The team, consisting of 6 members from various sections in Production Division and Material Purchasing Division, has been looking into ways to better manage the aerial work platforms that Kyokuyo rents.
Before, the person in charge of each section made their own decisions to when to arrange and return the platforms. Since so many vehicles were rented regularly, the members suspected that excessive rentals were occurring due to certain duplication, and thought that the introduction of a centralized management system would be able to reduce the redundant costs.
Based on the team's proposal, the first system was implemented in October 2020. However, in the early days of operation, it was difficult to see any visible results. The team members repeatedly went through trial and error to figure out where the problems were, and how to improve the system.
As a result of repeated discussions within and outside the team, four methods for solving the problem were established.
- Implement the PDCA cycle.
- Collaborate with other teams to prioritize total optimization over partial optimization.
- Visualize and share information with everyone.
- Not think of improvement measures alone, but with others concerned.
With these practices, this team's hard work is finally paying off: the number of rentals has dramatically decreased since April 2021, and we are now able to achieve a monthly cost reduction of 2 million yen (=$17,000) compared to 2019 and 2020.
Great insight into the problem. Team unity. Common understanding. Continuous efforts and involvement of other people to verify and propose solutions. The story of this project, which resulted in a successful outcome, has provided us, their colleagues, with great inspiration for our own daily work. Two thumbs up, guys!