional departments and day teams can immediately become aware of all the important information they need about the events that occurred in their absence. Communication and interaction between the departments and teams are regular and smooth, as a result of which everyone’s responsibility and involvement in the continuous improvement of production comes out stronger.
The teams on the ground can now solve more issues on their own thanks to the data history at their disposal. With heightened skills, they are more involved and able to take more initiatives, without having to always rely on the support of other departments. It is also easier for employees to escalate problems to the next level if they do not immediately find solutions on their own.
+30% of actions addressed by operators directly
Today, if a problem occurs overnight, the team capable of solving it is informed as soon as it comes on site. The clarity of the explanations and all the details provided by the tool contributor make it is easier to determine the time and resources needed to deliver a solution.
The support teams are then able to commit more reliably to a resolution time, which they share publicly in the tool. Employees who encounter a problem already reported by others are thus kept informed of the progress of their solution.
+ 260% additional actions conducted
With the data digitized, they can be recovered automatically and the interconnectivity of our machines becomes greater. The quality, efficiency and speed of production have increased dramatically since the deployment of Fabriq, benefiting customers first and foremost.
We have greater control when it comes to solving unexpected issues that arise, something very much appreciated by customers, who are thus warned immediately. We always offer them efficient solutions and flawlessly manage our production lead times, constantly optimising them.
When visiting the plant, customers often request a demonstration of Fabriq’s functionalities:
“They are very curious and surprised by the quality of our field surveys and how fit-for-purpose they are. Some have already admitted that they would like to have the same tool for themselves!” confides Jérôme Denéchère, Continuous Improvement Manager who was an integral part of making this new solution an operational reality at LACROIX.