Original Date: 09/14/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Process Improvement Program
Raytheon Missile Systems Company (RMSC) established the Process Improvement Program (PIP) as a way to work with its suppliers to improve their quality, service, and price. PIP operates as a three-day training workshop which is held at the supplier’s facility. At these workshops, cross-functional supplier/customer teams examine a current process; identify waste and non-value added activities; and develop plans to implement improvements. A follow-on review is also conducted 90 days after the workshop is completed. This review verifies that the team completed the action items and implemented the planned improvements.
The primary goals of the workshop are knowledge transfer; redefining an existing process; utilizing the expertise of team members; implementing process improvement changes; identifying future areas for process improvement; and demonstrating the magnitude of improvement potential. PIP can be applied to any area that uses repetitive, sequential processes such as in manufacturing, shipping and receiving, shop order processing, and administrative tasks. Lean manufacturing principles are then used to streamline and improve the process under consideration. PIP’s key factors to success include total commitment by top management; empowerment of the workshop team; workshop team composition; workshop preparations; and appointment of a supplier champion who is responsible for implementing the improvements.
RMSC conducted more than 150 workshops, and has received many letters of thanks from the suppliers that participated in these workshops. PIP is also endorsed and promoted by the chairman of the company. Since implementing PIP, RMSC reduced inventory by 50%, lead time by 49%, square footage by 28%, and distance traveled by 59%. The company also improved productivity by 40%.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.