Using Streamliner to produce rapid improvement plans that get results

I spend the majority of my time delivering process improvement projects for a variety of clients; different sectors – similar operational challenges. A question I get asked when I first meet a client is ‘how are you able to produce improvement plans so quickly?’ In this article I am going to share with you one of the tools I have up my sleeve – Streamliner. Streamliner is a simple to use software tool that allows you to use a variety of improvement methods and efficiently manage the resulting actions. Or, in other words, less time is required to achieve better results for the business when you use Streamliner.

Let me give you an example. I was on an assignment that needed a quick turnaround. The business was profitable and successful, but for the managers running the business it was blood, sweat and tears to achieve their results. My task was clear; find out how to streamline a specific maintenance programme. The programme at the time was scheduled as six weeks per vehicle being overhauled and in my client’s eyes, anything less than six weeks was a good result.

Apart from the six weeks timescale per vehicle there were few performance standards that I could use to give me some context. So, I set up a new project in the Streamliner app and created an audit to find out exactly what they did and didn’t have. I toured the business speaking to staff and operatives as I explored the process I was hired to look at. Any concerns that I captured during my travels were inputted into Streamliner using the Concern – Cause – Countermeasure (CCC) function. Within hours I was starting to build up a picture of how the business was functioning as a whole.

StreamLiner

Find out more about the StreamLiner continuous improvement project software by clicking here.

Next, I delved into a high level process flow of the maintenance process that I was specifically there to look at. I used the process flow analysis function of Streamliner and started to capture some data about the process. As I found issues, or concerns, with the process I captured those too and carried on building a picture of the process and the environment it operated within.

Two days in I was then able to start reviewing the audit results and using the built-in tools I converted these results into practical actions. I did the same with the CCC results, again converting their outputs into actions. By the end of day four I had created an action plan that was fully prioritised, relevant and highly practical. I shared the plan with the Head of Maintenance for this organisation who was flabbergasted that such a comprehensive plan could be created in such a short period of time. As much as I love the praise it was a simple fact that the Streamliner software allows you to ‘chuck’ all of your observations into the system and then let it process it into a prioritised action plan. Follow the plan and you will get the best results for your business in the shortest period of time possible.

As the intervention carried on Streamliner was used to manage the change process, and new items were added as they were discovered. But, what was the outcome I hear you ask…

Well, my client said anything shaved off six weeks would be a good result. By the time the maintenance team and I finished with their process three weeks later, and dealt with the low hanging fruit around the process in their organisation (stock replenishment, scheduling clashes and team allocation), we got the process down to five days. In fact they got so fast at turning the vehicles round that they had to run the team in a Kan-Ban fashion as their supply now exceeded demand. For the same amount of time, as before the project, the team obliterated the back log of maintenance works and could now support their sister teams. Great results!

change management system

Streamliner is a collection of business improvement tools that work as one change management system

The tools I have mentioned in this article are only four of the tools available in Streamliner. The software also includes waste walking, 5S and a meetings management function too. Action reporting tools are built in as well and using any combination of these functions with your process improvement projects can make a huge difference to the effectiveness and speed of delivery of your improvements.

Capturing improvement opportunities is rarely a problem for a business. The challenge is often what to do with all of the issues / opportunities and how to manage your time and resources in the most effective manner. Streamliner helps you to do this very efficiently. So, purchase your copy of Streamliner today and watch the results as you accelerate the rate of improvement your business experiences.

Giles Johnston

Smartspeed Consulting Limited

Author of Business Process Re-Engineering and co-creator of the 'StreamLiner' continuous improvement software tool.

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