Transport for London: Delivering savings, capacity and flow through Lean Coaching in Maintenance Workshops
The Maintenance Modernisation (MM) Programme is modernising the Asset Operations (AO) directorate, which performs most of London Underground’s maintenance. As part of a wider Lean Programme, Turner & Townsend Suiko were engaged to help transform the Rail Engineering Workshops (REW) and Train Maintenance Unit (TMU) by removing inefficiencies in resources and time from the maintenance processes. The focus was on growth in capacity and identifying sustainable cost reductions (whilst maintaining safety and quality KPIs) while actively building the capability of the teams on site.
- Provide Lean Coaching to Head of NP&S and Head of Workshops; Managers and front-line teams; Business Improvement (BI) team; and other stakeholders
- Support front-line teams to create ‘Flow’ lines within Workshops and TMU to be able to build products ‘easier, better, faster and therefore cheaper’
- Address people, process and capability
- Implement workshop visual management at all levels in the business
- Ensure Lean’s sustainability and cost-effectiveness by teaching (‘learning by doing’) the BI team and workshop personnel in Lean mind-sets, tools, and management
By enabling growth through efficiency, the scope of work was to introduce Lean Thinking to the whole REW team and a focus on the Brakes, Bogies, Wheelsets and Rotating Machines product families.
In this unionised environment, we brought Lean thinking, principles and their practical application to life for front-line teams by:
- engaging effectively at all levels
- providing hands-on support
- pinpointing tangible opportunities
- balancing the right mix of tools and behaviours
There were 5 elements to our approach:
- Visible leadership and direction (targets) from head of workshops and managers – focussed on results (savings and capacity growth) and practices (processes and behaviours)
- Front-line teams applying visualisation and the right Lean steps in the right order
- Creating a 1-piece flow mind-set to reduce waste, grow capacity and reduce costs (doing it ‘with them’ not ‘to them’)
- Lean Training – shop floor training using Lean exercises to ‘learn by doing’
- Lean roll-out reinforced throughout – adapting to local challenges, celebrating successes and continuously improving through lessons learned
Making the difference
Lean Coaches helping front-line teams by:
- Driving Efficiency – Using Lean methodologies to identify opportunities which exceed the savings target and grow the capacity
- Upskilling Leaders & Teams – Through Lean & Leadership training for Senior Management team, Production Managers and Charge hands, one-piece flow training for all of the above plus shop floor teams
- Ensuring Sustainability – Through embedding the right mind-sets, capability and operating systems
- Developing Lean Maturity – Reaching ‘Level 3’, with capability to move beyond
- An example of the benefits achieved include a potential 6-fold capacity increase in Bogie shop using Lean tools and techniques
- Annualised savings of £1.5m are being realised
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