Steelcase is one of the biggest office furniture, architectural and technology for office environments and the education, health care and retail industries manufacturing giant. In a history of 100 years, company faced many problems due to variation in American market but came to prominence as worlds largest office furniture manufacturer.
Steelcase uses many tools/metrics to measure, control and improve operational performance which are stated below:
Value Stream Mapping: It is lean manufacturing tool to analyze current state and future state of the product from earliest stage to final stage i.e. to the customer. Steelcase uses Value Stream Mapping to tract the various stages of product from manufacturing to final finished product on the shop floor to meet the customers requirement more effectively. They have complete value stream from raw steel, painting, building to trim area i.e. packaging and distribution which make one-piece flow of product. By this way they get idea about upstream and downstream activities such as waiting, queues etc.
Control Charts: Steelcase uses control charts to quantify production efficiency. It shows upper and lower limit to keep the process change in control. Steelcase executed these charts to measure the predicted output from the process. By monitoring numerous factors, they can determine whether to make changes in the process or not to improve quality. This data can help them to contrast results.
Poka-yoke: It is Japanese word for “mistake proofing”. It is another lean manufacturing tool that Steelcase uses to avoid mistakes and reduce failures in manufacturing by optimizing the flow of the material in the production. They have advance machine for square boxes which automatically standardizes boxes size according to the product size, this is the best example of poka-yoke that Steelcase has, which ultimately avoid mistake and organize the flow.
Kaizen: Kaizen means continuous improvement in process. Kaizen reduces waiting time and eliminates wastes and improves process that is the reason company employed this lean tool which results in outstanding customer service and business. Performances of both shifts in terms of schedule completing can be analyze in the nerve center to improve process. Their main goal in 2018 is splits, split is any part that did not reach the customer as they are supposed to if they need to make two different ships to go to the customer for get them everything they want.
5S: Is the name comes from five Japanese words: seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. It is methodology that describes how to organize a workspace for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing the items used, maintaining the area and the items and sustaining the new orders. 2 They sorted, shine and set in order work place and inventory and they have separate places for maintenance and tools in which they keep bikes for certain machine tools so in case of emergency they just take required bike to the destination and solve the problem. They have given WOW sign for levels with specific colors such as green color is a complete WOW means level 5 that is very good. WO is given for level 3 which is normal and 4 which is good score and given yellow color and Red color is given for W for level 1 and 2 which is very bad and bad respectively.
Process Flow Diagram: It is the chart that shows production and work flow in the company. Steelcase uses “Water Spider” for this purpose which means there is specific person that ensures the material and inventories are supplied to where they are needed for better performance.
Just in Time: Just in Time methodology is used to reduce the inventory and scarps in the company to meet the schedule on time, Steelcase uses PULL type of production system meaning they just order right material on right time form their vendors as per need. They are able to see their vendors’ inventory and vice versa which ultimately reduces cost on inventory and floor space.
PDCA (Plan Do Check Act): Every zone leader in Steelcase adopt this technique for continuous improvement and to eliminates problems which in turn improves safety. They use A-3 to solve every problem occur in the organization. PDCA is four step cycles used to control and continual improvement of processes and products, which is illustrated below:
Plan- Identify your problems
Do- Test Potential Solutions
Act- Implement best solutions. 3 4
On Time Delivery: Steelcase delivered the product 99.95% on time.
Total Preventive Maintenance: Each machine and equipment that gets in company, maintenance employee is trained how to assess that.
X-Metrics: Steelcase uses this metrics to improve operations which comprises strategy, goals and management.