process improvement in an office environment using lean six sigma

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  • Process improvement in an office environment using Lean Six Sigma

    Finding ways to work smarter instead of harder in day-to-day

    customer service operations

    by

    David Gransson

    Arnela Tunovic

    Diploma work No. 100/2012

    at the Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology

    CHALMERS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

    Gothenburg, Sweden

    Diploma work in the Masters Programme Quality and Operations Management

    Performed at: Panalpina AB

    Fljelbergsgatan 18, 431 37 Mlndal

    Supervisor: Anna Trmnen

    Panalpina AB

    Fljelbergsgatan 18, 431 37 Mlndal

    Examiner: Peter Hammersberg

    Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology

    Chalmers University of Technology, SE - 412 96 Gothenburg

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    Process improvement in an office environment using Lean Six Sigma Finding ways to work smarter instead of harder in day-to-day customer service operations David Gransson & Arnela Tunovic

    DAVID GRANSSON & ARNELA TUNOVIC Diploma work no 100/2012 Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology Chalmers University of Technology SE-412 96 Gothenburg Sweden

    Telephone + 46 (0)31-772 1000

    Chalmers Reproservice

    Gothenburg, Sweden 2012

    Process improvement in an office environment using Lean Six Sigma Finding ways to work smarter instead of harder in day-to-day customer service operations DAVID GRANSSON & ARNELA TUNOVIC

    Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology

    Chalmers University of Technology

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    Acknowledgements

    This thesis is a part of the requirements for a M.Sc. degree in Quality and Operations Management at Chalmers University of Technology, and has been carried out at Panalpina AB in Mlndal, Sweden, during the spring and summer of 2012.

    We would like to acknowledge and thank our supervisors, Anna Trmnen, Area Head of Business Process & Quality Northern Europe at Panalpina AB, and Peter Hammersberg, University lecturer, at the Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, for their support throughout this project, and for giving us the opportunity to perform this thesis.

    We would also like to thank the operators at the Ocean Import Department, their managers, and other employees at the Head Office for Panalpina Northern Europe for their interest in the project, and their willingness to help us whenever we had any problems or questions.

    Gothenburg, August, 2012

    David Gransson & Arnela Tunovic

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    Abstract

    This project aims to analyze the current state and provide improvement proposals for the Ocean Import Department at Panalpina in Gothenburg, Sweden. The department is currently experiencing a heavy workload and feels that there is a need for a new way to improve their processes since they are lagging in performance when benchmarked against other departments within Panalpina. By using Lean Six Sigma the project could connect to an ongoing global continuous improvement program within Panalpina as well as the local interest for Lean Six Sigma.

    The project was executed according to the DMAIC cycle known from Six Sigma theory. The first part was dominated by the measurements of the current state and different workshops, with the goal to map the process and frame problems and causes to variation in the process. During the second part of the project focus shifted towards Lean thinking as this turned out to be the appropriate course for this project.

    It was realized that the greatest improvements lied in continuous improvements instead of heavy data analysis. Information and communication became the main themes in the project, both excess and lack of them is causing a stress on the operators, partly due to Panalpinas worldwide operations which create room for many cultural differences and makes it hard to standardize processes. But even communication within the office has room for improvements, and waste is created as the customer is not always in focus.

    Two models were developed that are meant to guide the future work with continuous improvements by identifying problem areas and providing guidance for how to handle them. Future measurements are recommended on variables inside the process, using process charts. This is a resource efficient way of measuring a process that gives easy analysis and a possibility to predict problems so that suitable countermeasures can be applied.

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    List of abbreviations

    B/L: Bill of Lading (receipt of shipment for legal and practical purposes) DMAIC: Improvement methodology used in Six Sigma FCL: Full Container Load LCL: Less then Container Load PDCA: Plan Do Check Act; improvement methodology used in Lean. PMT: Process Measurement Tool SOP: Standard Operating Procedure WIP: Work in progress (material being in production)

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    Table of Contents

    1 Introduction ....................................................................................................................1

    1.1 Background ..............................................................................................................1

    1.2 Goal Statement ........................................................................................................2

    1.3 Project planning .......................................................................................................2

    2 Theory .............................................................................................................................3

    2.1 Introduction to Six Sigma ..........................................................................................3

    2.2 Introduction to Lean .................................................................................................4

    2.3 Lean Six Sigma ..........................................................................................................7

    2.4 Lean in service and administration ...........................................................................8

    2.5 Six Sigma in service and administration ....................................................................8

    2.6 Change management ...............................................................................................9

    3 Methodology .................................................................................................................11

    3.1 Literature study ......................................................................................................11

    3.2 Action research ......................................................................................................11

    3.3 Workshops .............................................................................................................11

    3.4 Observations ..........................................................................................................11

    3.5 Measurements .......................................................................................................12

    3.6 Interviews ..............................................................................................................12

    4 Define............................................................................................................................13

    4.1 Identification of process and customer requirements.............................................13

    4.2 Initial identification of problem areas .....................................................................17

    4.3 Fishbone Diagram ...................................................................................................19

    4.4 A defined summary ................................................................................................19

    5 Measure ........................................................................................................................21

    5.1 Identification and classification of process parameters ..........................................22

    5.2 Detailed measurements of the process ..................................................................25

    5.3 A measured summary .............................................................................................29

    6 Analyze ..........................................................................................................................31

    6.1 The measurements .................................................................................................31

    6.2 Insight in the process visit Gemba ....................................................................32

    6.3 Investigate the possibilities of a reorganization ......................................................32

    6.4 Areas of focus for improvements ............................................................................33

    6.5 An analyzed summary ............................................................................................36

    7 Improve .........................................................................................................................37

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    7.1 Introductory workshops .........................................................................................37

    7.2 Identified areas of focus for improvements ............................................................39

    7.3 Model for continuous day-to-day improvement work ............................................43

    7.4 Model for long-term improvements ...........................