With plenty of company past experience and passion, the Team at Sleeman have recently focused considerable attention on stabilizing their operation through standard development around items such as their morning meetings, quality issue investigations and reliability.
Sleeman Breweries Ltd. has a long-standing history in the brewery industry with original production dating back to 1851 in Guelph, Ontario. Over the years, the business has consistently grown and evolved from producing those very first small 100 barrel batches to supplying a variety of interesting and appealing lagers and ales to consumers across Canada.
With an ongoing continuous improvement mindset to "brew stability" if you will, into the business, these areas of focus have resulted in improved communication and overall visibility of key initiatives and plant opportunities!
We were delighted to visit with the Sleeman Team and to learn from their experiences in implementing standards around these particular elements that could lead to improvements in our own businesses. A wonderful overview, an awesome plant tour and some great discussion made this an excellent morning for all the participants!
Discussion revolved around:
1. Hold prevention through quality review meetings (QRM) process
2. Improved risk/change management with implementation of risk assessments for projects and changeovers
3. Improved resource allocation with daily morning meetings
Hold Prevention (QRM):
In 2012, the Sleeman Team introduced their Hold Prevention Process (QRM) designed to address root causes quickly and efficiently and foster a quality mindset to reduce incidents from a preventative and proactive standpoint.
Building on the success of their morning market sessions, quick "standing" meetings are held in high traffic areas. During this session, they review quality problems from the last 24 hours and work towards developing countermeasures which address the root cause of whatever issue is at hand. Incident investigations happen right away and follow-up responsibilities are assigned. Holds can be made on material, labels, C02 issues, etc. etc.
This process heightens stakeholder awareness while simultaneously cultivating a quality mindset throughout the organization. Recognition that something can be done to mitigate or prevent an issue goes a long way in gaining engagement and ownership.
Holds are split up by department and once there, the severity of each is determined and triaged accordingly. At first they looked at low hanging fruit and now they are able to drill down to larger issues. This process has certainly enhanced their ability to look at root cause analysis'.
One thing they have learned is that clear communication is necessary. As such any hold item goes to a point person. This helps to reduce duplication and streamlines processes and creates a history (ie. code issues, label damage, wrong packaging, out of spec material, etc.) The areas, categories and who takes the lead all have to be clearly defined.
As far as determining severity goes, the Sleeman's Team provided the following example which could be tweaked according to your processes and products:
#1 - Severity - Food Safety Issue
#2 - Higher than a 50 pallet hold
These first two will automatically trigger a non-conformance report and will involve different departments and cross-plant participation
#3 - Greater than five repeat occurrences
This will trigger a root cause analysis form
#4 - Two or less occurances
#5 - Supplier defects
These two items will be managed through standard hold forms
Improved Change Management:
It is not uncommon for any Manufacturer to experience quality issues around or near change (new equipment, new processes, equipment overhauls, shutdowns, etc.) - a risk to stability is created. These changes can also have an impact on company holds, downtime, safety and environmental issues as well - Sleeman's included.
To mitigate/prevent some of these issues, Sleeman's set up a Team to help identify the risks before any project execution. This gives them a bit of a leg up so to speak and they then have an opportunity to consider the issue, develop countermeasures and a means to mitigate the risk.
Risk Mitigation Process:
The key elements considered in their particular risk mitigation process includes: Safety, Quality, Delivery and Design.
Essentially, a Risk Summary highlights potential pitfalls and further risks are identified by looking at each step and when can they test for quality issues. These findings are shared and rated and that then determines how deep they need to dwelve into resolving issues before they become a problem. This entire process cultivates a better understanding of the issues/potential issues that may be faced, it brings more resources into the picture and gets more people on board as far as solving issues before they happen.
Improved Resource Allocation:
Through this step by step process, Sleeman's has come a long way in improving their resource allocation - eliminating duplication of effort, improving overall communication, fostering accountability and ensuring informative meetings, and recognizing the importance and usefulness of Daily Reports, Maintenance Notes, Pareto and Action Logs (PDCA), etc.
Sleeman Breweries now takes on a bigger picture focus that takes annual planning to another level such that they look at new products, equipment overhauls, resource allocation, etc. They also take into consideration where they can overlay projects and where they can be proactive on food safety issues etc.
Key Activities for 2014:
It's been a busy year for the Sleeman Team and they shared a number of projects that have rendered successes for them including the following:
Packaging and CI Supervisor Rotation
- Driving CI and support initiatives at production floor level
- Creates a vehicle to foster development of supervision team
- Training, root cause analysis, measuring data, etc. - helps expose different tools
- Encouraging problem solving and engaging people as much as possible
- Cycling through Supervisors on a regular basis
- Have found huge savings and this helps the bottom line
- Leveraging all departments to identify and support 5-S initiatives
- Use Gemba Gembutsu as an additional CI tool - walk areas led by someone in the department - share best practices and look at the opportunities
- 5S is a tool not a solution
- Culture is key - has to come from all areas of company including management
- Has to have meaning and change someone's job
5S Standard Resource Committee (15-20 people)
- Building standards and sharing best practices
- Training and communicating any other information related to 5S
- Ten minute audit once/month
- Managers/Supervisors etc. are 100% engaged/Floor Level is at 80%
- Changes are made by them therefore there is engagement
- Visiting one department per month
- Identifying plus/delta to provide good constructive feedback
- Sharing gains
They are also currently developing a Food Safety strategy framework and overall plan - so definitely a lot on the go with the good folks here!
We enjoyed an excellent tour and there was lots of great feedback on the plant visual boards, engagement on the floor, and other opportunities reviewed by the participants.
Our Roundtable Networking session focused on issues relating to:
- Training opportunities
- Maintenance Networking Events
- Supervisor Tours
Very, very special thanks to our Host, Sleeman Breweries Ltd., for the warm welcome, wonderful overview of their journey to date and awesome plant tour and to all those who participated in this Special EMC Food Sector Event!!
All the best as always!
Bren de Leeuw, Director - EMC Food, Beverage, Bio & Ag Program Canada
Excellence In Manufacturing Consortium - firstname.lastname@example.org - 519-372-6009