Shop floor management - Wikipedia at Schwarz?

How the skills of all employees are brought together at Schwarz

The Internet educes very nice and helpful achievements for all of us - such as Wikipedia, where a comprehensive source of knowledge has arisen through the involvement of many persons and is continuously being amended and improved. The Internet offers the necessary background in which people think with one another, complement each other, correct, discuss with one another and look for solutions to problems and ways for further development. We know the result: Wikipedia has become an indispensable source of knowledge.

A similar approach has been taken at Schwarz. Based on the Japanese philosophy of "Kai Zen" ("Change for the Better") and "Lean Management", "Shop Floor Management" was introduced at Schwarz nine months ago. Bernhard Dürr, Lean Manager at Schwarz, explains: »The aim is to get employees at different levels to talk to each other, to reveal current problems mutually and to look for solutions. But it's also about sharing success and continuing what has helped. Shop floor management is the corporate process to quickly provide all employees with the information they need for their work.« To do this, the employees meet every day according to a certain system, look back over the past 24 hours and define actions for the subsequent shifts.

Dürr added: »Since we introduced this system, the degree of quality and capacity utilization has increased, waste has decreased and the satisfaction of both employees and customers has increased. On top of that, the time for meetings has dropped by almost 30%.« You can see his enthusiasm when he talks about how motivated people are in the company because they feel the confidence and esteem that is placed in them.

In a shop floor center in the midst of the production hall, there is both the meeting point for the meetings and the information center open to everyone, where transparency is created on diagrams, screens and (PDCA)-cards. It is the small, visible part of the invisible network that Dürr and the employees at Schwarz create and maintain every day in order to achieve flexible, efficient and error-free production and to keep improving it.