Simon Watson, Team Development, Jones Engineering
The following quote from the Toyota Motor Company reinforces this statement: “At Toyota we get brilliant results from average people managing a brilliant process. Others get average results from brilliant people managing broken processes.”
With this in mind we at Jones Engineering, utilising our long history of training and developing people have fostered and implemented new ideas throughout the business in key areas which support our continued expansion. In doing so we have totally embraced the LEAN concept and find that it has considerably contributed to the development of both our employees and the company.
“A Better Way” – Suggestion box scheme Our company has close to 2,500 employees each of whom is an expert in the daily operations they carry out. In order to harness all this expertise, we introduced a suggestion box scheme to allow them propose improvements in their own work areas. All suggestions are reviewed locally on each project and, for any that are implemented, the employee is rewarded with a gift voucher (we have had 32 winners to date).
Every suggestion (successful or otherwise) receives a response and an explanation why it was either possible, or not possible, to implement. In order to further encourage this we introduced a monthly newsletter called LEAN Times.
LEAN Times Three years ago, when we introduced “A Better Way”, we were receiving that many suggestions that we were struggling to respond in a timely manner to everyone who had contributed. In order to improve this process we then established the
LEAN Times. Updating all staff across every project and office on a monthly basis has proved a great way of sharing new ideas, and celebrating the success and innovation of each of our winners. We have had 48 editions of our newsletter to date!
LEAN Steering group In order to coordinate the introduction of innovations across Jones Engineering Group as a whole, we set up a steering group with a representative from each of the companies attending. This has given us another outlet for generating and sharing ideas and helps to ensure that all companies within the group develop simultaneously.
Continuing education To start off our LEAN journey we recruited the help and guidance of an expert consultant. We ran multiple workshops designed to introduce various levels of staff to the fundamental principles of LEAN, and to raise peoples’ awareness of how to use these to make systems better.
We then realised that to be self-sufficient in this area we needed to increase our internal expertise. We looked for in-house volunteers who has strong connections with LEAN Construction Ireland (LCI) and recently sponsored the latest LCI event at the Marker Hotel in Dublin’s Grand Canal Square. Representatives from all the major players across the construction industry were present.
The theme for the evening was “People are our greatest assets. How can we maximise their potential?
See the full report on Pages 39 to 41 of the current issue of Building Services News which can be freely accessed by clicking on the Cover of the magazine right.