Thursday, July 28, 2005

First Sumiden embarks on a lean journey

Business Times p.B3

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
First Sumiden embarks on a lean journey

IN its bid to curtail rising costs of production and remain competitive and profitable, First Sumiden Circuits, Inc., is undertaking a major revamp of its processes, structures, supply chain and customer interaction with what is known as lean manufacturing.

What is lean manufacturing (LM)?

LM is a series of proven techniques that cause work tasks in a process to be performed with minimum of waste resulting in greatly reduced wait time, queue time and other delays. It involves identifying and eliminating nonvalue-adding activities in design, production, supply chain management and in dealing with customers.

As waste is eliminated from processes, it takes less work and less material to manufacture products, so productivity increases. Higher productivity means making more products with the same amount of resources, so product costs go down. Other than reducing waste, the benefits of lean manufacturing are:

• Improved response time of a multiproduct line
• Improved quality
• Reduced manufacturing cost and inventory cost
• Improved productivity
• Improved customer-response time
• Gain in market share
• Improved revenues

In May First Sumiden hired the services of Dennis Hobbs, president of Manufacturing Matters, Colorado, USA, to conduct for its operations team a weeklong implementation training on lean manufacturing. By end of this year, lean manufacturing will be fully implemented in the whole manufacturing operations areas and by next year, First Sumiden will apply Lean Principles in its administrative areas. LM is being dovetailed with its current Six Sigma and other existing quality initiatives to accelerate organizational and environmental changes.

From these improvements, First Sumiden projects a savings of up to 20 percent of production space which can be used in the future expansion of its operations. It is looking at reduced manufacturing cycle time and improved inventory turns. LM will allow First Sumiden to meet customer expectations for lead time, on-time delivery and profitability as it competes in the demanding global market.

With LM, First Sumiden is now uncovering its nonproductive capacity. It is looking at stock-keeping, kitting and material handling. Later, it will remove a good deal of wait time, downtime, rework and scrap. It also hopes to eliminate firefighting and other time-wasting practices. Eventually it will be able to grow its business while maximizing labor efficiency.

Dan Lachica, First Sumiden president, says that all these initiatives are major determined steps toward its entry into the big league by strengthening competitiveness in the global electronics market.

THANK YOU! The Rotary Club of Quezon City North together with Principal Avelina Salvador and 114 teachers at The Tatalon Elementary School are grateful to those who are making their four-Saturday Accelerated Learning Workshop possible. Early sponsors are Adrian and Ronjie Aquino, PDG Meliton Salazar, Noemi and Deo Salumbides, Rosan Salcedo, Ma. Lirio EscaƱo and Mila and Ardel Fadri. It is not late; the workshop will still run on July 30, August 6 & 13. Please call 0917-8996653 or e-mail pa­ for details on how to contribute or, if you are a Rotary club, how to conduct the workshop in your favorite public school. Remember: gawa, hindi ngawa!

(Moje, president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp. and RCQC North, awaits your feedback at

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