The Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are key drivers of our economy through their important contribution to GDP growth and socio-economic development. Having proved their resilience in responding to fast changing conditions, even at times of the global economic crisis, SMEs have now become even more important in advancing our efforts to overcome the socio-economic disparity.
In the 2014 budget speech, the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NPCC) has been mandated to provide training on productivity to SMEs. For this purpose, the NPCC has initiated the GoSME project which consists of 3 phases as follows: Phase 1: Analysis
- Audit of company by NPCC including an interactive workshop with employees
Phase 2: Training
Phase 3: Implementation
- In-plant training based on problems identified
- Training of Productivity Champion at NPCC
- Implementation of a project by Productivity Champion and follow up by NPCC
- Membership of Company to NPCC Productivity Club
We have 577 SMES who have registered and participated in the GoSME project.
2. MUDA Free workplace
In the course of their transformation processes, organisations use inputs or raw materials to produce outputs or services. During these operations value added and non value-added activities are performed. These non-value added activities are called Muda – a Japanese word. There are eight different types of Muda
- Muda of Transport
- Muda of Inventory
- Muda of Motion
- Muda of Waiting
- Muda of Overproduction
- Muda of Over-processing
- Muda of Defects
- Muda of Unused creativity
The competitive imperative of optimizing resources and reducing delivery time while improving quality forces organizations to reduce or eliminate Muda in their operations. The Muda Free Work Place programme fulfills these objectives while boosting employees’ morale without neglecting their safety.
The Muda Free Work Place adopts a 7-steps approach, with agreement of the organization management and cross-functional teams interventions where improvements are effected.
The Muda Free Work Place is meant for both public and private companies and has yielded the following benefits where it has been applied.
- 50-70% reduction in processing time
- 20-40% increase in efficiency
- 20-40% savings in costs
- 40-60% reduction in errors
- Up to 50% space reduction
- Significant improvement in employee morale
- Empowerment of human resource
- Discovery of new capabilities of employees
3. Model Companies
Since August 2007, the NPCC has been working with the Japan Productivity Centre (JPC) on developing success stories (model companies) of enterprise productivity improvement using 5S and KAIZEN.
This collaboration was implemented in 2008-2009 in 5 companies- 4 from the private sector and one from the public sector. Three private companies benefited from the project in 2009-2010 and two private companies in 2010-2011. After each phase a workshop was organized to provide a platform for the model companies to showcase their achievements in implementing Kaizen. A round-table discussion with relevant stakeholders from Government, private sector, trade unions and model companies followed to discuss the way forward.
The main benefits of the above project to the companies are:
- Implementation of a structured approach (including productivity measurement methods and team-based approaches) to manage productivity improvement and empower employees to identify, reduce and eliminate muda
- Development of targets and action plans for productivity improvement in alignment with the business objectives and strategies
- Improvement of physical layout through implementation of 5S to enhance production efficiency
- Measurement of productivity and identification of key bottlenecks to productivity improvement
- Financial gains as a result of identification, reduction and elimination of muda
The model company project focused on building model cases of productivity improvement in businesses using 5S and KAIZEN. The key element of the model company project is the consultancy approach starting from obtaining the top management commitment, then problem diagnosis and recommendations and followed by implementation (including sensitisation, training, communication, team-based implementation and monitoring) and sharing of results between model companies. The focus was also on building the internal capacity of the businesses and establishing the right structure for continuous improvement.