Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) decided in 2010 to introduce Kaizen/Lean as part of their Continuous Improvement culture transformation. The first pilot site, Waikato Herd Test depot in Morrinsville embraced the Lean culture and the team is still continuously improving.
The 17 trucks operating out of the Morrinsville depot make up to 11,000 visits per year to almost 3000 farms to deliver and collect herd testing equipment and milk samples.
The Morrinsville depot team undertook a truck 5S event that resulted in a local truck standard that in turn provided the basis for a national standard truck lay-out and set-up.
The field technicians who use the trucks every day helped to apply the 5S approach to sort through everything that they carried in their trucks. They then determined the optimal lay-out and set-up and built timber partitioning to trial their new truck standard.
They then developed visual standards and checklists that they’ve displayed on the inside of the truck doors and started to do regular 5S truck audits on each other. The team identified several benefits.
· Reduced waste of motion & waiting
· Everything is in the same place for every truck
· Easier to find things
· Best use of space
· Cleaner and better work environment
· Looks more professional
· Take more pride in our workplace
· Process experts own the process and standards.
When it was time to replace a few of their trucks, the Waikato team ran another 5S event and updated the set-up and standard for the new trucks and then fitted the trucks out them selves. The final plans for the national standard are based on this improved design, and the rest of the country will benefit from.
This pilot enabled the LIC Herd Testing team to develop, test and refine a vehicle standard that will now be used as the national standard for the new fleet of Herd Testing trucks.
This is a good example of a process owner-driven 5S event by that resulted in a local standard that could be tested and refined to ultimately become a national company-wide standard. Classic Plan-Do-Check-Act/Adjust.
A great effort by the Morrinsville depot team – I’m sure it won’t be long before this new standard will be further improved so that the next fleet of new trucks will enable even more efficient processes.