Original Date: 02/28/2000
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Commodity Teams
Crane Army Ammunition Activity formed Commodity Teams to perform its programs. The Commodity Teams consist of all divisions involved in the particular project engineers, technicians, management representatives, and skilled operators.
Crane Army Ammunition Activity (CAAA) recognizes that the combined voice of engineers, technicians, management representatives, and skilled operators at the very beginning of their individual programs contribute to product and process improvements. Prior to 1996, their approach to cast loading, pyrotechnics, demilitarization, and ordnance renovation was done in pockets from engineering, to planning and estimating, to supervisors, and ultimately to ordnance operators. With standard operating procedures in place, all personnel did not get heard in the process. Problems were not always identified early in the programs, resulting in work stoppages that CAAA found unacceptable.
CAAA made significant changes by using commodity teams to perform the programs. As soon as a request is made for a cost estimate, meetings are held to brainstorm the production process needed. Engineers, technicians, quality assurance personnel, safety representatives, and the commodity managers come to the work site at production startup. After only a few hours into production, the team ceases operations for a team meeting. The process is analyzed step-by-step to make any necessary adjustments.
The commodity teams consist of all divisions involved in the particular project as well as the production line operators. As a result of its team approach, CAAA can fully achieve its production rates within two days, an improvement from its historical two-week average. With little added cost to its programs, CAAA has seen both product and process improvements while gaining valuable experience for future programs. Because CAAA’s programs are very unique in both project scope and duration, the commodity team approach produces high quality, shorter-duration projects. By getting everyone involved in the process, CAAA’s efficiency and safety record have improved and team ownership has been achieved.
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