At a Glance
By the end of a 22-week project with Renoir, the client achieved the following:
- An impressive ROI of 3:1, demonstrating the project’s financial success and value generation
- Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) increased in three plant units: Sawmill from 55% to 71%, Central from 36% to 50%, and Primed from 64% to 70%
- Productivity increased from 46% to 85%
- Reduction in corrective maintenance, from 70% to 14%, leading to a more streamlined and reliable production process
- Reduction in the volume of disqualified items by 26%
Our client is a leading South American wood construction products and furniture company, specializing in high-quality construction materials for global markets. It processes 500,000 m³ of wood annually to produce frames, trim, panels, components for doors, stairs, windows and furniture, among other products. With more than 1,200 highly qualified employees it has a monthly production of around 250 containers of items destined for the international market.
The client’s strategic objectives were to grow the business by optimising processes, enhancing productivity and ensuring a consistently high quality across their product range. Part of the Strategic Road Map was to transform operations and unlock its true potential.
The first step of the operational improvement process was to undertake a thorough analysis of the Maintenance and Production functions. Conducted over three weeks, the analysis unveiled critical inefficiencies that undermined the company’s ability to achieve their strategic objectives. Among the issues identified were an inefficient system of management, a myriad of stoppage codes, inadequate production records and unreliable data on rework and reclassified items.
Moreover, the lack of proper management of reclassified materials and generic production standards further hindered performance. The existing reporting routines were deemed inadequate, and the potential to increase Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) was largely untapped, resulting in unreliable outcomes and suboptimal performance.
What We Did
Motivated to surmount the obstacles and elevate their operational maturity, the client devised a robust and management-led project approach to systematically address the issues surfaced during the analysis.
The 22 weeks transformation program was structured so that sustainable improvements to maintenance processes and systems were to be delivered through two Management Action Teams (MATs):
- Production Management (to develop a continuous improvement culture and improve OEE).
- Maintenance Management (to reduce job deviations and decrease execution time).
The MATs consisted of a broad range of multi-disciplinary personnel who contributed enormously to the successful development and implementation of the management system elements. MAT leaders, MAT members, taskforce members, maintenance technicians and safety, warehousing and production personnel all directly contributed and ensured the Regular meetings between Maintenance and Production teams ensured alignment, and a detailed analysis of deviations facilitated effective problem-solving.
A roadmap was designed prioritising collaboration, communication, and cohesive activities across the departments within scope – and executed over 22 weeks. The project’s success hinged on effective coordination, transparent communication, and continuous collaboration across departments.
The following steps were taken during the implementation phase:
Comprehensive employee training for new ways of working
To address the identified inefficiencies, the client initiated targeted interventions. The first step involved rolling out a comprehensive training program to equip employees with the necessary skills and knowledge for OEE Management, Maintenance Routines and Reliability. Hands-on, on-the-job training sessions were conducted to enhance operational proficiency.
A dedicated team of leaders actively supervised operations, ensuring adherence to newly established procedures. The implementation of the Shift Change and Short Interval Control Routine further bolstered productivity and minimised disruptions.
Management model creates culture of continuous improvement
Production standards and operational controls were meticulously reviewed, leading to the formulation of a Management Model. This model was embraced by all levels of the organization, promoting a culture of accountability and continuous improvement. Standardizing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in line with Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) principles formed the basis for performance monitoring and assessment.
“The workload balancing model developed for the Production and Maintenance areas and the implemented indicators allow us to easily verify compliance with our operating costs.”
– General Manager
Our client also introduced a Management Reporting Summary to provide clear insights into its leadership, enabling data-driven decision-making. To optimise processes, they adopted a Workload Balancing Tool to streamline resource allocation and workload distribution. Supervisors implemented a Supervisors’ Active Engagement Routine, ensuring timely maintenance and reducing downtime.
Improved backlog management
Backlog management was revamped through thorough analysis, leading to more efficient planning and resource allocation. Throughout the implementation, regular meetings were conducted between Maintenance and Production teams to align strategies and priorities. A detailed analysis of program deviations was conducted to mitigate future challenges effectively.
The success of the project was ensured by a carefully crafted Responsibility Matrix that allocated roles and responsibilities for each aspect of the implementation process. Training programs equipped employees with the necessary skills, whilst on-the-job training (OJT) sessions enhanced operational proficiency.
With determination and focused execution, our client achieved remarkable results. Equipment availability improved significantly, reducing downtime and associated costs. Labour efficiency soared, optimizing workforce utilization. The company’s commitment to quality and operational excellence further solidified its position in the construction industry.
Achievement of world class standards as measured using the Production Maturity Pyramid showed an increase from 48% to an impressive 66%, whilst achievement using the Maintenance Maturity Pyramid soared from 32% to a notable 58%. The combined impact of these improvements not only boosted our client’s bottom line but also solidified their position as a leader in the global construction materials market, setting new industry standards for quality, efficiency, and operational excellence.
“Now our implemented management system allows us to monitor the entire production process through standardized and reliable metrics, without a doubt it will facilitate our management.”
– Industrial Director
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