Original Date: 02/01/1991
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Focused Factories
Focused Factories represented the next step in development of the teaming concept first implemented at Litton Guidance and Control Systems Division (GCSD) in 1981. Originally started as quality circles, the team concept grew into the Perfect Team philosophy developed in 1983 and 1984. The Perfect Team concept focused on quality improvement and “doing it right the first time” within a specific work group. Although the results were substantial, the teams could only work on items under their direct control. As the teams matured, concern about interfacing with their internal customers grew and the Focused Factories concept was developed.
Focused Factories are work groups that contain all personnel such as manufacturing engineering, quality engineering, and manufacturing operations required to manufacture a product. Normally this group would contain 40 to 50 or as many as 70 to 80 personnel. Each Focused Factory has approximately 3 to 5 Perfect Teams. Each team works on improving any aspect of the operation under its control. In addition, teams work to provide feedback to their internal customers, as well as receiving feedback to improve the product and operations. All members of the Focused Factories report to an area manager. Functional operations within the Focused Factory such as quality and manufacturing engineering are guided by policies and support from a core group of senior people. The support groups meet as teams and also meet with the functional personnel within the Focused Factories to discuss common problems and policies.
In conjunction with the Focused Factory and Perfect Team concept, several personnel modifications have been introduced such as flex hours, job performance promotions, and pay for performance. The teams determine and recommend pay increases, personnel movement if required, and interview prospective employees. Team rewards are provided in a three-tier program and may be traded for gift certificates, team dinners, or larger gift certificates.
The documented results of these changes have indicated a return of $9 for every one invested in employee development. Scrap rates have decreased significantly, and product costs have been reduced with markedly improved yields. Vertical and horizontal communication has also improved, resulting in removal and/or simplification of organizational barriers. Employee attitude and morale has improved to produce a remarkably low employee turnover rate. Many opportunities now exist for an employee’s personal growth. But the bottom-line result of these changes is an improved competitive position for Litton GCSD.
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