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Process improvement is for any business looking to stay competitive and efficient. Analyzing and optimizing your workflows can reduce waste, increase productivity, improve safety, and improve your bottom line. Our experts can help you identify areas for improvement and implement effective solutions that will take your business to the next level.

KPC's approach to process improvement begins with understanding how your organization makes money, the challenges it faces, and the goals it wishes to achieve. Every business is unique, so we don't offer one-size-fits-all solutions.

By relying on the proven principles of the Lean Enterprise, Lean Six Sigma, and our extensive experience in leading manufacturing businesses, our consulting method is an efficient, results-focused approach. We understand you have to balance running a business and improving it simultaneously. We know that every company starts from a different point, so we meet you where you are and customize our approach to maximize your short and long-term goals.

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Our process starts with upfront alignment interviews and often an on-site assessment to determine your business goals, where you are starting from, and the improvement opportunity. From there, our team puts together a customized roadmap that typically includes the following elements:

  • Staff Training

  • Process Improvement Facilitation (i.e., kaizen events, A3’s, etc…)

  • Lean Leadership Development (teaching and coaching leaders how to lead in a lean environment)

  • Gamification (systems to engage your team in making daily improvements easy, fun, and rewarding)

  • Identifying and confirming Key Performance Metrics

  • Regular Progress Reviews (ensuring we are moving the metrics in a positive direction and changes are sustainable)

Common Countermeasures used in our Improvement Process 

5S - eliminates process waste due to a poorly organized workspace (e.g., looking for tools, materials, and information to perform a task.

Visual Factory – using charts, boards, screens, infographics, and icons to convey needed information about a process to operators and leaders.

Value Stream Mapping - Value Stream Mapping is a visual tool that maps the production flow. It shows the current and future state of processes in a way that highlights opportunities for improvement.

Process Waste Reduction – Process waste does not add value from the customer’s perspective.

Continuous Flow - Continuous Flow occurs when work-in-process smoothly flows with minimal buffers between steps of the manufacturing process.

Root Cause Analyses - Root Cause Analysis is a systematic problem-solving approach focusing on resolving the underlying cause of a problem instead of applying quick fixes that only treat immediate symptoms of the problem.

Seven Basic Quality Tools - The wise use of these quality tools enables the effective management of product and process quality, no matter what industry you serve.

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Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) - Provides a practical framework for measuring productivity at the machine level. The components of machine effectiveness include:

  • Time available to run

  • Ability to run at the required rate

  • Ability to produce defect-free products while running at the required rate

Poka-Yoke (Error Proofing) - installing methods of detecting and preventing operator errors that result in product defects.

Bottleneck Analysis (TOC) - identifies the constraint of the manufacturing process limiting its overall throughput, improves the contracting performance, and balances the whole process around the constraint.

Standard Work - a living document prescribing the most efficient sequence of job tasks (including the time required for each, safety precautions, and quality checks).

Hoshin Kanri - a strategy management process designed to align company strategy with tactics to ensure strategy execution.

Kaizen is a systematic approach involving all employees in gradually improving operations and processes. Kaizen is often considered a "building block" of lean production methods and is recognized worldwide as a key part of an organization's long-term competitive strategy.

Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) - a four-stage, iterative problem-solving model favored to manage and improve processes and products. It's also known as the Deming wheel or cycle, the Shewhart cycle, or the control circle.

  • Plan: establish the plan and expected results

  • Do: implement the plan

  • Check: verify expected results achieved

  • Act: review and assess; do it again

Setup Reduction (SMED)Single-Minute Exchange of Die reduces setup (changeover) time to less than 10 minutes. SMED techniques include:

  1. Converting setup steps to be external (performed while the process is running)

  2. Simplifying internal setup (e.g., replace bolts with knobs and levers)

  3. Eliminating non-essential operations

  4. 5S Workspace

  5. Creating Standardized Work instructions

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) - an advanced holistic approach to equipment maintenance focusing on preventive and proactive practices to improve equipment reliability.

Process Layout - plant and process layouts combining processes horizontally across the factory vs. vertical process departments like silos in a traditional facility layout.

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