Office Rapid Improvement WorkshopImproving time-to-market for a major product

A major automotive supplier was seeking to improve the performance of their product development system. Cost and time pressures by their customers were growing each year.
Finite Element Analysis(FEA) is a resource shared by all project teams. Being on the critical path of the development projects and with limited resources, it frequently found itself as the bottleneck of the value stream.


The FEA team needed to:

–Improve its on-time delivery of analyses to the engineers

–Reduce the lead time of providing analyses

–Maintain its high level of quality

–Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of its limited resources


Started with a 3-day Kaizen Event:

  • Gemba Walk
  • Created Current State Map of their process
  • Analyzed Map for wastes/opportunities
  • Defined Future State Map for the new process
  • Created Transformation plan
  • Implemented “Just-do-its”

Tracked key process metrics to verify improvements

Addressed issues as they arised with Mini-kaizens / A3 problem solving

Provided on-going coaching to project team and leadership


  • Increased capacity by reducing NVA FEA analyses by 25%
  • Improved on-time delivery to consistently 95+%
  • Improved upfront data collection (reduced rework)
  • Reduced Work-In-Process by over 50%
  • Created Standard Work for the process
  • Implemented Visual management of FEA work orders & people loading

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