Fiam Thinking

The Lean project in Fiam: interview with the Sales Manager Nicola Bacchetta

The Lean Production, which is the philosophy having as its objective the waste minimization in production, was born in Japan in the automotive company Toyota in the half of the 20th century. From there it spread quickly in all the major world economic realities, overcoming the mass production principles.

The Lean@Fiam project: from waste identification to the organisational processes improvement

Fiam, that has already implemented the Lean Production principles in the productive unit, is beginning today to extend them also to other business areas; in particular, “the focus was initially on the improvement of the working methods and of the response time in the commercial offers as well as in manufacturing of customized products claims Mr. Nicola Bacchetta, Sales Manager.

The Lean@Fiam project is carried out in collaboration with the consulting firm Sintesia; since the topics of the project affect many business functions crosswise, the representatives of each of them were included: the IT Manager, the Operation Manager, myself as the Sales Manager, one Sales Area Manager, one Commercial Assistant, one Sales Engineer, one Design Engineer and the Logistics Manager” continues Mr. Bacchetta.

The working plan is developed through a Makigami, that is an analysis technique of Japanese origin that aims to analyse in detail the time needed to carry out the different activities and to identify the possible added value. This technique makes use of moving sheets, on which post-it of different colours are then attached and highlighters used.

This visual planning enables to faster identify the following aspects:

  • the different business people involved in the process;
  • the various stages that represent the single steps currently necessary to transform a customized product demand into a commercial offer;
  • the documents that are being generated to support the different process stages by each business person;
  • the different time needed for each stage, from which the number of technical requests that are being carried out by the company follows;
  • the number of days that on average are needed in order to complete each of them.

This system allows to identify the waste (so called “muda” in Japanese) present at every stage: in fact, from waste additional matrices are born and written on moving sheets that analyse it more deeply and classify it on one hand on the basis of its degree of impact – high, medium or low – and on the other according to the degree of simplicity in handling it – easy, medium or difficult. Out of the different types of waste identified, Fiam has initially analized some and has created for these additional and more specific matrices with regard to the cause of their existence, with the aim to find some concrete solutions to remove them afterwards.

The advantages for the customer and for the company

As Mr. Bacchetta says: “For the customer the advantages that come from the adoption of the Lean Manufacturing in the management of commercial offers and in the manufacturing of customized solutions mainly include the delivery of better responses to their requests and faster execution times. Instead, for the company the benefits include a greater process efficiency, an improvement in the response times to the customer with a related shortening of the solution’s time-to-market and not least a decrease of the structure’s costs.”

“Lean” in fact means simplification and Fiam has long-term set this target, initially in the production department and now also in the technical and commercial ones, in order to achieve benefits both for the customer and for the company itself.

Breaking schemes, habits, mentality to develop every day in a different and better way effective solutions in the field of tightening systems and in the automation of our customers’ productive processes: this is Fiam!

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