The members of the group know almost all there is to know about resistance. After all, DMK’s Continuous Improvement (CI) engineers often hear phrases from their colleagues like “We have always done it this way” or “Nothing will happen anyway.” Their job is to nd new ways and excite people about new things. CI engineers support managers and employees who come up with their own ideas and insights in order to optimize a process or workplace. This form of support works as it is enabling DMK’s culture to change gradually, step by step, making the company measurably more efficient. Last year alone, employees’ own ideas generated savings of 18 million euros. Furthermore, signicant improvements were made in the “buckets,” the areas that DMK is focusing on to nd potential for improvement, ranging from safety at work to complaints. When someone at a plant identies potential for improvement, the CI engineers come and help by sharing their knowledge of methods to identify sustainable solutions. Their success is clear to see. As experts, they provide employees with input, encouraging them move away from how things have always been done. The process is not only inspiring for both sides – it also leads to astonishing results.
The CI Community: Made up of people acting as coaches, organizers, mediators, psychologists and helpers.
Project: CI Engineer Olga Pelz from BU Private Label heard that employees in Georgsmarienhütte, Germany, often complained about “giveaways,” referring to cheese whose weight minimally exceeds the weight indicated on the packaging, which is of course a losing proposition. Together with employees in the packaging department, Pelz got to the bottom of the problem – and applied the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) method.
The Tiger buckets: The DMK Group wants to improve in these six areas.
Project: CI Engineer Pascal Hehmann heard from the quality manager at the Georgsmarienhütte plant that too much time was being spent looking for things, instead of productive work. Hehmann was familiar with the 6S method and introduced it to the team. Together they set about putting it into action, sparing no desk, cabinet or storage space in their desire to create order.