How to Make TPM Everyone’s Priority

by John Auskamp
Posted 10/30/2007

I am from a automotive parts supplier in mid-western United States.

Implementing TPM in a company is not easy. The philosophies of TPM are not that difficult to understand but are a some what difficult task to implement.

In our facility we started with a proposal to upper management on the philosophies of TPM. This started out to be a really good pep-rally for TPM in our facility, all present saw the benefits of TPM. Everyone was ready to go, just tell us what we need to do and we will be there management said. Well it really ended up being a let down for us, and what seemed to be a defeat for TPM. The priorities of individual management members seemed to out weigh the activities of TPM.

Later we found this was not entirely true. In all actuality it was partially due to the fault of our own TPM group. We in the group did a “why – why” analysis regarding the lack of TPM involvement by the organization.

Through some very difficult searching for the true root cause, we came up with this cause:

The organization was waiting for us to show them a direction TPM should go in. If you remember earlier I said management’s comments were, “just tell us what we need to do.”

They were waiting on us to give them some guidance on how next to proceed.

Remember I also said that their individual priorities out weighed those of TPM’s. This is very un-true; TPM is used to find areas of concern and eliminate loss. Most managers are responsible for cost control and loss control in their own area.

In a nut shell what we did was re-train ourselves on TPM, and what we saw was we needed to use those priorities of the managers and department heads as milestones for TPM activities, and even success measurables if you will.

This allowed us to bring TPM closer to home as far as the departments were concerned. We are in the process now of forming a “TPM Implementation Guide” plantwide. Its main body will show how the tools of TPM will be a spear head for helping the departments achieve their goals & objectives. Doing this tunes everyone Into the same frequency of the program.

This is what I would recommend for implementing an organizational philosophy change such as TPM or Lean Manufacturing etc. Have a few members of your organization receive as much training and knowledge on the ideas and activities as possible. Then have them trained in the art of re-education. Change is difficult no matter what implement of change your organization chooses to follow.

Fear of change is the biggest hurdle to overcome for everyone. The only way to do this is through education. The educated will succeed the illiterate will fall behind.

“The illiterate of the future are not those who can’t read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and re-learn.

– Alvin Toffler –

Good luck on your quest for change. It doesn’t matter if you manufacture toys or ships, education is the key.

John Auskamp

TPM Group
American Showa Blanchester Plant

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