Original Date: 06/05/2006
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Lean Supply Program
The implementation of the Lean Supply Program at Rockwell Collins has enabled the company to significantly improve the productivity, quality, and cost savings of its suppliers by involving its suppliers in learning and applying lean concepts.
In 1999 Rockwell Collins initiated the Lean Supply Program (LSP) intended to benefit selected suppliers interested in improving their internal processes for enterprise cost savings. The LSP is an evolutionary process that incorporates four phases of supplier involvement. Phase one identifies suppliers interested in participating and defines the number of lean events that will occur. Phase two targets the lean events for scorecard and improvements. Phase three adopts best practices and trains team members in lean and lean sustainment. Future plans scheduled for 2007 include the implementation of new concepts by merging lean and Six Sigma methodologies into one refined methodology. Based on lead-time, on-time delivery, quality, inventory turns, and spend, suppliers were selected that had the most impact on Rockwell Collins operations. Focus on specific commodity areas was initially addressed based on impact
The teaming plan emphasized supplier growth and stability. A supplier introduction to lean methodologies and primary objectives established the necessary boundaries, followed closely by strategies, measurement tactics, and initial opportunities for improvement. Following implementation, supplier operations were reviewed for current accomplishments in accordance with objectives. Next, improvement workshops were conducted and conditions were analyzed. Gaps from the plan were identified and priorities were established. Time was provided for implementation and improvement, after which workshops were reconvened. Finally, Capstone accomplishments were reviewed, long-term change and objectives were emphasized, and a strategy update was communicated.
Rockwell Collins has also teamed with the Office of Naval Research’s Lean Pathways (LPW) Program and the Supplier Excellence Alliance (SEA) initiative to expand the company’s internal lean initiative. At the conclusion of the LPW Program, quality increased 0.6%, lead-times decreased 4.4%, inventory turns increased 3.3 turns, and on- time delivery increased 10.1%. Since the success of the teaming effort with LPW, Rockwell Collins has taken charge and continues the program. Training and lean workshops remain cornerstones of the process. Rockwell Collins has added a lean calculator to assist in determining the impact of improvements.
Since its inception, accomplishments by Rockwell Collins supplier participants have been significant and include non-value-added reductions from 22 to 1.4 minutes, cycle time reductions from 42 to 18.4 minutes, inventory reductions of 50%, queue time reductions by 3.7 days, 20% reduction of work in process, and lead-time reductions from 16 weeks to 4 weeks.
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