Since 2018, AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG has been incorporating Lean Manufacturing principles into its day-to-day business. With Lean Management, the company aims to improve business processes, minimize losses caused by unnecessary activities, and meet customer expectations even better.
"Introducing Lean Management is one part of the company’s global strategy,” says Maciej Tyburczy, Head of AsstrA Lean & Process Management Division.
“Using Lean Management philosophies and tools, the company seeks to meet customer expectations better, improve service quality, develop the business, and improve employee satisfaction."
At the end of 2018, the company's specialists completed a basic training course in which they studied basic process optimization and got acquainted with the theory behind Lean culture and philosophy. The training was held in the company’s Minsk, Moscow and Warsaw offices and involved the Lean Process Game. The game’s format allows you to test practical Lean tools in an easy and relaxed way. The Lean Game involves a large number of practical exercises based on the business processes of logistics companies. Players can identify and eliminate 7 types of possible losses occurring in the company’s business processes: overproduction, transportation, waiting, stocks, defects, excessive processing, and unnecessary movements.
"There were a lot of positive dynamics at this training! The Lean Game is structured in such a way that with each round I wanted to improve processes – and the results of the team. The main idea of Lean Management is not to look for the culprit behind a non-working process. Instead, look for what doesn't work in the process. Assessing our current work from this point of view, we are learning to see shortcomings in processes and find possible solutions to inconsistencies," says Julia Vesnovskaya, HR Manager at AsstrA.
"The management of the training itself was highly organized, so that was already a great example of time management. Each participant spoke about both visible and hidden difficulties that complicate daily tasks and offered ways to eliminate them. It was a new and definitely useful experience," says Irina Zhukova, AsstrA Sales Specialist.
AsstrA specialists are already actively putting their newly gained knowledge into practice. They analyze the business processes in which they are involved, and, if necessary, seek to eliminate inefficiencies they find. Employees make proposals describing any unnecessary actions they identified and determine the type of each loss.
"Immediately after the training, we sought to reduce any non-value added (NVA) activities not constituting value for AsstrA customers," says Anna Podstrigen, AsstrA Sales Specialist.
AsstrA plans another training course for later in 2019. The most engaged participants will receive a "green belt" certification allowing them to run their own process optimization projects.
"We have just started to develop Lean Management at AsstrA. Despite the fact that it is a long process, we already see the first results of Lean Production," sums up Maciej Tyburczy, Head of AsstrA Lean & Process Management Division. “We have had great employee involvement when it comes to process improvement. We receive more than 25 ideas on ways to improve workflow and corporate processes every month. In addition, AsstrA is creating a new tool to exchange information between employees, carriers, and customers.”