Original Date: 06/29/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Continuous Improvement Process
The Continuous Improvement Process (CIM) at Wainwright is followed by all associates for submitting, processing, and implementing suggestions and defining awards. This suggestion system emphasizes an ongoing flow of ideas from associates and emphasizes the application of soft technology, 100% participation by the associates, and 1.25 suggestions implemented per associate per week.
A CIM suggestion can be any associate's idea which has potential to improve an area of the work place. The associate determines the opportunity, proposes a solution, submits a completed CIM form to the supervisor, and consults with the supervisor for assistance whenever necessary. Each associate has primary responsibility for submitting, completing, and verifying completion of the CIM suggestion. The form is completed only after the suggestion has been implemented.
Recognition and awards are based on ideas that have been implemented. Each completed CIM counts as one credit; however, safety CIMs count as three credits toward recognition and awards. Cost savings and benefits analysis are reviewed but not overly-scrutinized to avoid stalling the process. Associates are not negatively affected on reviews for a lack of CIM participation, although enthusiastic participation indicates promotability and leadership qualities. Recognition is based on the number of credits accumulated from CIMs completed during a specified period. Awards are made to associates and departments through quarterly lunches, random weekly drawings, departmental bi-weekly drawings, and an annual grand prize drawing.
Since CIM implementation in 1991, savings have increased by a factor of ten with annualized cost reduction averaging 5.8% of sales. The number of CIMs completed per associate per week has increased to 1.25 by 1995, which translates to an average of 65 implemented suggestions from each associate per year.
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