Weak frontline management and unsolid implementation of standards lead to unstable quality and output in the workshop. Supervisors and Managers frequently have to deal with firefighting cases, but they cannot blame the frontline leaders who seem hard-working and super busy every day. For manufacturing companies, these scenarios sound so familiar. If looking at the factors that cause unsatisfied efficiency and effectiveness of the frontline management, you will find that the tasks of frontline leaders are not structured, frontline leaders don’t have the instruments needed, and the cross-functional collaboration heavily relies on experience rather than process.
Front-line management as the smallest management organization unit directly affects the product quality and costs, therefore plays an important role in the entire management system of enterprises. We all know that, but how to improve the level of front-line management is not a question that can be simply answered.
To explore this problem, on April 14, 2021, Staufen teamed up with its BestPractice Partner Leoni delivered an in-depth experiential training on Hancho Practices. It’s not just a training session, but an eye-opening “best practice tour”. Companies from Beijing, Liaoning, Jiangsu and Zhejiang participated in this session.
At the beginning of the training, General Manager of Leoni Special Cables (China) Co., Ltd, Mr. Marcus Pflug delivered a welcoming speech and briefly introduced Leoni Hancho project and the results achieved so far. Leoni’s Hancho Project started in 2020, when the company faced the same problems as most manufacturing companies did – weak front-line management and daily firefighting work. With the support of Staufen, Leoni started its journey to build an effective frontline team. Through 1-year teamwork by Leoni and Staufen project team, so far, the safety environment, 5S, visualization and WIP management have been significantly improved, and the process KPIs in the pilot area have also seen positive changes. At the same time, front-line supervisors have been empowered to use lean tools to complete improvement activities, eliminate waste, report problems and communicate in a structured reporting logic , and train operators efficiently.
The results are quite encouraging, so how Leoni did it? During the training, Ms. Zhang Dan – project manager of Leoni Hancho project and Staufen Senior Expert – explained in detail the importance of front-line management and the capabilities that front-line management team must build up. After that, with questions in mind, participants led by the trainer walked into the shop floor, closely observing the behaviors and processes on the shop floor, and communicating with Leoni frontline supervisors regarding their experience and feedback.
Although one day is quite short, the impressions on what others can achieve are unforgettable. Special thanks to our BestPractice Partner company – Leoni Special Cables (China) Co., Ltd. for its generous support, which makes this experiential training session possible. And also many thanks to the participants who spent hours travelling to Changzhou for the 1-day session.