Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It can affect and involved employees, clients, customers and visitors. Homicide is currently the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States.
There are four recognized types of workplace violence. They include:
In some industries, violence by customers or clients occurs on a daily basis, especially verbal threats
Companies should take it upon themselves to:
1. Develop a Workplace Violence Prevention Policy
2. Train Employees
A number of different actions in the work environment can trigger or cause workplace violence. It may even be the result of non-work-related situations such as domestic violence or “road rage.” Workplace violence can be inflicted by an abusive employee, a manager, supervisor, co-worker, customer, family member, or even a stranger.
Whatever the cause or whoever the perpetrator, workplace violence is not to be accepted or tolerated.
Please read and answer the two questions below:
Why do managers think they don’t need to learn how to deal with employees?
Do any of the numbered items below ring through with yourself, or with managers you have observed?
1)”Basically if a manager has treated one personnel problem successfully, he thinks everyone should be able to handle it too.”
2) “Everyone has had a tremendous amount of personnel training, they should know how to deal with people problems.”
3) “I just wish they would all grow up and behave.”
4) “We don’t have any real personnel problems, everyone is happy to have a job.”
5) “Management doesn’t have it on their priority list.”
A- Myself: please select one or more of the numbered responses, 1-5:
B- My management: please select one or more of the numbered responses, 1-5
Most industries or service provider’s organizations think that the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) methodology should be tailored to their particular processes, culture or company idiosyncrasies. The fact is that LSS is rather universal and can be applied to manufacturing industries that may include: high volume with low number of parts offered, high number of parts with low volume, chemical continuous processes, paper mills, insurance companies, Information Technology, banking industries and most recently to the healthcare industry.
Even pure manufacturing companies have many business processes that, in many cases, are the constraint operation. These business processes may include: purchasing, accounts payable/receivables, accounting, human resources, IT, etc. The fallacy is thinking that the only processes that need improvement are those related with manufacturing and thinking that business processes have little or no impact in improving quality, reducing lead time, lowering the cost or eliminating waste. I have experienced that business processes can have a much bigger impact on reducing cost or lead time than manufacturing processes.
I am a LSS instructor for Green and Black Belt and, one of the requirements for the GB/BB to get certified, is for the students to submit completed projects for certification. In addition I provide coaching to GB or BB to assess that the projects follow the Define, Measure, Analyze Improve and Control (DMAIC) methodology. While comparing manufacturing or business completed projects side by side, I have noticed that the projects are a mirror image and it is hard to differentiate them apart. Granted, certain LSS tools need to be modified to accommodate a particular industry or process. The main causes in a Fishbone diagram will be different between a business and manufacturing process and the same can be said about completing a Value Stream Map.
The opening of GE’s new GeoSpring Hybrid Electric Water Heater plant in Kentucky isn’t just a great endorsement for American Manufacturing but an affirmation of Lean’s ability to help improve a company’s competitive edge in today’s global marketplace. The events that have taken place at GE and GE’s Appliance Park in Louisville read like a case study straight out of a Lean handbook.
In the 1980s America was in an industrial decline and when the GE facility could no longer compete with production costs in Asia, for reasons such as an increase in wages and a decrease in the selling price of products, GE began moving production to the Asian plants. As expected GE was able to reduce labor cost and save on materials, but over time the cost savings from outsourcing was outweighed by the negative impact on GE’s competitiveness. The following examples are just a few problems GE encountered:
What did GE do to address these problems? They invested millions of dollars in Appliance Park. In addition to the problems brought on by outsourcing, two major events helped initiate the investment. The first was the availability of job-creation incentives from the state and federal governments and the second was a competitive labor costs as a result of the 2009 Competitive Wage Agreement between GE and IUE-CWA Local 761. But according to GE the company had not invested in Appliance Park because the culture “wasn’t right to invest”. How did GE address the culture problem? They embarked on a lean initiative that “maximizes customer value while minimizing waste and identifies employees as the most valuable resource a company has”, said a GE spokesperson.
GE’s upper management is showing their commitment to changing the company’s manufacturing culture by investing not just in the building with a multimillion dollar renovation but in their people. Investment in the people has been done through lean training and employee empowerment. The empowerment has removed barriers that would keep any employee from taking positive action that would lead to better quality and/or performance. According to GE’s Appliance Lean Leaders and employees, the way of thinking and the way things are done at Appliance Park have changed:
Using lean practices and tools, GE has reported cutting cycle time by 50%, eliminated 20% of the parts included in the GeoSpring final assembly, and reduced equipment investment by 30%. GE’s lean journey is demonstrating that Global competitiveness can be accomplished when the right tools are used in the right way.
According to a report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), labor cost in China have risen dramatically and shipping and fuel costs have skyrocketed, this means China is not as cheap as it used to be and the United States is poised to bring back jobs from China. The report also points out that by 2015, it will only be about 10% cheaper to manufacture in China. If the BCG report is correct then the question for the United States will not be what company’s want the jobs but what companies have the capability (structure and culture) to compete in a global market.
With the freedom that a consumer has, in today’s global market, to go almost anyplace for a product that meets their quality and price requirements companies must be agile enough to meet consumers changing needs. As GE is showing us, the place can be the United States and the way to get it done can be through American Manufacturing.
Too often, companies are quick to implement new equipment in order to meet increased customer demand for products, without maximizing the utilization of their current equipment. Equipment changeover time is one area of the business that is often ignored and companies accept long changeover as a part of doing business. The changeover time of equipment can be a Hidden Factory just waiting to be uncovered. It is very common for equipment changeover from one product to the next product, to take a couple hours for completion. Companies often make several product changeovers per week, consuming hours of potential production time. If we could somehow reduce the changeover time from hours to minutes, we could have a dramatic effect on providing additional production capacity. This is what Dr. Shigeo Shingo discovered while helping to develop the Toyota Production System. Dr. Shingo terms his discovery SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies), and it prescribe that changeover time should be less than ten minutes for a given product.
What does SMED Involve?
Companies can systematically reduce changeover time on their equipment by following a simply four step method.
SMED Four Step Process
Finally, after completing the SMED four-step process a new changeover standard can be developed using the remaining internal and external steps. The new changeover standard should prescribe the changeover sequence and operators required to complete the changeover on the equipment.
For most companies that have not participated in any formal changeover reduction process on their equipment, applying the SMED approach typically reduces the changeover time by 50% when first applied. By continuing to work as a team, planning changeovers, practicing, being innovative and standardizing changeover methods equipment changeover times can continue to be reduced. Companies should strive to achieve the goal of single-minute changeover times and recapture the loss capacity due to long changeover times.
In today’s manufacturing arena equipment reliability is paramount, thus we are seeing more and more companies trying to implement Total Productivity Manufacturing (TPM). TPM is not a program that can be implemented over night and takes commitment at all levels of the organization to be successful. One major indicator of a successful TPM program is Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). This OEE number can be challenging to obtain for most companies and involves six major areas of equipment losses: Setups and Adjustments, Breakdowns, Idling and Minor Stoppages, Start-ups, running at Reduce Speed, Defects and Rework.
There are several elements that can affect the time to complete an Improvement Project (IP). The following is a partial list than can influence the time to finish a project:
As GB/BB concludes their training, they are assigned an IP that they would facilitate and take to fruition. Some belts think that Lean Six-Sigma (LSS) is about using as many tools as possible for each phase of the DMAIC methodology. This is where the coach can provide feedback on what tools make sense to use and provide a direction on the next steps.
The coach can also lead the facilitations of the first kaizen events and have the belts participate on the event, and learn from it, so that they can lead such event.
The coach does not need to be an expert on the process but needs to have a vast experience on the DMAIC or DFLSS methodology. The coaching sessions should not be prescriptive, meaning guiding the belt step by step, but rather should be treated like a sounding board where the belt can bounce ideas.
Coaching should take place on a biweekly basis and should last for about one hour. The coaching is more efficient if the belt provide information before each coaching session.
The bottom line is not to overlook coaching sessions.
Do you use coaching in your company? Have you seen a difference in the impact of project completed?
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Furthermore, what does moving a barn (click link for video) have to do with Lean?
TMAC’s emphasis in Lean deployment is the ability to identify and prepare the different roles to fulfill their respective responsibilities to move the organization along the journey to achieve the vision. Tools are integral to the journey but in themselves are insufficient. Working in ‘the white space’ beyond the punctuated activities related to training, events, and projects requires that we develop each role to fulfill their responsibilities.
What are you doing to work in the white space?
Some Lean practitioners have promoted the use of a third type of value-add: Non-Value-Add Required (NVAR).
Also known as Business Non-value Add, these activities are those that must be performed for legal or regulatory requirements. Another consideration is whether the process would fail altogether if the process step were eliminated. It is important to keep in mind that these activities are still a form of Non-Value Add. So the goal from a Lean practitioner standpoint for NVAR activities is to minimize or (if possible) to eliminate these process steps.
A Fundamental Lean Measure: Process Cycle Efficiency
Once you have agreed on the definition of CVA a key measure to understand for any Lean practitioner is the Process Cycle Efficiency (PCE – also called value-add ratio). This is simply the ratio of the total customer value add time for a single item (or transaction) divided by the total process lead time to deliver the product (or service). This is the key performance measure of any process.
A number of Lean writers estimate that a typical process has a PCE of 5% or less. In other words, 95% of the time required to move a product (or information) from start to finish are due to non-value add activities. Common examples of such activities include waiting, performing rework, reviewing information, dealing with defects / errors / mistakes, moving items, and watching.
Past research for a variety of types of business processes resulted in the following figures for a typical PCE, and ‘world class’ PCE (George Group, 2004):
|Type of Process||Typical PCE||World Class PCE|
|Continuous Process/ Assembly
(Continuous /One Piece Flow)
My own experience is that the values in the table above for ‘typical’ processes are somewhat generous. That is, the values are too high. I have seen PCE values well below 1% for many processes. In short, while the practice of determining the PCE for any process is an important one, it can also be very humbling.
The Challenge of Defining Value
As noted previously, both new and experienced Lean practitioners sometimes struggle with defining value. I hope the guidelines covered in Parts 1 and 2 of this blog will help to make this task a little easier. But even if you still find it challenging, I would suggest that the time spent discussing, debating, and arguing over how to categorize each process step in terms of CVA is exactly the sort of thing you should be doing as a lean practitioner. Working through this categorization is fundamental to developing Lean thinking, and hence is always worth the extra time required.
Finally, from a Lean practitioner standpoint you should always keep in mind the following rule of thumb when working on various types of activities: