15 november 2017
Around two years ago, Rompa Group introduced the lean method within its organisation. Today, every single employee has come into contact with this methodology. Rompa CZ and Rompa China avoid wastefulness in a variety of ways during dozens of large- and small-scale projects. It is time to look back – and forward – with Malcolm Ford, executive director of Rompa CZ, and Anderson Wang, general manager of Rompa China.
Lean was widely implemented within Rompa. “It is part of our very nature to constantly look for ways to make processes even more efficient, add value and improve our services,” Malcolm explains. “That was not the case a few years ago. Back then, we were so focused on growth that we sometimes lacked the time to step back and take a critical look at what we were doing. We created new systems for every new client. That is the very opposite of lean. We understood very well that we had to make some changes. That was the start of lean within our organisation.”
Help from the Czech government
Rompa CZ received help from the Czech government during the implementation of the lean methodologies. Malcolm: “The government helps organisations adopt the principles of lean and thereby improve their performance, so the organisation can grow and create new employment opportunities. That subsidy came in handy, because proper training programs to make a production site entirely lean is not cheap. Next, all employees began lean training and we identified areas of improvement via value stream mapping sessions. This revealed a lot of improvement opportunities in terms of avoiding the waste of materials and time. Our operating system, which we use to inspect our daily activities, revealed that we needlessly repeated certain actions. That had to improve!”
Better service, faster response times and more efficient processes
These days, the advantages of lean methodologies are clearly felt at Rompa CZ. “Our clients benefit from better service, faster response times and more efficient processes,” says Malcolm. “Our own people also experience the advantages. They get to work in a more efficiently organised and structured environment, which also benefits their service to our clients.” What does the future hold for the organisation? “We will continue to come up with and execute lean projects. Our strategic goals are continuous improvement and innovation.”
Lean projects at Rompa China
Lean has also become the standard at Rompa China, Anderson says. “We started a number of new projects in 2013, which put a lot of pressure on our organisation. We needed a huge number of people and had to deliver on time. The client’s interests always come first. By working extremely hard and because of our people’s commitment, we pulled through in the end. Along the way, we discovered that this was not the best way to go about things, however. We thoroughly analysed the situation after the fact. We learned that we could have handled everything much more efficiently, with fewer people and in less time.”
Rewarding employees for excellent improvement ideas
Rompa China officially started implementing lean methodologies in 2015. “At first, we collaborated with an external consultancy firm. Later on, we developed our own lean system,” Anderson says. “Today, we use lean tools to prevent wastefulness in all our activities, from design to delivery.” According to the general manager, the biggest challenge lies in creating sufficient support and involvement among (new) employees. “You cannot force people to adopt the lean philosophy. At Rompa China, we give everyone a chance to think along. Every month, we collect the ideas that were submitted and reward excellent improvement suggestions. We also trained some of our people internally, so they can now teach their colleagues the ins and outs of lean. This makes lean something for and by our people. This approach works: we get a ton of positive feedback!”
Would you like to know more about new and existing lean projects at Rompa China and Rompa CZ? Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds. To be continued!