OP LZZ – EDUCATE FOR GROWTH IN THE OLOMOUCK REGION II! REG.NUMBER CZ.1.04/1.1.00/B1.00013
OP LZZ – EDUCATE FOR GROWTH IN THE OLOMOUCK REGION II! REG.NUMBER CZ.1.04/1.1.00/B1.00013
Project Title: Increasing Professional Skills in Autodesk (2D/3D Modeling)
Subsidy amount: CZK 71,000.00
Implementation time: March 2014
The educational activity was discussed by the management of the company and it was recommended to use the training of an accredited center of the international software company Autodesk to increase the competitiveness of the KOVO department and designers, who are significantly involved in obtaining highly profitable piece orders for foreign partners. Gaining new insights into the existing and new versions of the program during the four-day intensive training helped the company create impressive 2D and 3D product designs, speed up design workflows with time-saving improvements, quickly import and merge models from a variety of applications, and instantly increase productivity with AutoCAD Mechanical. The service provider was required to adapt the interpretation to the specific requirements of the company. The result was an overview of new functions and possibilities for optimizing and improving product designs before actual implementation. In its consequences, the educational activity saves time and money during design, helps the company to increase quality and support innovation. Without optimization of the production process, it will not be possible to survive in European competition in the future, which is based on a quick response to changes in customer requirements while simultaneously optimizing design and production costs.
Project Name: Lean Management Fundamentals Course – Production Management System
Subsidy amount: CZK 163,635.72
Implementation period: January to March 2014
Our company’s business activities are defined by current orders from customers from abroad, primarily from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. During many years of operation in these Western European markets, a strong base of business partners and sellers has been built up. Evidence of this is, among other things, the existing authorized representative office of PLASTICO spol. since 2007. s.r.o. on the Swiss market.
The experience of the Swiss branch demonstrated the necessity of a new approach to production and human resources management. Here, the basic elements of “lean production – the so-called Lean management” have already been implemented and, as a result, have contributed to improving the efficiency (competence) of the work of managers, to saving costs in logistics and handling orders. Considering that the company is interested in ensuring the permanent growth of efficient production and increasing competitiveness in the Czech Republic as well, it was recommended by the company’s executive to provide a Lean management course for the company’s top 4 employees here.
The goal of the project was to introduce the gradual implementation of the principles of “lean production” as a way of continuously eliminating waste in every activity (production and management). Each of the course participants is directly responsible for one section of production (head of KOVO, head of supply, head of production, head of commercial activities). During the analysis of the current state of production and human resources management, which was carried out in the spring of 2013, it was stated that it is necessary to strengthen the competencies of top employees and teach them to redefine the goals of the company’s permanent growth and the methods of achieving them, namely:
- by increasing the efficiency of management and production (“doing the right things”)
- by increasing efficiency (“doing things right”)
- by increasing the economy of production (“doing activities with minimum cost”)
- by increasing responsibility (“doing the activity fairly and responsibly”).
The result of the training was the lecturer’s recommendation to implement this system into corporate management. The main priority was to redefine the possibilities of increasing added value for the customer and ways to achieve more efficient production. The content of the course was directly based on the identified needs of the company based on a comparison with the methods of managing production and human resources in Swiss companies with which the company cooperates and to which it supplies its products. The content of the education was focused on increasing competitiveness (production management) and increasing top management competencies (human resources management). Areas of learning should therefore include:
- Lean planning – clear and strategic management of production sections,
- Lean management processes – unambiguous and clear management of processes at individual stages of production (demand-research-production-sales-innovation),
- Lean documented system – simple and clear documents (simplicity for the customer),
- Lean business processes – reduction of waste in processes and their continuous improvement,
- Lean implementation – a system in place to ensure that strategies are implemented and goals are achieved.
Due to the small expected scope of the course (7 days), an expert interpretation of the basic principles of Lean management was required and, in particular, an analysis of possible changes, which in their consequences will ensure an increase in the quality and volume of production (reduction of complaints, losses, innovation – production with a higher margin) and further higher motivation and utilization of workers (reduction of losses in personnel costs, increase of production productivity).
After consultations with the educational company, it was recommended to organize the activity as a combination of individual 6 seminars (moderated discussion, lecturer’s presentation and solution of case studies) and application of individual principles in the workplace. At the next seminar, the results were evaluated with a proposal for their possible implementation into the production management system (human resources). As part of the last day of teaching, the processes of change and performance improvement (what worked, what didn’t work) in the company were evaluated. These individual blocks of education were organized no more than once a week, so that the consequences of the proposed changes could be fully manifested. The ultimate goal of this course was to define the further development of the company in the area of effective production and human resources.
Project name: Project management of production
Subsidy amount: CZK 62,600.00
Implementation period: September to October 2014
At the beginning of 2014, a seven-day course on the basics of Lean management – production management system was implemented for 4 top employees of the company. The aim of the training was to find out the current situation in the company in the field of production management by senior staff. The outcome of the course was the identification of real possibilities for new, effective management of the company and human resources in the current stage of the company’s existence. Product management by top management was characterized by the lecturer as not entirely effective (a large number of specialized orders with high added value intended for foreign markets – problems with production management without complaints, transport logistics cumbersome and expensive, the outputs of the sales economy inappropriately measurable in time). The main problem with the company’s management was identified in the non-uniform methodology of managing individual orders (= projects). It was stated that the so-called project manager (executive of the company) must be able not only to solve the incidents and problems that have arisen (the current situation in the company), but above all to prevent errors, solve them in advance and in a targeted manner.
Powerful tools and applications exist today to manage projects and project tasks, but at PLASTICO spol. s.r.o. a currently functioning unified methodology for managing individual projects (delivery of products – especially containers and other products within individual customer orders) and habits that should be followed by successful managers, i.e. company executives, are missing. At the end of the educational activity, the lecturer proposed a content plan for the training of managers in the field of production management, which should prevent:
- poor planning (outputs, method of project management and reporting, control stages of the project – production and sales);
- insufficient specification of objectives (necessary clear definition of the objective, measurability);
- loss of control over project scope (due to schedule and budget overruns);
- insufficient risk management of the project, the occurrence of material and monetary damages during production and sale.
The improvement of production management as a whole (order – production – sales – service), especially of newly introduced products to foreign markets, is a decisive factor for further economic growth for the company. From the customer’s point of view, there is great pressure to reduce the price of deliveries while simultaneously increasing quality and modernization (more durable varnishes on containers, simpler handling of superstructures, deliveries on set dates to a specified place, technical documentation in accordance with EU legislation, guaranteed operational service).
The training activity was therefore designed for workers who are decisively involved in the management of production, records, logistics and business activities of the company. Of the eight proposed employees, four participated in previous Lean management training, therefore only intensive training in the scope of 2.5 days (20 teaching hours) focused on the specific points of the curriculum was considered. The topic of the training is a continuation of Lean management training, based on its conclusions (detection of deficiencies in management) and specifically addresses how to change the project management of production and business activities to ensure higher efficiency and profitability.
The head of construction and the designer learned to better define the goals of individual orders from the point of view of efficiency and economy (amount of time for product modeling in relation to the selling price, use of standardized products for tenders that are repeated, creation of technical documentation according to project management principles);
The head of the logistics department has mastered the general procedures of project management (reality of product transportation costs, methods of optimizing transportation costs, creation of a delivery schedule within the project), management and prevention of transportation risks;
The head of the secretariat learned the overall project setup, risk prevention (order-production-distribution cycle) and management communication management (team members’ roles, responsibilities and powers). This function includes powers of deputation for the head of the business activity, therefore it is included in this course;
Head of production, Head of the KOVO department, Head of commercial activities, Head of the supply department – mastered the setting of project parameters (supplies, products), risk management and control of project development, comparing project development with the plan, resolution of deviations).
The benefit of the educational activity for the company was:
- acquiring professional skills in the field of “Framework – project methodology”, which serves as a flexible manual of recommended procedures for efficient production for company management in the future, based on the modern principles of the PRINCE2 project management method.
- effective production management – responding more flexibly to customer requirements during production and increasing quality by setting generally valid parameters based on project management. These parameters will be binding and measurable.
- reduction and prevention of risks during production and logistics of order management with the aim of increasing the profitability of production, reducing losses during transport.
- optimization of management work (evaluation methodology and control principles of individual project stages, better use of working time).