Vebo & Cierpa Kaizen: the road towards safe and sustainable undertaking
Project Leader Bas Simon doesn't believe in improving just for the sake of improving.
At Ravo Alkmaar, the global market leader in sweeping machines, Omar Bano is working on continuous improvement. It all started with a Cierpa Kaizen demo. Let's see first: that was the idea. Within seven months, the company has managed to realize significant improvements and savings!
"Ravo develops and produces complex medium-sized sweeping machines. We offer a comprehensive product range with cleaning solutions for urban or rural areas, for sand or leaves, and for freeways or bicycle paths.
Ravo was founded in 1964 in Alkmaar, the Netherlands, where our head office and modern production facility still reside. Nowadays, Ravo B.V. has 250 employees and is part of the French Fayat Group.
We have extensive pioneering experience, and we combine solid, robust technology with intelligent innovations and strong cooperation with customers. We want our sweepers to contribute to a cleaner environment, the improvement of public health, and the well-being of people in urban areas."
"Our sweeping machines are assembled in Alkmaar at the main Ravo site. We also have our sub-site in Heerhugowaard, as well as several service locations."
"As a continuous improver, my focus is on improving production, realizing cost savings, increasing the quality of the machine park, and the quality of our production process."
We were already improving. But after a while, things always came to a halt.
"We were always busy improving. There was no shortage of ideas. From management to the work floor, everyone had ideas about how things could be done differently. We had meetings and interesting conversations. We always started with enthusiasm; we used Excel to record everything - and after a while, things came to a halt again. Implementing and securing wasn't our strong suit."
"I started looking for a system that worked, a system that would provide an overview and would trigger us to continue, one that provided triggers to keep going. Then I came across Cierpa Kaizen and saw what was possible.
It was a bit tough to get everyone on board. Another system, isn't everything okay the way it is? And so I started with a demo. We initiated a new improvement process, and I started keeping track with Cierpa Kaizen, just for me. That produced all sorts of visual and financial insights. Suddenly, I was able to show results. That's when I got people on board: Management was immediately convinced when I showed what savings were within reach."
Even with the demo, Cierpa Kaizen showed tangible results. Everyone was convinced immediately.
"We have a weekly meeting now. Cierpa Kaizen shows you the updates, step by step. You can see all the activities going on. You no longer have to follow up on activities yourself; the software will do that for you: it shows who needs to do what and when. That is exactly what we needed to continue.
People now also see that their ideas are picked up - and that actions are actually completed. That's a great motivator."
"We started with 100 improvement actions, mostly in Production. In seven months, we have already solved 60% of them! We have also eliminated an enormous amount of waste that way, saving us both time and money. In addition, there's a lot more peace and structure on the work floor because the process runs smoother.
The result motivates all of us. At first, Production was the only department working with Cierpa Kaizen; now other departments are engaged too."
We have already eliminated a considerable amount of waste. That saves time and money. And there's a lot more peace and structure on the work floor.
"To make improvements last, do them step-by-step; otherwise, people will drop out. Be open to change, so you can really make progress."