How was the continuous improvement approach in place at Axens put into practice?
In 2015, a Performance Cell was created at the Salindres site (three people). The purpose of this cell was to implement operational excellence methods aimed at setting up concrete actions to improve economic and managerial performance: safety conditions, product quality, production line productivity and yield, organisational clarity and efficiency, training, along with staff empowerment and commitment. In this context, in January 2017 we launched the CESAME project, “Concrétiser Ensemble les Suggestions d’Amélioration d’Exploitation” (accomplishing together the operational improvement suggestions), which consists in implementing a system for processing improvement suggestions submitted by the production and logistics teams (operators, technicians).
How do you cooperate on a daily basis with the teams in the field?
The process is based on transparency and information of the teams concerned. In concrete terms, if an operator has an idea for solving a problem or improving an operation, he/she drafts an improvement proposal on a suggestion sheet. This proposal is then examined by the CESAME team, consisting of the various managers, the MO (modification officer), chief operator (CO) and operators present. The proposed solution is either “accepted” or “rejected”.
In addition to transparency and information, we need a clear and rapid dynamic for suggestion examination, costing and implementation follow-up. This has been the role of Maxence T., CESAME MO (Modification officer), since September 2017.
What have been the result of the implementation of such a system?
Currently, more than 80% of suggestions made by our teams have been implemented, or will be over the coming months. Maxence has contributed significantly to the success of this project, which is now an integral part of our established and efficient processes that are highly appreciated by our teams in the field. Moreover, the project was rewarded internally by the “Bravos”, a ceremony consisting in thanking certain employees for their accomplishments and for the success of their projects. 8 people were thus rewarded: 7 AXENS workers and Maxence.
Maxence Y., agap2 consultant, supports Axens in its approach to continuous improvement as Project leader with the performance cell.
Like the Project manager, the Project leader is responsible for executing the project, or for a given mission in its entirety (steering, budget, technical, etc.). He is also responsible, however, for the financial, contractual and commercial dimension of the project. Virtually all sectors employ Project leaders. Though we possess generalist skills, we are nevertheless specialists. My projects focus on Mechanical, Sheet metal, Piping and Civil engineering aspects. Depending on the complexity and scope of the project, I surround myself with a team possessing the skills required to complete it.
All companies are currently seeking to improve their efficiency or yield at all levels and are implementing Lean Management, or “anti-waste” policies. I thus provide Axens with common sense support in various projects, in order to offer simple and effective solutions.