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Faced with cutthroat competition within the aerospace industry, a manufacturing company was under significant pressure to reduce its costs while enhancing the quality and performance of its components. Although already employing a number of Continuous Improvement (CI) tools to respond to its performance challenges, the company was struggling to achieve long- lasting tangible results.
In an effort to identify improvements in its CI process and accelerate performance yields, the Toronto, Ontario firm undertook a two-year evaluation process which included the integration of the Simplexity Creative Problem Solving system into its CI toolbox. A key goal was to ensure CI activities focused on well-defined, manageable and value-added problems that aligned with corporate business requirements with human-centered leadership.
By “turbo-charging” CI programs such as Lean, Six Sigma and 5S with the Simplexity system, the project increased the number of implemented solutions from 30% to 70%, while reducing the time required for conducting a successful CI project by 50%. First year annual benefits were maintained in subsequent years. A significant rise in performance resulted from the identification and removal of roadblocks to success.
Key challenges were recognized, as the project evaluated six CI projects over a two-year period. The identified priorities included:
A number of CI tools, as well as the Simplexity system, were used to evaluate and improve the CI process and efforts. Statistical measures were used to evaluate quality and performance improvements.
The study found that CI programs are capable of yielding significant ongoing benefits to a company. However, the implementation of a number of key strategies could result in a substantial improvement in results.