What is a Workshop Like?

For anyone feeling worried about what to expect from an impact workshop, here’s the view of someone who’s been on one:

At the start I didn’t know what to expect, this is something new for us. The first two days we spent mainly in a classroom but it wasn’t like being back at school, it was very informal. I learnt a lot. We did a factory simulation which helped me to understand the De-bottlenecking method, oh and we got to eat what we produced – chocolates. We than had a go at solving a real production problem from someone else’s factory. Our team struggled a bit but we did increase output. Then we were shown a different way to problem solving. I liked it because it was methodical. We had a go at two more real problems using this new method and got to the solutions before our time was up! We were also taught about Cycle Time Reduction which we instantly used on the line. We had a lot of laughs, so much so our MD commented about the noise level!Most of the time we spent on the shop floor following the De-bottlenecking method and using our new problem-solving skills. We started with the slow tipping at the start of my line. I didn’t think we could make a difference, but after watching the tipping cycle closely, and using Cycle Time Reduction, we reduced the tipping time by 8%. The B&N Europe team helped us to turn that benefit into a cost saving for the company. It’s amazing how such a small change can make such a big difference over a year.

At the end of the workshop we did a presentation to the management team, with help from B&N Europe. We were nervous about doing it but felt great when we had finished. We were able to show that, during the workshop, we had delivered an annualised benefit of £161,000 and found a further £47,000 of benefit we needed more time to deliver.

I learnt many things over the workshop and see things differently now. I also had a real chance to see what went on in other areas and I got to work with people I don’t normally work with.

At least 50% of the problems we dealt with we knew about already; no great surprises, but we didn’t know how to deal with them. Before, we had expected the management to decide what to do but we found it hard to present our problems to them and they often got little or no attention. Now we can find solutions to problems ourselves, put evidence together to justify any money to be spent and, best of all, we can make great changes. Things are finally happening.

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