DLA Supplier Lean Kaizen Event
Bättra led a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Kaizen event with a DLA supplier, focused on reducing changeover times and lot sizes to reduce lead times and Work-in-Process (WIP) inventory. The supplier had delinquent deliveries, production lead times well over a year, and a significant investment in finished inventory, waiting to be inspected by the government. Bättra facilitated workshops with the supplier to develop a current state process map to highlight internal constraints where set-up and cycle times could be significantly decreased. Working with the supplier, we adjusted their approach to running multiple, non-consecutive operations on one CNC lathe by consolidating changeover time to one initial set-up, consistent with the lean principle of Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED). By installing some simple tooling the supplier was able to reduce the total set-up time by 50% from 26 total hours down to 12 hours for all operations. We also optimized lot sizes based on trade-offs between set-up costs (labor) and inventory carrying costs. By lowering the lot size, Bättra was able to reduce total lead time by 30% and realize cost savings per lot.