Original Date: 04/28/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Flexible Work Force
To improve its competitive posture, the Lockheed Martin Electronics and Missiles (E&M) facility in Pike County, Alabama implemented a flexible work force that would help assure the company’s success in future competitions.
Lockheed Martin identified a number of actions including the need to ease and revise job classifications and include new skill requirements. Development of a cross-training program in all areas was also required. A system to track and evaluate employees' abilities and performance had to be developed. Local control and flexibility to work within established policies as well as the authority to develop local procedures would be necessary. The question of compensation to reflect the increased responsibilities and skills was also a consideration. Other decisions were required on the correct team approach, employees benefits, and the degree of participative management. And finally, training in teaming concepts had to be initiated for buy-in from the work force.
Production personnel underwent enhanced training that effectively pre-qualified them for employment. This training program was co-developed with the state of Alabama and represented a critical key to its implementation. All production functions were covered by a single job description (e.g., receiving, stock keeping, shipping, material handling, transportation expediting, kitting, handling, assembly, painting, test, quality inspection, contract data management). Personnel were certified for multiple jobs and work assignments were based on work requirements, not job codes. Through the use of performance management teams, (PMTs) greater employee involvement was achieved with full implementation of operator verification philosophy.
All support functions were also included in one job description and personnel attended the same training as production employees. Support personnel addressed daily operations and supervision of the production line and were trained to perform touch labor tasks to support requirements. Responsibility, accountability, and decision-making were allowed and encouraged at the team level.
E&M has achieved significant benefits from the implementation of this practice. Final inspection yield was 100%, and in-process yield was 98.6%. The PMT rework rate was 0.2%. There was no scrap, and the overtime rate was 4.5% and lost time was .6%. Initial manufacturing cost underrun was significant. And finally, the enhanced operator verification program has almost eliminated all manufacturing defects.
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