Photo ©: Hason Steel
Case Study: How Hason Steel empowers managers’ daily operations and collaboration on the factory floor.
Front-line managers at Hason standardized their management tools and structured their routine by deploying Tervene’s connected manager platform. Here is a case study of the project.
Challenges to Address
Throughout the production process, teams have to share a lot of information and have to resolve lots of issues. Initially, the organization used to have strong management practices, such as floor tours and daily meetings. Nevertheless, some practices needed to be more structured to avoid duplicate information, to improve collaboration and to handle issues faster.
“My director of operations had recently appointed new team leaders in the factory. We were looking for an optimal way to use their time on the floor and to help them structure and standardize what had to be done.”
Rémi Boileau, Improvement specialist
What Has Been Improved for Front-line Management Teams?
Structured Daily Control of Operations
Previously, supervisors and managers were already conducting Gemba Walks. However, the Gemba Walks were less structured and thus, the supervisors were highly solicited and struggled to stay on top of all their tasks.
With Tervene, Hason standardized their tools and structured the work of team leaders and supervisors. After that change, front-line managers started detecting issues and handling the resolution according to their role, as well as, avoiding the duplication of information.
✓ Proactive detection of issues
✓ Structured escalation of issues
✓ Higher visibility on all the issues raised
“Team leaders identify issues and solve them. If they can handle them in 15 minutes or less, they act on it. Otherwise, they transfer it to their supervisor. Then, we move on; we continue the day.”
Rémi Boileau, Improvement specialist
“Supervisors communicate the objectives, challenge employees, as well as validate achievements and problems they face.”
Jonathan Beauregard, Production supervisor
With the help of Tervene, Hason Steel structured its cascade meetings and information transfers. Issues raised on the floor are either sent to the right person or are brought up in a meeting in order to be solved. Management meetings gained efficiency: employees now know the discussion points in advance and are able to prepare accordingly.
✓ Daily meetings efficiency
✓ Structured transfer of information
✓ Accelerated problem-solving by the right role
✓ On-going feedback is given to employees and team leaders
“Notifying issues is clearer. Response time and decision making are much faster.” Jonathan Beauregard
“As soon as our meeting structure was in place and we performed gemba walks, we noticed a difference in the rapidity of problem-solving and the efficiency of handling problems.
We transfer to the immediate supervisor any deviations from the standard that are not handled directly on the floor. The supervisor either takes action by handling the corrective action or sends it to the right meeting.” Rémi Boileau
Front-line Managers and Team Leaders’ Efficiency
The supervisors were able to train new team leaders by passing down their knowledge and empowering them to adopt Gemba Walks into their daily routines. By doing so, Team Leaders were quickly efficient. Rémi Boileau mentioned: “we have been able to leverage supervisors’ abilities to coach six team leaders, who took more responsibilities.”
✓ Optimization of how time is spent on the factory floor
✓ Better autonomy of team leaders and supervisors
✓ Structured routine for front-line managers
✓ Cross-team collaboration
“At a glance, in a few minutes at the beginning of a shift, we can go around and raise all the anticipated issues of the day. It is very effective for us.” Rémi Boileau
Current Focus With Tervene: Quality Control
Hason Steel designs tailor-made products. Their teams must deliver high-quality products while ensuring compliance with industry’s standards and norms. According to Rémi, the company now has a better capacity to inspect quality standards.
In fact, the company added questions addressing the quality standards to the Gemba Walk checklists. When handling issues, stakeholders (method, engineering, project management) intervene quickly to ensure quality conformity. Recently, Rémi also added quality inspections through the digital tool. Moreover, audits focusing on suppliers will help the suppliers provide better services to Hason.
✓ Validation of suppliers’ quality
✓ Identification and reduction of potential quality issues
✓ Identification of recurrence and management of continuous improvement
“We have decided to focus our validation on quality, materials used and methods.” Rémi Boileau
3 Success Factors Detailed
1 – Deploying Standard Tools
The initial meeting structure of Hason has been replicated in Tervene’s meeting module and the Gemba Walks structure. From this point, team leaders and supervisors adopted common tools: Gemba Walk tool, Audit module, Meeting module, Task manager, Improvement manager. Digitalization helps standardize management practices, eliminate duplicate information and foster adherence to best practices.
“After a few weeks, a few months, team leaders start to have a structure that is standardized.” Rémi Boileau
“It is an easy-to-use platform that structures operations, people, objectives and response times.” Jonathan Beauregard
2 – Structuring Daily Routines
To structure managers’ routine, Acier Hason incorporates tools into a supervision schedule. Supervisors perform two Gemba Walks in their daily routine. Team leaders perform three Gemba Walks each day: at beginning of the shift, after the lunch break and at the end of the shift. Also, they use management meetings in which all teams collaborate. Rémi Boileau specifies: “our goal was to optimize how we spent time, to choose the right periods to perform Gemba Walks, to avoid disturbing production while getting enough information.”
“All levels of management, from the president to the team leader, everyone performs Gemba Walks. We follow different frequencies, schedules. […] We have established a standard agenda.” Rémi Boileau
3 – Connecting Teams to Foster Collaboration
Tervene connects the front-line managers to the different teams to mobilize the right role in collaboration and problem-solving situations. At Hason, the levels of management collaborate as follows:
→ The team leader performs a Gemba Walk, identifies a problem and potential causes with workers. → The supervisor receives the issues, and using the historical documentation, he handles it himself or transfers it to a higher level of management. → The management team handles the issues collaborating with specific teams: Method, Quality, Engineering and Project management.
“Using Tervene enables us to separate the workload […] and to structure the cascade of information between the different levels of management.” Rémi Boileau
“The technology brings better connections from office employees to factory workers.” Jonathan Beauregard
At first, Hason incorporated their own meeting structure into Tervene’s platform. Next, they focused on improving the Gemba walks structure and the role and responsibilities of front-line managers. Through time, they empowered all teams to collaborate with the platform.
Question : Why is it important to incorporate technology and digital tools?
Answer : “What I like about digital solutions to solve issues is the way they force good practices. It empowers everyone to work the same way. A software will bring this structured and standardized practice to get the gains that we were looking for. Habits and deployment are faster.” Rémi Boileau
Question : How Tervene helps you daily as a supervisor?
Answer: “Smoother and archived meetings. Less duplication of workload or tasks. Ease of communication objectives to team leaders and workers. Notification of what occurs on the factory floor with employees. Faster response times on issues.” Jonathan Beauregard
“In 1 month, Tervene was already deployed, it was already up and running. After 2 months, the gains were noticeable.” Rémi Boileau
About Hason Steel
Hason Steel is a recognized industry leader in the manufacturing of steel products. It specializes in manufacturing pressure vessels and process equipment for the petrochemical, refinery and steel fabrication industries. Established in 1983, Hason now has two facilities and more than 220 employees.
Tervene is the #1 connected manager platform that standardizes management tools, structures front-line managers’ work and connects teams to ensure performance over processes.