On the road towards operational excellence

You want to reduce your manufacturing costs?, improve the quality of your products and services?, reduce ambiguity in processses

With a continuous improvement process, any company must define, improve and automate its processes in order to generate savings and reduce its risks. Start the process now!

Finally a company that offers me solutions adapted to my needs. I had bad experiences in the past with engineering firms because they offered very expensive 4.0 solutions that did not necessarily meet my needs. I like your approach because it allowed me to generate results as and when.

President, equipment manufacturing company
Step 1: Orientation meeting
Evaluate and identify

Consult our experts for:

  • Clarify your needs and goals
  • Discuss about areas of improvement
  • Orient your growth strategy
  • Evaluate your return on investment

Why? To beat competitors, better meet demand and lower your costs. Isn’t it the intention of every manager?

Step 2: Diagnosis
Measure and analyze

Carry out a diagnosis to measure:

  • Your productivity level
  • You current processes
  • Your supply chain
  • Your stock management
  • Your current layout

Why? To identify waste of time, money and energy. To ensure a better understanding of activities and processes by stakeholders. To have key performance indicators! 

Step 3: Solutions proposal
Proposition et sélection

Let our experts advise you according to:

  • The best practices
  • Your practical and budgetary limits
  • Your goals

Why? To develop solutions that fits to your needs and that will really help you achieve your goals.

Step 4: Implementation and integration
Realize and implement

Do business with GCC to:

  • Integrate new technologies (industrialization 4.0)
  • Rearranging your spaces
  • Improve your supply chain
  • Optimize your inventory management (order point definition, traceability, receipt, warehousing, picking and shipping)

Why call an expert? The integration of a new technology, system or process requires integration with the elements currently in place. We must think of everything: the response to changing needs, the transfer of knowledge and data, the management of control and intellectual property, the resolution of potential problems and several other essential elements in the selection and implementation. Our experts realize this integration with a structured methodology and a high efficiency.

Step 5: Monitoring and control
Measure and adapt

Measure, control and adapt

  • Your productivity
  • Your rejection rate
  • Your production time
  • Employee training

Our experts can equip your managers and your employees to ensure the smooth running of the company and maximize your return on investment.

It's time

Take the action you need to take to reduce costs, increase productivity and retain more earnings.

WastE: The worst enemy of any business

Do you think you can do better? Could your revenues be higher, your costs lower, your earning greater? Talk to us. Book a free appointment and let’s see what we can do.

our adress:

102 Boulevard Sainte-Rose,
Laval, QC H7L 1K4, Canada

A new Face for GCC

A desire to innovate 

With the advent of Industrialization 4.0, many companies are questioning their traditional marketing approach. GCC decided to take an innovative turn by redefining its brand image. Our team has updated the website to be more representative, attractive and ergonomic. One of the important ideas of this project was the creation of an interactive design containing the six areas of optimization that every manufacturer must work on: continuous improvement, operational excellence, process mapping, industrialization 4.0, facility planning and the supply chain 

We therefore contacted several marketing agencies to present this project. Of this lot of possibilities, Lakhos was, without a doubt, the one that attracted our attention the most. 

Lakhos: trust, efficiency and accessibility 

The Lakhos Group, formed almost three years ago by Anthony Lacoste, is a marketing firm that mainly targets B2B. Using a human approach centered on the desire to build a good long-term relationship with the customer, it was almost inconceivable to choose another company to make our graphic design. Indeed, Lakhos was the only company that wanted to meet us personally to discuss our future desires, as a company, to thus create a design perfectly impregnating the very essence of GCC. Simply by our first meeting, it was clear that the project would be realized in the symbiosis of our two companies. With their extremely professional attitude, a bond of trust was established almost instantly. The values of the company are very similar to those of GCC: innovation, growth, trust, efficiency and accessibility. The project was made in complete transparency and the ideas proposed by Lakhos complemented ours. The result surpassed our expectations. Comprising our six optimization areas in addition to a 3D effect giving a modern appearance, this graphic design represents GCC’s approach to the production of manufacturing companies. It not only illustrates, but also facilitates the understanding of concepts by production managers. 

Infinite possibilities 

Finally, the realization of graphic design with Lakhos was a rewarding experience for all. In addition to this design, our team has created an engaging character that represents GCC’s approach. This character was inspired by Maxime Clermont, the founder and owner of our enterprise. The goal is to personify GCC to represent the human aspect of our company.

We have also created a member area on our website that allows managers to conduct interactive activities (hyperlink to learn more) such as self-assessment quiz and activities to measure and improve their knowledge and management skills. 

Sign up now to stay aware of upcoming events! 

To come up:

Quality Management and After-sales Service

When our consultants complete a project, we ask them to share their experience. This week, our advisor Amir Aoueiss talks about his project of quality management and after-sales service. 

What was the context of the company for which you carried out your mandate? 

One of the largest designers and manufacturers of urban transit buses in North America has established a team dedicated to quality after-sales management. 

What was your role? 

My role was to coordinate the service representatives, the engineering, the production, the purchasing and the suppliers to establish the root cause of each problem and find a permanent solution to prevent the recurrence of all similar problems. This implies that this solution offers a superior quality to what is already done, but at equal or lower costs for the company and their customers. 

What did you appreciate most about this mandate? 

The resolution of each case requiring the involvement of several stakeholders, I was exposed to many points of view and different technical and commercial areas. I could understand the reasoning behind each decision, as well as the effects it had on the product and customer satisfaction. 

What was the biggest challenge? 

My biggest challenge has been to bring together all the technical knowledge and communicate it effectively to decision-makers. I learned that the best idea is worthless if you cannot convince others of its good foundation. 

What opportunity did you identify? 

One of the opportunities for improvement that was identified was to deploy the team’s quality approach to processes further upstream, particularly from suppliers, to minimize sources of errors and increase the quality of the final product. This process of continuous quality improvement is already underway within the company, but it could cover more stages of the supply chain. 

Implementation of a Quality Management System

In recent weeks, our adviser, Amine Baffounoversaw the developing of a certain type of industrial structure for one of our clients. During his tenure, he had to proceed with the establishment of a quality management system. We then asked him about the steps he had to follow in order to conclude the project. 

What was your role? 

oversaw creating and implementing a quality management system in order to control the services offered by the company and satisfy its customers. I had to map the various operational and support processes, create forms, work instructions and performance indicators. With the leaders, I established a quality policy and quality objectives. I was also responsible for training involved employees as well as hiring a new employee for the position of “Quality Manager”. 

What did you appreciate most about this mandate? 

It was a great challenge because the quality management system was building from scratch. In addition, the company’s employees were very enthusiastic, collaborative and open to the implementation of the system. 

What was the biggest challenge? 

The implementation of the various processes led to several new documents that the employees had to complete. It was therefore a question of ensuring the long-term continuity of the system. With the hiring of the quality manager and subsequently of a foreman, the maintenance of the system was greatly facilitated. 

What opportunities for the future have you identified? 

Since the quality management system was built largely according to ISO 9001, when the company deems it necessary, there will be only a few additions to be made and it will be able to obtain ISO 9001 certification. The company will then be able to expand its customer base and become a certified supplier for customers who have stringent quality standards. 

4 Key Skills to Develop and Manage Production Efficiently and Effectively

This article is primarily intended for manufacturing managers, but these skills are also essential for performing in other industries. In addition to suggesting ways to improve your skills as a manager, we share some tips for developing them in your everyday work. 

Change management 

In the modern era, where technology is evolving at a very fast pace, managers are increasingly exposed to change. Some integrate new assets such as machinery and equipment or new work methods, labor and optimized or better adapted processes into the organization. Manufacturing companies must operate through a jostled, regulated industry with several gradual and radical changes. Corporate organizational culture has also undergone several changes in recent years. There is no choice but to manage change to keep the business competitive. 

You must: 

  • Anticipate, understand, manage concerns and fears;
  • Knowing how to communicate the change and the human, organizational and technical impacts it can bring;
  • Involve the employees concerned and create a relationship of trust.

How to perfect this aptitude? 

  • Get out of your comfort zone both personally and professionally;
  • Read books about change management. For example, DavidAutissier’sMethod of Change Management book proposes a structured approach to driving change through a very interesting business model. 
  • Take training courses or attend conferences such as the third edition of theUsine4.0 Conference in Montreal. http://www.lesaffaires.com/evenements/conferences/usine-40/600981 

Interpersonal communication 

Communication is essential in the plant to secure all operations, meet deadlines, meet objectives and ensure resource efficiency. The supervisor or factory manager acts as a conductor. He must set the tempo (speed of execution), guide and coordinate the work of the employees. 

You must: 

  • Communicate, negotiate and maintain relationships of trust with different stakeholders;
  • Be attentive and available;
  • Manageconflicts; 

How to perfect this aptitude? 

  • Think about asking questions when uncertain and demonstrate your listening skills;
  • Take examples from leaders you admire and pay attention to their speeches;
  • Get out of your comfort zone and start discussions with people you are not used to talking about;
  • Undergo corporate communication training for managers.

Leadership 

Factory supervisors need leadership to mobilize their team towards achieving goals and to implement changes in the business successfully. Motivating employees and creating a sense of belonging is key to boosting performance. In some large manufacturing companies, employees feel like little cogs or numbers and it is often this way of dealing with the workforce that creates a high turnover rate. That’s why it’s essential to make them feel like great team players and push them to excel. To be a good leader, one must also be able to show the benefits that all can derive if goals are achieved. 

You must: 

  • Delegate and assign tasks according to the strengths of each;
  • Create the best conditions to encourage initiatives;
  • Create a motivating and collaborative work environment that will be conducive to performance;
  • Provide training, development and continuing education;
  • Implement a structure to measure and improve operations.

How to perfect this aptitude? 

  • Practice your speech, intonation and gestures. Enthusiasm and dynamism are very important to motivate employees in the factory. They need to be made to understand that it is nice to work and take on challenges;
  • Be humble and recognize your mistakes;
  • Analyze the mistakes you made to not repeat them;
  • Establish contact with more experienced leaders, a coach or mentor and learn from their best practices.

Problem solving 

As a manager, you must be able to recognize and solve problems of different natures in a stable or emergency state. To achieve this, the human side of problem solving is essential. You have every interest in involving some people in solving a problem. 

You must: 

  • Create a climate of constructive exchanges;
  • Have a good sense of observation: pay attention to all stages of the process;
  • Identify, evaluate and prioritize risks;
  • Check the usefulness and relevance of the information;
  • Really understand the situation in all its facets beforeacting;
  • Regularly clean up the information collected and set aside unnecessary data;
  • Be an agent of change and a promoter of continuous improvement.

How to perfect this aptitude? 

  • Learn and observe daily key performance, security and compliance elements. Ensure the writing of reports to measure these elements;
  • Develop a continuous improvement approach and learn about industry best practices;
  • Make a list of all the problems encountered in the past. You will be more alert if a problem resurfaces;
  • Prepare meetings to identify the problem to be solved and to find solutions.

For some, managing the production or the entire plant may be easier and for others it is a big challenge. At GCC, we believe that some skills are developing, and that skills development is possible. However, when the manager does not have the knowledge, the time or the resources needed to carry out a project, he can call on specialized external professionals. Groupe Clermont Conseil has a team of engineers in industrial engineering and project managers who specialize in the following areas: 

  • Operational excellence
  • Supply
  • Industrialization 4.0
  • The amelioration keeps going

Do not hesitate to contact us for an evaluation of your needs. 

Sources: 

Lise FreveHow to solve problems in business? Transcontinental Publishing inc. and The Editions of the Fondation de l’entrepreneurship, Canada, 2006, 218 pages 

Business. 3rd edition of the Plant 4.0 conference. Montreal. http://www.lesaffaires.com/evenements/conferences/usine-40/600981 

Six Sigma: a Solution for all Companies?

Several managers are interested in the Six Sigma method. Some want to apply this methodology without even knowing what needs it meets. The topic is not only known 

by most project managers but his addressed in several articles that do not actually help managers to determine if the method meets their needs. 

Six Sigma in brief: 

Six Sigma is a quality management tool that aims to reduce the variability of products and services. More precisely, this tool co

nsists of all the elements of a process being found in an interval that is at most 6 Sigma away from the overall average. Reducing the variability reduces the possibility of errors or non-compliance with t

he recipient’s requirements. Instead of fixing errors, this method aims to produce in the manner expected from the first time. It provides organizations with tools to optimize their processes and reduce defects. 

 

Elements to consider: 

To apply this method, it is important to be able to measure the process in question. We must also consider that Six Sigma is a long process that must be learned to master. Therefore, it is important to entrust this change to professionals in continuous improvement. There are several criteria to consider before thinking about implementing Six Sigma: 

Available time 

Implementing Six Sigma in business processes takes time and is not suitable for short-term improvement needs. 

Investment capacity 

The application of the Six Sigma method is generally expensive since it requires the purchase of equipment, the training of employees and the restructuring of certain processes. However, the return on investment is usually very high when the method is well established. 

Business culture 

Openness to change and the commitment of management are essential to implement this method. We must also look at the level of employee engagement. For example, if employees are not motivated, dissatisfied, or do not realize the expected benefits from their work, it is difficult to implement Six Sigma properly and efficiently. In this case, the solution is found on the one hand in terms of human resources. All members of the organization must be ready to understand and participate in the establishment of Six Sigma. 

There are several other quality management and continuous improvement tools and each respond to a need. 

  • Kaizen: increase the efficiency of processes and eliminate wastage
  • 5S: organize the work environment
  • VSM: mapping processes to facilitate decision-making on change
  • SMED: decrease the time of change of the production lines
  • Kanban: getting the right materials at the right time to reduce shortages and costs

The Lean Six Sigma approach combines many of these tools to promote the quality of products and processes to eliminate waste. Stay tuned for our next publications to find out more. 

Implementing a continuous improvement approach successfully requires a lot of knowledge and multidisciplinary know-how. Before investing time and money, it is important to consult professionals in the field. By entrusting this improvement project to consultants specialized in operational management, you avoid overburdening your project managers who already have mandates to achieve. This also ensures that your project is in good hands with industrial engineering professionals. 

Consult an expert at Groupe Clermont Conseil to better understand the needs of your organization. 

Operational Management: in all Spheres of our Life

Have you ever had to do a thousand tasks at the same time, not knowing where to start and feeling that time is moving too fast? Several tasks to accomplish at work, trainings to follow at the same time, household chores to do without forgetting the stress, fatigue and lack of energy that come into play. How can you organize in order to manage your time and priorities? 

Often there are too many tasks and projects to do with the time and resources available. The pressure to perform in a short period of time and the desire to achieve bold goals amplify our time management issues. What if we had done things differently, that we had better establish our list of priorities and that we had not spent three hours on a task that was not so important in the end? 

Several principles of operational management are used in our daily lives. Just like businesses, we also try to maximize our time, minimize our travel, avoid waste and manage our priorities. We live in a society focused on performance and competition. To succeed, we must not only know how to be effective, but above all, think about our “life strategy”. We must therefore determine what is important for us, what we need to periodize and what we must give up. This is how business managers handle to perform, surpass the competition, coordinate their human, material and financial resources as well as possible, thus making their investments profitable. 

What is important? 

Of course, there are several tips for better time management such as setting priorities, checklists, planning and preparation. Despite this, there remains a major problem that most of the workers face: a discrepancy between the watch and the compass! Has it ever happened to you to feel that you are effective and that despite that, you feel that you are not doing what is important? Have you ever encountered any discomfort, dilemma or guilt for not doing something? Indeed, many managers are too preoccupied to climb to success without asking themselves if what they are doing is essential. 

An essential reading for your organization 

If you recognize yourself through this description, you should read the book Priorities to Priorities by author Stephen R. Covey. Much more than a time management book, it offers you an in-depth analysis of your habits and your real motivations. It will be essential in all spheres of your life. As a result of this reading, your perception of time will be transformed to allow you to put your energy in the right place and better manage all your priorities. 

Deux sources : 

Priorités aux priorités de Stephen R. Covey  

Gestion du temps et des priorités — 3 révélations qui m’ont transformé — Mathieu Laferrière [1] 

[1] https://mathieulaferriere.com/gestion-du-temps-et-des-priorites-revelations/ 

Waste: the Source of all Problems

The first reaction after reading the title of the article is to think, “Of course, everyone knows that! “. Still, you will be surprised to find that while everyone agrees that wasting is not a good business strategy, the waste still surrounds all our activities. Probably we will never be able to eliminate it completely, but there are ways to reduce it effectively and continuously. 

Let’s assume that the customer wants to buy a product or service that meets their expectations. At first, it would be up to us to understand his expectations and, once we have understood them correctly, to produce what the customer wants as much in quantity as in time. 

Up to this point and while the challenge is significant, it can get even more complicated if we are to achieve this success by using the minimum amount of resources required to add to our product what the customer wants: value. Any use of resources that does not add value to our product is a loss. 

It can be concluded that waste is anything that exceeds the minimum amount of material, equipment, space and time required to add value to the product. Since all waste is a waste, it is in our interest to fight it. Indeed, in an increasingly competitive market, improving our processes to eliminate waste is a matter of survival. We have no choice but to strive for excellence! 

The idea of eliminating waste to become more competitive is not new. Indeed, it was thought in the 1950s by Kiichiro Toyoda, president of Toyota, to catch up with the giants of the North American automotive industry having, at that time, a productivity 10 times higher than that of Japanese. 

From this idea, MM. Taiichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo, both industrial engineers of the company, have developed waste elimination techniques, which, over the years, have formed the basis of a whole management philosophy aimed at the structured elimination of waste (MUDA). in Japanese) while producing what the customer wanted, in the quantity ordered and exactly when he wanted it. The rest is part of the story; Toyota has become the most profitable automotive company in the world. 

In this pursuit of waste, Toyota has identified the seven wastes (Mudas) to eliminate to move towards quality and excellence: 

Waste from overproduction 

  • Produce required products later to occupy machines or employees;
  • Produce more than necessary “just in case”;
  • Produce large lots to “cushion the race time”.

Waste from waiting times 

  • A coin waiting for its turn on a tablet, in a cart, on the floor,etc.;
  • An employee who is waiting for materials, information, a person, an authorization, an inspection.

Waste caused by transport 

  • This source of waste includes all transport and handling that does not add value to the product but increases costs. One can name thereturns, the double or triple handling, the displacement of the articles during manufacture (WIP). Not all transports can be eliminated, but care must be taken to minimize them.

Waste in manufacturing processes 

  • The ranges and procedures not kept up to date leave useless operations in the process;
  • Verbal indications, redundant operations,over quality,etc.; 
  • This type of waste materializes in the form of prolonged and / or unnecessary production steps.

Wastage due to unnecessary inventories 

  • Inventory is a cushion to hide inefficiencies. It increases costs without adding value to the product;
  • Inventory occupies space (which has a cost) and represents capital tied up, which impacts the company’s overall return on investment.

Wastage due to unnecessary movements 

  • This source of waste consists of all movements of operators that do not contribute directly to adding value to the product;
  • Useless movements include moving to find what is missing, late, to ask for additional information;
  • Operations that require complicated manipulations, turning, bending, executing unnecessary extensions, etc.
  1. Waste due to defective parts
  • Inspections, sorting, retouching, recovery, rejects, overtime, additional production capacity required.

Now that you know the sources of waste around you, fight them, always keep them in mind. Remember that the customer is willing to pay only for activities that add value to their eyes. 

Are you a Firefighter Manager?

Daily problems

Who did not think, one day, getting up in the morning: “What will fall on my head at work today?”

We can’t deny it, everyone has thought about it.

At this point, we think of the following:

  • New orders;
  • Stops of the machines;
  • Late orders;
  • Non-compliant products;
  • Shortage of components;
  • Endless meetings to follow the evolution of emergency plans to solve the problem of the day.

However, a context of overexposure to these kinds of problems generally puts us in a state that will later be referred to as the “firefighting mode”; mode whose name already implies that we are constantly trying to stop problems, sometimes more or less unexpected, but always to solve in the fastest possible time.

Management in “firefighter” mode

Nowadays, it is commonplace in many companies to work in a state of emergency. It has become “normal” for managers to spend their time extinguishing fires that appear almost everywhere.

Thus, these managers, who must plan and manage the business so that it can develop, spend their time in firefighting mode; situation that obviously does not give them the opportunity to plan and control the system under their responsibility. As a consequence of this situation, while the manager is killing himself to put out the fires of today, the fires of tomorrow are being formed. The manager is caught in a vicious circle and the “911” mode drags on.

This point is crucial in a business. When the abnormal situation becomes the norm, we end up accepting it as “the normal situation”, daily and recurring problems are accepted as “normal problems”. We accept our mistakes, the lack of planning and the resulting costs as logical and correct.

So, we accept that our managers work, permanently in the daily, in “emergency” mode. All planning, improvement and development efforts become secondary. The priority is to get through today’s trap; indirectly we agree to work in survival mode (sometimes panic). It is certain that when the situation is exposed to cold, we have no other option than to react to the best of our abilities and to submit to the situation, which, in turn, brakes enormously the long-term development. term.

In fact, it is this passive acceptance above that limits us in our long-term vision. So, because our managers are forced to react to problems that, when they occur, degrade productivity, they must intervene in order to try to put it back to what it was before. Thus, we find ourselves caught in a dynamic that forces us to have to move back to advance in terms of productivity, and this, whatever the industry.

Be proactive

The professional reality is sometimes stuck to the image projected above. How to make these goals born of negative reactivity into proactive goals?

First, it would be useful to use the information surrounding the problems that occurred as a database and then extract a proactive goal.

In short, it is a question of diagnosing “to do” tasks and performing the tasks listed during the week without getting caught in the spiral of the emergency.

Choose Between FIFO and LIFO

In order to remain competitive, several companies are increasing their inventory management efforts. In fact, the raw parts and the finished products stored can become very expensive and the secret of a good logistics resides in the movements of the goods through the warehouse. 

So which system is best for your business? 

FIFO 

First of all, FIFO (First In First Out) minimizes losses due to obsolescence. Companies that manufacture or distribute perishable products (such as food), products that have a life cycle (such as clothing) or products that become obsolete after a certain time (such as high technology) use FIFO. However, the FIFO does not allow for an overall picture of the value of the inventory if the increase in inflation and prices are not followed closely. 

LIFO 

LIFO (last in first out) is best when the value of the products increases with the storage time. It is mainly used for homogeneous goods such as coal, sand, rock, etc. When a new batch arrives at the warehouse, it is put on top of the last batch. It is also useful in cases where the warehouse is small and does not allow rotating lots. LIFO makes it possible to monitor market price changes. When production costs increase, manufactured products cost more. So, if you sell those made with lower production costs, you underestimate the costs and overestimate the profits, since you are working with old information. LIFO provides more reliable and accurate earnings information. You will also be less affected by market price declines, since you will sell the products that cost the most first. 

Which method is the best? 

It depends on the type of products you make. In any case, it is important that the layout of the warehouse minimizes and facilitates travel.