How to Fix Throughput Like a Boss with Damian White

[Webinar Recording] How to Fix Throughput Like a Boss with Damian White

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[Webinar Recording] How to Fix Throughput Like a Boss with Damian White


Robin Pallister  00:09

Welcome, thank you very, very much for attending this event this afternoon or this morning, wherever you are in the world! We trust you enjoy this event. You will. There’s no doubt about it. And we’re very pleased to say there are attendees from all over the globe today. Absolutely fantastic. And what I’d like to just say is that all of you have joined today. I think what you’ve done is you’ve just proved that you want to get ahead in life.

Just picture if you will, for a moment: You want to get to an appointment, you need to catch the train. So you run down to the station, you hop on the train, you sit on the seat, and then you’re waiting for the train to go out of the station. Suddenly you get that announcement over the Tannoy. And it says there’s been an incident on the line, there’s a 25-minute delay. So you sit there, your heart sinks, you settle back and your seat you pick up your phone, you check your WhatsApp notifications, you go into LinkedIn check your updates on that one. And within about five or six minutes, you’ve checked, every single update, you’ve got on your phone, you start looking around, and still, nothing’s happening. It’s pretty dead. Then picture, you go into another appointment and you run onto the station, you hop on the train. And the train pulls out bang on time out of that station and we’re off down the track, there’s momentum, things are whizzing past the windows, suddenly your phone doesn’t become that interesting. You’re watching what’s going on. And that’s the difference- there’s what’s not going anywhere. And there’s what’s the momentum. And what you’ve done today by agreeing and signing up to come to this event. You’ve actually put your time aside, just prove to yourself and to everybody else on this call today that you want momentum you want to get ahead in life, you want to learn some more, you want to get your company ahead. So a great well done to start with.

We’d like to encourage you to use the question and answer box on the bottom there just to keep popping the questions in.

So I’m Robin Pallister one of the directors here at Innovolo. Joining me today is my little brother Bradley. Bradley and I’ve shared a few fights over the years. And probably when were little it was over what did you scratch my bike for? In recent times it’s more strategic punch-ups, and they’re good fun. So Bradley is the operations director here at Innovolo.

And we’re also joined today by a very welcome guest speaker Mr. Damian White. Welcome, Damian. Damian is one of the directors of Clarity Visual Management. So who is Clarity Visual Management? They offer proven expertise in developing an effective and engaging lean and visual management strategy. They help businesses of all sizes achieve growth through operational excellence, sustained with visual management, and the results from their clients speak for themselves. Today, I will be handing it over to Damian, he’ll make his presentation for 20 to 25 minutes before we move on to the question and answer session.

Before we start for any newcomers, who is Innovolo? So, putting it very simply at Innovolo, we offer new product development and design Consultancy Services that help clients to achieve their dreams, maximise market share using our proprietary Innovolation Framework, which is a systematised creativity tool. So firstly, we offer a monthly task-driven fixed low-cost subscription, offering our clients total control, completing the product development task by task puts you in control of the tasks you outsource, and that you’re in control of the speed of the projects, etc. It gives you direct access to a huge range of expertise. Secondly, we offer a Corporate Services package which includes the provision of an onsight project manager, which can come to your establishment fully backed by our off-site team. And again, giving the onsite manager the tools to deliver to our clients’ requirements absolutely perfectly whilst remaining flexible and absolutely cost-effective. So due to the confidential nature of our work, I’m sure you understand, we’re unable to give exact examples of clients’ work because obviously the confidentiality. But they span right across a huge range of industry sectors from construction to utilities and robotics to life safeties, automotive to chemicals, horticultural, you name it, it’s all in there.

So, moving on. The subject of this event is How to Fix Throughput Like a Boss. Damian over to you.

Damian White  05:02

Good afternoon, Robin. And good afternoon, everybody. Good morning! Good evening!  Wherever you may be, we can certainly see is people attending from many countries, which is excellent. And thank you, Robin, for an excellent introduction there.

An excellent opportunity to come forward this afternoon to speak with the audience to share some insights and some ideas around this challenge of throughput. And the ways in which you can consider innovation within your production facility, or within your process. And it’s a question that we’re commonly getting asked at the moment is, how can we increase our throughput to meet demand without increasing cost? As we know, right across the globe, we’ve had an incredible experience the last 12 months, as we know, we’re not out of the woods yet. And there’s a change in demand subject to which country you are in.

In this country here in the UK, we’re seeing a lot of manufacturing being brought back onshore, where there’s been an increase in shipping costs, been increased lead times as well, bringing products into the country. It’s a shame to see today, as we saw on the news, this boat now stuck across the Suez, the river there in Egypt, when you think about the way in which that’s impacting shipping, and really just gonna be increasing the cost, because there are products that are going to be caught there and not able to actually get through to the mainland where it’s trying to head for. So each country is having to become more innovative. They’re having to increase their manufacturing capacity, onshore. Raw material costs, obviously are on the increase we know some industries more than other subjects demand. And then there’s this big question we’re often getting asked by many of our clients is, we’re hearing more and more about industry 4.0.

And whilst these are exciting times, there are some incredible opportunities out there, we need to make sure that our business is at the right stage if we’re going to be starting to consider something as significant as a move towards that. So to ensure we’ve got a bit of structure, you’ve got something to be able to take away of you today.

There are three key points I’d like to cover off

  1. The first one we’re going to talk about is industry 4.0. And should I adopt it in my business?
  2. The second one is, how do I find where our constraints are today? Because if we’re going to improve, if we’re going to innovate within our facility, within our process, we need to understand where our current constraints are.
  3. And the third, last but not least, is visual management. Is visual management necessary? If so, how do we understand how to implement it.

So just to reiterate what Robin has said, as well, please do start to put some questions through as we’re going through. One of the hardest bits of feedback for me, whenever I’m perhaps preparing for an event like this, is to slow down. And it’s very easy to talk very fast and to share lots of enthusing ideas and insights. But if there’s anything that maybe I say or share that you would like to have it clarify further, please don’t hesitate to put a question in there, and we’ll seek to answer it for you.

Industry 4.0

So the first point industry 4.0. It’s an excellent revolution that’s happening right through the globe. And some of you on the call may have already adopted some of these processes in your plant, some of you may not have even heard of it. So just to put a bit of context around that industry. 4.0 is the digitization and automation of production. And it’s where they’re starting to now get machines, I shouldn’t use it use the word starting. Because it’s already progressing fast, we’re starting to get production lines to talk to each other, where you’ve got robotics, where you’ve got automatic, innovative production lines, maintaining and managing your whole throughput. Now ERP systems are what therefore talk to the systems. Many of us have heard about ERP systems, Enterprise Resource Programming, or planning systems. The challenge with all of this is that whilst they do bring automation, they can help you with innovation in your throughput and therefore provide you with advancement in your capacity. Before you get to that point, there’s a journey of implementation by way of cost, time, and change of production. The question we’re just likely to raise for you today is if you’re looking at any of these ways of considering of implementing industry 4.0, stop and look at your cost versus return. And make sure you really stop and study and understand. Maybe you’ve seen an automated production line that somebody else has got. And you think, well, if I could take that and adapt it to work in my production line, how could I facilitate that? The best thing you can do is get out to some sites where they’ve actually started to embrace this new industry 4.0 movement and get an understanding. What were the bottlenecks they actually experienced as they implemented it? Industry 4.0 is very exciting. It’s excellent, but don’t underestimate the impact it can have on your current production.


The second point I want to cover off is well, if we’re going to be starting to look at removing constraints, to look at ways of innovating our production to increase our throughput like the title of this event today. The first thing we need to understand first Where are those constraints? It’s very easy to hear stories, maybe from production line or get some reports coming through to say, look, this is the constraint. That’s the constraint, we’re finding this difficult. The most common answer we find that is being given from management or directors when there is a constraint or feeling that throughputs not being maximised is well let’s throw more resources at it. Throwing more resource at a problem, before you stop to study, it is only going to make your problem larger. If you think about your current operating procedure today, if you’ve got some challenges in there, and you bring three new starters into it, they’re just going to increase that challenge by three more persons input to try and help you overcome what is already a challenge. So there’s many different ways in which you can start to study your current procedures and processes. And what we’re talking about today, I just want to reiterate this point, we’re not just talking about production, where there’s people, a process and a product- So that product could even be processing insurance documents and insurance claims. Or it could be manufacturing widgets, where there’s people, products in a process, all of what we’re discussing today, you can adopt in your business and use. To help you understand where your constraints are, one of the key areas that we’ve been experiencing with our clients where we really start to have those aha lightbulb moments, is when we use something called value stream mapping. Some people call it process mapping. There’s lots of different ways of looking at it.  Value stream mapping, if you can imagine you’ve got value stream running through your business. And it’s understanding how that stream flows. And how all the silos interject into that right from the start, which is a marketing through to invoicing at the end once the products been shipped, how does each of those processes work? And value stream mapping helps you to map that whole process, you engage everybody or somebody from each department, it’s not always everybody in the company, but certainly somebody from each department to stop and understand what’s happening at each process. A couple of examples we can share with you on that is that we are a pharmaceutical client in the UK here. And they were finding some real bottlenecks and some challenges in their throughput, they weren’t able to increase it, they wanted to understand where this these constraints were, we ran a value stream mapping process across three of their production lines. By the time we’d finished the second one, we’d highlighted some significant improvements that could be implemented, help them innovate, not only to increase throughput, but reduce their cost by just over 700,000 pounds. And it’s very interesting. One of our consultants was on site the other day and actually met with the CEO of the company, who came forward just to thank us for what we’ve done in helping them analyse that whole process. What we’re taking to them to help them with is something that whilst delivering it may seem so simple, is the opening of the minds of the staff. And it’s the engagement of across departments that actually brings that opportunity to understand where these improvements can be made. There’s another company we work with, it’s just come to mind now as we’re speaking and they came to us because they understood that from what they were hearing and what they were seeing in their production facility and in their distribution, that for them to cope with the demand on increasing demand for 2020, they were going to need to double the size of their premises. They had these constraints, they had these challenges, their throughput wasn’t where they wanted it to be. So instead of just doing a thorough value stream mapping process, we actually did a workplace study, we went out we support them in measuring their current facilities, having a look at all their locations, doing some rash mapping, which shows you the movement of product and people and process. Through that process with their teams. They came up with a new revised structure with a revised process with improvements. That has not only meant that they’ve improved their output, but they’ve not had to increase their headcount. They’ve nearly doubled throughput, and they still today haven’t yet had to extend their premises. So that process we took them through help them to understand where their constraints were, how to remove them, how to implement a new structure, but become more efficient. There was things like stock that wasn’t being managed correctly. And the MD of that company mentioned to me a little while ago, he said, what he loves is that his staff now think lean and visual. Excellent opportunities for us in our business premises. To have a stop and a look at where we’re at today. It’s very easy to think well, if I’ve got a 25,000 square foot, I want to double my business, do I need to go to a 50,000 square foot premises? Well, before you consider that and look at starting to draw some design, some architecture, to look this brand new, shining building, which, yes, we’re can appreciate, it’s an excellent marketing opportunity, and everyone will feel enthused and encouraged. What we’ve got to look at is what’s your return on that investment again, so we spoke about it in industry 4.0, some great opportunities, some great products coming through. But what’s going to be the return on investment? Do we actually need to extend that much? Just before we go onto the third point, I just want to cover off another example on that, where we had a hire company that was interested in understanding what size they needed to extend to support their five-year growth. And again, a study of that helped them to see that instead of 100,000 square foot that was expected, 33,000 square foot will give them enough space with improvement of product management. So as products were coming back off-hire, through maintenance and back out on hire again. 33,000 square foot, would support their growth programme or projection for five years.

A couple of examples there, I hope that’s helped to get some of those opportunities across to you as to how you can consider your current process and have a review, to really innovate what you’ve already got.

Visual Management

The final point on here is to visual management. So we spoke about industry 4.0, we spoke about the different constraints and how to analyse them. The incredible opportunity with industry 4.0. with the ERP systems out there is the amount of data they now generate. Visual management is one of those pieces that everybody is very keen to implement, they’re wanting to embrace the latest touchscreen technology, perhaps iPads at line side or in each process. Absolutely brilliant, we need to embrace it, it’s here to stay and it’s here to gain momentum. But just a couple of facts for you. 90% of the data in the globe today, was generated in the last two years. 90% of the data in the globe today was generated over the last two years! So if we think about that in our business, and we look at the size of service space we’re probably utilising when we start to embrace ERP systems, it gives us even more data, it gives us even more opportunity if you like to start analysing what’s happening. So there’s the Pro, there’s the opportunity for it. But what we would say is that typically, where an ERP system has been implemented too soon, there becomes an overload of data. And we just want to share with you what that could potentially look like in your business. Bear in mind that obviously, we want to be progressing, we need to be looking at what’s innovative, and adopting new ways. But this could be the control room of your business with an ERP system. Now, whilst that could be exciting to look at what we’ve got to think about is the only way we can get product to be sold and then through production and to our clients. There’s only one real asset that’s helping us do that. And that’s our people and that’s the bit I really want you all to think about as we now go through this next section is about people. So if we’re going to start to adopt these new processes trying to implement new ways, let’s think about the impact of what it’s going to have on our people and their engagement. We’re going to go on to the next slide. Because when it gets to visual management, we’ve really got to start to think about the employee engagement and their direction of focus at work. So here, we’ve got one hour on the slide, you might be thinking, Damian, What’s this about? Well, let’s take this as an example, somebody in your business, let’s call them Bob. Okay. So this is Bob, he’s got out of bed this morning. He’s come to work, great intentions, because even though it may sometimes feel like it, I promise you, staff don’t get out of bed to work and come to work and think today I’m going to do a bad job. But here’s Bob, he knows what he wants to achieve today. He understands what he’s got to get out the door. He understands that he’s trying to bring to the party the most effective ways of operating. But the challenge we have, if we’ve not got aligned visual management structure through the business, is we have many other people turn up and potentially can look like this. (slide 1) Now, we may be in a business that’s making significant progress, which is excellent. We’re hearing a lot of success stories in relation to the manufacturing sector around the globe. And it’s so exciting if you like to be working with them to understand what’s happening. But just want to share a little example with you recently where I went to one of the largest brands here in the UK. They are fully automated when it comes to picking and packing. They’ve got very manual manufacturing processes on some of the products they’re putting through. But their challenge today is that their people aren’t aligned. And what we noticed as we went around was the visual management infrastructure that was there was very unengaging. There wasn’t a clear infrastructure in place between departments. So what we’re working with them on is to help them understand what ways can we implement a new structure to engage staff, because what’s happening here on the screen in front of us at the minute is everybody’s come to work with great intentions. But because they’re not clearly aligned, or maybe a new process has been put in there, not everybody was aligned to to understand the impact, we could potentially be experiencing something like this. (Slide 2)  With a clear strategy with a clear visual management focus, having understood your processes to remove constraints, and get your team aligned, you can actually have a result that looks like this. (Slide 3) Now there we have it a streamlined, focused and flowing throughput. Now we appreciate life’s life. No production facility runs like this all day, every day, no company does no company ever will. Automation is supporting that there is processes that we know we’re using on a daily basis now that have been automated to make life easier. But where is your business out on that journey? What are the opportunities you’ve got? How can you actually start to adopt some of these tools, some of these ideas to really help you in relation to your company. Now, visualisation doesn’t need to be difficult. And there’s something I just want to cover off with you.  Went to another company recently, and they’ve just put in a new factory, and they’re wanting to be state of the art- they’ve got some significant opportunities. And when I arrived, I was taken into this training room. And I can honestly say on the wall was these two screens, bigger than I’ve ever seen in any venue before. And so I asked what the screens were for and they  said, Well, this is for our visual management strategy. So we dug a bit deeper, and we asked some more questions. And what he then took me to was a piece of paper that’s printed out and stuck on the wall. And he said, this is our daily visual management meeting. So I said, Okay, so why are we doing this if we’ve got the electronic stuff? And he said, Well, it’s not quite worked, the staff haven’t quite worked out how to use the software. So anyway, fast track, we went forward into the production area went to the control room. And on the desk, there was 10 Surface Pro laptops, or their tablets sitting there, all switched off, I don’t even know where they were charged, to be honest. But again, he said, Look, we’ve made this investment, we understood that the ERP system that we were using was going to give us live data to help us drive our throughput. But it was too early in the journey for them. So what they’ve had to analyse is actually how do we create visual management that’s engaging.

There’s a little rule I’d like to share with you and it’s called a 1 3 10 rule. And that’s one second, three seconds, and 10 seconds. When you’re creating a visual management strategy, a bit larger board, I suppose you can see behind us today, (I did put it there as an example), within one second, you should be able to see the title of the board. What’s the title of the board? So as a manager, you should be able to walk into the department, see the title of the board and understand what that board is measuring? Within three seconds without asking you questions, you should see whether we are in green, or whether we’re in red. So we’re on target or are we off target? Now having this running in your production facility on a daily basis is where you start to get the engagement for the team. Within 10 seconds, without asking any questions, if we’re off target, we should be out seen in the lower section as you can see behind on this visual management board is a section where the cause and accounting measures are being measured. And action is being taken to actually right what has been going wrong. Without a simple embedding or visual management strategy to engage your staff, implementing anything that’s too innovative and to advance too early, is when it can then start to bring the challenge. One last little scenario I’ll just run through so we can really get a picture of how visual management can help our business before I hand over to Bradley. And that is, we’ve all been to a park where we see kids kicking a football around. There might be some parents on the sideline, or if it’s a Premiership match that you went to perhaps two years ago, because we’ve not been for a little while. You go in,  maybe the team comes out and they start to kick the ball around and they’re having a kick around. So there’s no real focus on the goal. But as soon as that whistle goes, and the scoreboard is then being monitored, the action and the direction of the team is one direction. Everybody knows where the goal  and the aim is to score a goal. And the question we like to ask is, how do your team know today, whether they’re winning or losing? How do they know when they are actually scoring? When we play for kick around, we’ll get kick around behaviour. When we embrace a vision and we actually embrace a strategy to play, we’ll play for the goals to win. So I hope that’s been some useful information and some keyword opportunities out that we shared. Thank you very much for listening. Bradley, I’ll hand over to you.

Bradley Pallister  24:43

I love that point about kick-around behaviour, you get kick-around results. That’s very, very true. It’s a very valid reminder, I think.  I just wanted to kind of touch on my kind of favourite topic. That being innovation. Innovation might be kind of a word that often comes to your mind when, as business owners, where we’re faced with some daunting task of coming up with something new and fresh. When we think of innovation, we often think of a new method, a new idea, or a new product, a new way of doing things. A lot of people think innovation means the next big thing or only improving what already exists. This is why that what you said, because to us, innovation is a mindset, it’s really, it’s a way of thinking about every day, business processes and products, it’s all about taking chances, taking considered risks, to build something better. Innovation is all about figuring out how to help people work better innovations, the act of changing or creating new processes, new products, new ideas to enhance your organization’s efficiency. And that’s, that’s why we’re always looking for new ways to do just that. And some innovations are really tiny, barely noticeable. And then you get others that completely turn your life upside down. They completely change it. And it could be in the form of implementing new ideas. You know, whatever, however you see innovation, even the act of just changing your appliances and tweaks in the business model is considered an innovation. But really, why is innovation important in business? And why specifically, is it important to increase your throughput, increasing your production? Well, by its very definition, innovation is a journey. It’s a journey that’s got no destination, just an endless adventure. The main reason that innovations incorporated in business are that so you can save time, you can save money, and other business resources. You know, Damian talks about, you’ve got problems, you want to increase your throughput? Well, what do you do? What’s the first natural thing you do? You got to get more people stick them in? Well, why?

Bradley Pallister  26:29

You know, that’s not giving you any competitive advantage at all, is not going to help you grow. All it’s doing is bloating you. But you really just need to know some tweaks. And there are some really small changes you can make in your processes to give your business a lot more solid footing, in your marketplace. But let’s talk about specifically process Innovation. Because a process isn’t just a process. Process innovations lead to massive gains in efficiency, and massive flexibility and agility in your organization’s. They can increase your net income, reduce cost, improve efficiencies, and productivity, increase job satisfaction and people’s happiness if you like. And ultimately they enhance the value of your product that you provide for your target market. Now, businesses we’ve seen, they kind of respond in different ways, several different ways to the idea of innovating processes. Some companies are great innovators, naturally, they’re great innovators, they mix up a bit of this with a pinch of that and now pop some tasty new innovation or new process, Happy Days! Others may not be quite so prolific. Or maybe they just don’t have quite the knack for creating exciting new products or whatever it is.

Here are three of the most common ways that Businesses are innovating right now. So, number one, the business revisits it’s existing internal product or service processes. So this is all about identifying and putting emphasis on what parts and resources in those processes are available to allocate to new products, new services, new strategic plans, say, for example, that the issue faced by your company is getting your products or services to your customers in the shortest possible time. Well, that’s what your innovations will focus on. And that’s essentially what Damian’s giving us. But then you’ve got the second way. So companies that are having issues with staffing, either they’re short-staffed, or they don’t have the talent or skills for new products or some ideas they’ve got in mind. So they’ve got this whole big bank of ideas in their pipeline, but they don’t have that talent. They don’t have the skills, they don’t have the resource to actually bring those products to fruition. Now, those companies are more likely to outsource their new product design and development work. By outsourcing, they can still have their current sales and business development teams focusing on their existing products. I.e. protecting your core products and services. Well, an outsourced product development company like Innovolo, the shameless plug there, but that’s what we do. Innovolo can focus on the innovation side of things for you. So we kind of take that load of you. Clearly, the advantage office is to reduce confusion among the product development team members. So what that means is that your people can stick to their priorities. And they don’t have to worry about developing new ideas and new designs or product features. Sure, they can come up with new ideas if they want, we’ll develop them for you. Or the third thing is you can do both, you put your internal resources and talents at work. And then you combine that and apply external partners and what we are often called naive experts like Innovolo, and use us in your innovation projects. So this is basically getting the best of both worlds, you’re kind of tapping into the best minds and reinforcing it with an outside contribution. When done right, this can be this could be an incredible leapfrogging exercise or your company’s innovation initiatives. But then, as Damian said, it’s all about getting your team involved and actually really engaging them. Now, creating a culture, whereby that happens, just as a matter of course, creating that culture of innovation is not something you can do without involving everyone, your whole team. Now you create a culture of innovation throughout your organisation, and that’s down from the boardroom, right down to customer services, down to the warehouse, and you will enjoy significant gains in productivity and throughput. Because when innovating business processes and eventually your products and services, all I would say is never lose sight of your overall goals and vision for the company, they should remain as your focal point. Even if you have to tweak the processes and implement some major changes. Even if you have to completely redesign your entire business process. Make sure that they’re still aligned with your value proposition. I hope that’s kind of helped, helped the audience understand a little bit how you can innovate your processes to really increase that throughput. No matter what business you’re in, whether you’re you know, whether you’re running production lines, whether you’re running a print, shop, whether you’re running a grocery wholesale price, it doesn’t matter. The these are still core principles that can be optimised to really increase your enterprise value.

Damian White  35:16

Excellent. Thanks, Brad, for the thanks, Damian. Fantastic insights, and some excellent stats as well. I just love the examples you gave, especially when we save that 700k! Wow, what a result!? Absolutely cracking! Always encouraging. Yeah!

Robin Pallister  35:34

Absolutely. I think, you know, there could be some new audience here today that could be saying, Well, you know, I don’t feel the time is right for me to innovate right now, or I don’t really know where to start, or it doesn’t really apply to me, because what we do. Well just have a look around some of the companies, household names that we’ve known since we were kids, Kodak, Nokia, many others who were around when we were kids, they were big names. And where are they now, they’re not here. They didn’t innovate when all those around them were. And you might say, well, that’s product innovation. Correct. But actually, it still applies, whether you’re supplying products, or whether you’re into a service. If you are not prepared to continually innovate and actually keep up or keep ahead of the curve, you will not be here in the future, you’ve got to keep ahead. So it really is important that everybody starts to innovate. And if you’re not sure, then you need to reach out to somebody to help you to start on that path. Because it’s a fantastic journey. It’s incredibly exciting. But we’ve had some really good questions come in, and be pouring in, Damian. So I hope you’re ready!

Damian White  36:44

We’ll try, we’ll see!

Robin Pallister  36:46

No you’ll be great. So first one, I think would be good for you to answer this one if you could Damian.We have LEAN before and spent money and things were put in place. However, we’ve got little to no results from it. Can you help us?

Damian White  37:01

Can you just repeat that first part of that again?

Robin Pallister  37:04

Yeah, so we have had LEAN before and spent money and things were put in place. However, we’ve got little to no results from it. Can you help?

Damian White  37:17

Without understanding perhaps a little bit more around the context of what they’ve experienced previously. Perhaps just to go back a few minutes where I was speaking about visual management. When you’ve got a LEAN infrastructure, trying to embed in a business, the one of the foundations of LEAN is visual management. And what we typically find where clients have experienced like these attendees, sharing with us right now, is where they’ve engaged and I says respectfully, because part of our business is about deploying LEAN consultants into business is where there’s been LEAN consultancy, hired into a business to help them understand some process and improvements. But any improvement that’s made on a continuous improvement journey or LEAN improvement process in a business, if it’s not sustained by creating a visual management infrastructure to maintain it, that LEAN improvement will fall over. And there’s two reasons for that. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. We’ve all heard that for long enough. But if the staff aren’t engaged on the shop floor or in that department, and it was just senior management that are engaged with that process, then is likely to fall over as a result of that. There’s one other point I’d like to raise as well is too often with LEAN consultancy, because it’s a big word out there, it’s been used now for many, many years. dependence is put onto the consultant. We’ve got a very simple motto, which is making LEAN work. And people ask us, how do you do that? And that’s simply because the way in which we help coach and train our clients is for them to design visual management, take ownership of it, that is what led sustains the LEAN programme

Robin Pallister  38:57

is excellent, that’s brilliant. And that’s really basic actually, because it comes back to all of us on this call today. If we’re in business, we’ve all got a sales team within the business. And we all set sales targets. Yes, I set sales targets and make sure that hit is to get the salesman to set themselves. So they take ownership. Then they’re more likely to hit them, rather than be cut the head honcho say this is your target, you will hit it. And so absolutely great example.

Damian White  39:29

Just that point of sales to working with a client recently and they shared with us, this wasn’t something we put in, but they had implemented a improvement to make this quoting process LEAN. And they set themselves a goal, I think there’s some advice they’d had,  they set themselves a goal to get every quote within one hour in our industry, some of that in that industry I think it was two weeks was their norm as accepted standard by innovating their sales process so that their inquiry to quote, improving that efficiency by engagement, their team to one hour, their sales increased over 20% year on year since that point.

Robin Pallister  40:08

Fantastic. Just proof it works. Fantastic. Well, the next one. How to get visual management, although most of our staff work from home, is there any software you could share?

Damian White  40:25

You know, this is a very common one we’ve had over the past month, as we’ve gone into through and hat now hopefully coming out a lot. now subject to where you’re joining from today. There is many, many different tools that are out there, right now. There’s Smartsheet, there’s the different platforms for project management, there’s different systems that you can google and download. Whilst working remotely electronic software solutions are absolutely great. And I’ll be happy to share with anybody who want to reach out afterwards some of the different platforms, but understanding what the key metrics are on a daily basis, what we actually did in our business, because we felt we had to practice what we preach, we maintained our daily meetings around the board, similar to what you see behind me by somebody having that board with them, somebody was in the office and actually had a camera on it. So there’s still the engagement of actually using a manual process. However, let’s not pretend that manual processes are here to stay. They’re not we’re on a journey. And there’s many different software’s. There is, I’m just trying to think of the number one platform I probably say that’s out there right now. I think I probably would say that Smartsheet is one that has, we’re all used to it, and probably has got the most functionality. There’s lots of others that have been launched as a result of the pandemic. But really, it’s a matter of understanding what your processes are. And if you’re going to make it automated and online, there’s you need to really consider simplifying it as well. Otherwise, the spreadsheets become too big, the meetings you have become too long, you end up spending more time uploading data than having meaningful conversations around the results.

Robin Pallister  42:07

That’s very helpful.

Damian White  42:10

Appreciate that’s not exactly a crystal clear answer, but it’s not an easy one to answer. And there’s many different ways in which you can you can achieve that.

Robin Pallister  42:19

Absolutely. I think I’ve had a great, Damian, but if anybody’s, you know, would like some advice around that, then you’d be more than happy to reach out to you afterwards.

Damian White  42:31

The key thing to any of these implementations where there’s visual management, whether it’s electronic or manual. And I’ve just seen a comment come up there about the need for Executive support I think it was, if there’s not ownership taken from management in a kind way, right way, hold people accountable to maintain it, it won’t it won’t be maintained.

Robin Pallister  42:52

Yeah, absolutely. Which kind of leads us on to the next question, which both of you could probably answer. How do we get results from the team to use other departments and suppliers to support our mission?

Damian White  43:13

That’s one for Bradley to answer.

Bradley Pallister  43:15

Okay, so say you’ve got a innovation team, or you’ve got your in-house r&d team. That’s great. But what’s not so great is if they’re not properly serving the company, and the company’s goals, and strategic direction. Great, they can come up with these cool ideas. But if they can’t get anything into the market, that’s not so great. You know, the potential for these good ideas in your pipeline, you’re gonna miss your slot. If you don’t get those ideas to market in a timely fashion, you might have to give up. On some of them! A lot of the time you need to get ideas to market fast. If you’re R&D team is under significant pressure. And, hey, we who isn’t under pressure these days! Then you may want to consider reaching out to an external partner. We can help create a programme where our team works alongside your r&d or innovation team to get their great ideas into the market extremely fast, just for a fixed, low monthly read, but that was a bit of a sales pitch as well. So apologies for that! But what do you say to this question, Damian?

Damian White  45:03

I’m going to come back to this point again about that engagement piece and bring people together their little story that I remember, and whether this links right now, but I’m just gonna share it, as we probably heard about is the Colgate success. They were sitting around the boardroom table trying to decide how to increase sales and how to innovate the product, I think it was the cleaner that was in the corner of the room that said, make the hole bigger. And they sort of didn’t really listen to first when they turn around and she said, If you make the hole bigger, in your Colgate tube will push out more, you will sell more. Now, she wasn’t employed to help them innovate. But there’s an example of how actually bringing the right people along to come up with new ideas. But when you do that, create a visual structure to maintain them and manage them through a process.

Bradley Pallister  45:49

That’s great. Damian yes! That’s a fantastic example. And I think it’s a really good example of something what I mentioned earlier about these naive experts. These people, from your warehouse, from your other departments that are not necessarily in your R&D team, or wherever they will look at problems or new ideas, with a completely different perspective. And that’s essentially what we do. As a company, we will work alongside our clients r&d teams, and provide that additional perspective that you won’t have in house.

Robin Pallister  46:29

Absolutely. Now, it’s good.  I love that example, you gave a thing of Colgate, fantastic! It reminded me of Procter and Gamble or something like that, one of the great, shower gels or whoever it is. And when a guy came to them and said, you want to know how to sell some more of that? And they said go on. And he said, just put on the back, rinse and repeat. It was hair shampoo, rinse and repeat. So they did that, and guess what sales shot through the roof. And that is just a very quick example of innovation.  But what it also draws attention to is the fact that holding yourself open to ideas from somebody outside of your organisation. Too many companies, and hopefully there’s some business owners on the call today to hear- there’s too many companies today who have an inside out approach. So they’re looking always from inside the company all the ideas are coming from inside the company. But really what’s needed in this day and age is an outside in. So welcome ideas from outside the company, get somebody from a pair of eyes that sees your company from 30,000 feet up, not just in the boardroom. And you’d be surprised at the sort of innovation you can do in all areas of business. So just move on. There’s another quick question for you Damian just regarding that example, you gave the 700,000 pounds cost saving in the pharmaceutical example, was this a direct labour or direct material saving?

Damian White  48:02

It was actually a transportation saving. Now there’s eight wastes in LEAn, like called Tim Woods, on our website, and you’ll see it. Transportation is the first one. And that’s what it was that we analysed was the movement of product from raw material coming into the factory into the facility, how far it was moved, and how often it was moved, before that product actually was put through the process to make what the client needs. Just to cover off a little bit more detail if I can quickly these last few minutes, I’m conscious of covering off earlier about value stream mapping and explaining about how our value stream is running, the key output from an activity like that is at the end of that process, you have a clearly measured and defined figure. One of them is your value added time. So all the value add processes, what’s the accumulation of time of value add through your process, and the other one is non value add. Now typically, when we study companies, the non value add sits somewhere between 2% and 8%. value add is what the client is paying it for. If you go to buy Radox shower gel, you go to buy that shot of shower gel, what you haven’t paid them for is a transportation of those raw materials in their production to get it to the line to actually get it through. And it wasn’t until we did that process with them that we actually analyse that. We’ve only studied four of their production lines, they’ve got 12 there, so you can start to see the gravity of the opportunities that are there. And just to reiterate whilst we, facilitated that it wasn’t us that the saving it was their staff working together across departments to actually highlight it. Does that help cover that off Robin?

Robin Pallister  49:48

100% Absolutely. Excellent. It reminds me of, you know, recently a case study we had where we were working with a national company in the UK.  When they were looking for new products, they just couldn’t come up with any ideas. So we set them up for an ideation session where we got group them together with a group of us together for a couple of hours. And we patched things together, virtually round the table. By the end of that 2-hour session, that company came away with over 40 product ideas of which a few are starting to go through our system now as new products. And again, a good chunk of those ideas came from their own team. They already had the ideas, they were there on their team, they never knew they were there. Because they’ve never facilitated getting those heads together and just extracting what was in them. So yeah, absolutely. You’ve probably got even your own team with what we’re trying to say. I just got another quick question here for you Damian.

Damian White  50:50

Doesn’t feel very fair! Should be Bradley’s turn!

Robin Pallister  50:54

You’re the expert on LEAN and things! Our business is already a LEAN production facility. What percentage of production increase can we typically see by implementing visual management?

Damian White  51:08

I’d love to be able to give a formula that will give them a significant or the exact percentage they can go away and tangibly measure? To be honest, I can’t answer that question without understanding what the product is, how LEAN that facility is, we credit you, and well done for how LEAN you have got the advancement too. But I’ll give an example. There was a large UK is actually a retail store. And the throughput they were measuring was, (they’re an extremely LEAN organisation), their throughput, or what they wanted to increase was their time from receiving goods in a store to get them on the shelf. So if you like that’s their production flow. We support them in creating a visual management board. And their goal from the CEO of the company was to help them save 10 pounds a day. Now you can do your own math, but that visual management we put in place was to bring the teams together to understand what their target was each day. It  created positive competition, that board now is tangibly saving them about 10 pounds a day in cost, because they’re increasing throughput. They have 500, just over 500 stores in the UK. So if you do 500 times 10 pounds times however many days you feel that the superstores are open in this country, it can show you the type of tangible increase.

Robin Pallister  52:35

Interesting, that’s good. And again, we’d really encourage that particular individual whoever asked that question, reach out to clarity, get a consultation, you’ll be surprised at what you would be able to increase from where you are now. Damian do you want another one?

Damian White  52:56

Okay. Fire away!

Robin Pallister  53:00

Okay. Opposite to what you’ve spoken about regarding shopfloor engagement, my biggest challenge is engaging with site management at multiple locations, and selling the benefits of visual management as part of the foundation to Lean principles, do you have any advice.

Damian White  53:16

As a long question, can you please repeat it again?

Robin Pallister  53:20

I’ll read it again. Opposite what you’ve spoken about regarding shop floor engagement, my biggest challenge is engaging with site management at multiple locations and selling the benefits of visual management as part of the foundation to LEAN principles. Do you have any advice?

Damian White  53:40

If it’s a site management that I’m thinking of, which means they’ve perhaps involved in the construction industry, there is multiple ways of which visual management… there’s actually something called LEAN construction that’s really starting to pick up speed now. And quite frankly, if we drive down the road, or we drive past a building site, and I say this because I used to work on some building sites as an excellent opportunity. But often you can see why it’s because there’s people standing still, there’s four men looking down a hole. Now we might see that’s, not very LEAN, but we can’t actually comment because I don’t understand why they’re all looking. But LEAN construction is a big buzzword right now. And we actually have just been in talks recently with one of the large facilities management companies, because they’re wanting to embed a consistent way of measuring their throughput in construction on a daily basis. It’s a matter of understanding what type of site management this attendee is perhaps involved in there is digital software’s to help with engagement with multiple locations where you’ve got perhaps site managers moved from site to site. But why I would strongly recommend is, have a look at what you’ve got today. Can you walk into those different sites? If you were to do a dropping call on three of them- Could you walk into those site offices? And without speaking to that site manager, find out for yourself whether that projects on target or off target? And really respectfully, if you turn around and say I can show you that on a Gantt chart. Not interested. We need Gantt charts, we need all the detail. But right now, are we on target or off target? That’s really where you start to get that engagement, making it simple, making it so it’s clearly measurable on a daily basis is where you will see that engagement piece

Robin Pallister  55:22

Fantastic, very helpful, which actually leads us on to the next one, which just come in, which is construction-related as well. So is all this LEAN business only for production or can it be applied to any business? We are a distributor of construction-related products.

Damian White  55:38

Absolutely. There’s not a process in this world that couldn’t be made more efficient. Distribution in the UK is probably one of the biggest opportunities right now. People are shifting to online purchasing. And the company I spoke about earlier. They are highly automated. When I went in their factory just last week, we see these lorries driving down the road, and because of all this confidentiality thing, we won’t tell you what name it says on the side! But we see these lorries driving down the road every day. Inside this building is these lorries- they’re taken off the back of the lorries picked up by robots and put in so it’s all automated, normal brought in the products brought from distribution through. So you say Well, where’s their constraint? Their constraints without an engineering team, because they need engineering to keep the automation running on a daily basis. They’ve got just over 500 engineering teams. So when I went to present to him just this week, I kind of held back from a coaching consulting side feeling that he’s the expert, they’ve got to this far, starts talking about products. And he said, well hang on a minute, Damian, I actually want to go back to the coaching consulting piece, I feel that we need to actually stop and analyse what’s happening today, where the constraints are. Online and distribution in UK is on significant increase. And there’s huge opportunity for embedding of lean in distribution.

Robin Pallister  57:00

Excellent, nice. It’s very true that there are many, many opportunities. And I was speaking to a very large household name yesterday, very huge, global one, and the product development director, and we’re having a discussion around product development, because that’s what we’re talking about. And they are very large in house table of innovation and new product development. Absolutely brilliant, what they do, excellent expertise. And he actually told me that even with that large in house team, they still aren’t running as efficiently as they should be. And they need external help to help them speed it up accelerate it. Get that programme going faster, and making things simpler. So absolutely is the answer to that question. Definitely, definitely! Whatever business you’re in, there is some way to make you leaner and smarter. And even better than the others.

Bradley Pallister  58:00

I think hopefully made it very clear that no matter what business you’re in, no matter what sector or industry you’re in, you can optimise your throughput, you can get more widgets out the door, you can get more of whatever you’re selling, whatever services you’re selling, you can get it out there a lot quicker and faster.

Damian White  58:25

Take your people with you! We’ll keep reiterating it here is that engagement piece that’s gonna that will drive through. You’re absolutely right.

Robin Pallister  58:33

Yeah. Good. Well, that’s been absolutely awesome. Unfortunately, we’ve landed the half past mark. So you’re gonna have to wrap up now. There have been a few questions we haven’t been able to answer. So we will make sure that they get answered either directly with the attendee or on social media. So just keep a watch out for that. And love to thank you Damian very much for coming on today and your participation. And Bradley for your participation as well. It’s been very insightful, very helpful. We appreciate any feedback, because the end of the day, we can always improve. And we are very aware of that. So please give us the feedback. And our next event is coming up in April. So keep your eyes skinned for that and we’ll let you know near the time. Once again. Thank you very much. Thanks for coming and we’ll see you next time.

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