Goal – Creating the Corporate Lean Academy
GUMOTEX, a.s. is a Czech joint-stock company with a long history (founded 1952). The group consists of 7 divisions with approximately 1200 employees. The goal of the company’s management was to change the traditional thinking of employees and gradually introduce the Lean Culture into company processes. The Lean Academy project and its format is their own idea of how to take advantage of the free market opportunities and change the corporate culture to a modern and flexible society. In the years 2013 to 2016, they turned to external contractors for help. Employees led by the Lean Consultant gained basic knowledge and rules that they also simultaneously and practically verified on improvement projects within their own processes.
The objectives of the Academy:
- To share best practices within organization
- Introduce Lean as a standard of corporate culture
- Create multifunctional teams for better mutual understanding
- The transformation of traditional into modern culture
- Continuously improve operational and production results
- Introduce the principle of self-learning organization
Lean Academy scheme:
1st level (year) – basic level
- Theory – 7 forms of waste, the basics of Lean
- Practical testing – Search and analysis of waste directly in processes
- Presenting improvement ideas to process owners
2nd level (year) – medium level
- Practical workshops – solving specific technical tasks / projects
- Theory – deeper knowledge of Lean methods and tools
- Defending the results of the improvement to management, their economic assessment and subsequent realization
3rd level (year) – Master Level
- Only for the best graduates of the 2nd stage (future internal trainers)
- Support for the lower levels of the Academy
- Support in the implementation of Lean throughout the group Gumotex
The first year’s program started in September 2013 and continued until February 2014. The meetings with the consultant were held once a week. Meantime, participants worked individually on their assignments.
My role, as a consultant, was not to propose the best way to solve the problems, but only to point to the weaknesses of the existing processes and in discussion and brainstorming guide employees to the new more appropriate solutions.
Exceeding all expectations, the 13 presented tasks were already defended in the first year. Five of these were also realized. Finished projects after approval of the director of the plant and the subsequent realization led to a total cost saving 7.4 million CZK in the first year.
Taking into account that it was a “ familiarization year“, this was an excellent result.
„It was a most successful piece of work – we started with a pretty small snowball that is gradually growing, it’s a process for several years. While we had previously struggled somewhat with people’s interest, success did not only come in the numbers of the results. Today we have the first 10 graduates of a three-year activity, the Academy is viable, the LEAN principles are becoming instilled in our day-to-day operations and management teams require them in our manufacturing processes. Our LEAN Academy appeals to those employees who want to prove something, to succeed. „Pavel Kašuba – Company secretary
The Results in Numbers: (Year 1):
The proportion of participants: 3.9% of the total number of employees
Defended tasks: 13
Realized tasks: 5
Saving after deployment: 7.4 million CZK