Original Date: 08/20/2001
Revision Date: 12/14/2006
Best Practice : Supplier Kaizen Event
The Material Acquisition Center Mid-Atlantic Region at Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Surface Systems conducts the Supplier Kaizen Event for key suppliers. This on-site, two-day Kaizen training program focuses on administrative paperwork surrounding the expediting of items, thereby improving on- time deliveries, increasing communications, and reducing cost management.
In the past when faced with delivery issues by suppliers, Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Surface Systems (NE&SS-SS) often required the suppliers to manually expedite specific items, usually when they were already late. This reactive management approach caused schedule delays, added expense from work-around, and impacted material quality. In early 2000, the Material Acquisition Center Mid-Atlantic Region (MAC-MAR) at Lockheed Martin NE&SS-SS implemented the Supplier Kaizen Event. Kaizen in Japanese simply means improvement, and this type of methodology teaches that higher levels of performance can be achieved through an ongoing process of continuous improvement.
MAC-MAR proactively addresses delivery concerns with key suppliers by providing them with an on-site, two-day Kaizen continuous improvement training event. Its focus is to improve administrative paperwork surrounding the quoting, receiving, processing, and shipping of orders. The Supplier Kaizen Event features training in Kaizen methodology, process charting, self-assessment, brainstorming, problem identification, and developing action items. Actual implementation of the action items is left to the suppliers. The training is being presented at a rate of one to two suppliers per month, until all key suppliers have been trained. Key goals of Kaizen methodology is to involve the workforce in minimizing waste, shortening cycle times, and quickly communicating changes.
Improvements by suppliers became evident after several months following the Kaizen training. Of 11 suppliers who underwent training, each has shown on-time delivery improvements ranging from 8% to 107%, with an average improvement of 43%. These improvements translate to an overall improvement of 10% in on-time deliveries and an 11% reduction in late deliveries for Lockheed Martin NE&SS-SS. Additional benefits include improved communications and a reduction in cost management.
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