164 ◾ Achieving Lean Changeover: Putting SMED to Work
understood, it will be difﬁcult or impossible to set goals, and an unset goal
is an unachievable goal.
Management must be ready to direct other departments to provide
support to the LCO team. The ﬁnance department must be directed to
develop cost models (discussed in Chapter 2) to allow ﬁnancial justiﬁcation.
Purchasing may need to be directed to purchase higher-quality/less-variable
materials. Engineering may need to be directed to modify equipment or facil-
ities. Other departments will need to be directed to provide support as well.
Members of the LCO team will need to be relieved of some of their
regular duties to allow them time to participate in the LCO program. This
will include periodic, perhaps weekly, team meetings, training courses, and
workshops, as well as time to develop and implement the improvements.
Absent management support, immediate supervisors may be reluctant to
allow this. Their goal is to get production out the door. If their people are
taken away to work on changeover, this can interfere with this goal, at least
in the short term.
Finally, management must provide material support to the changeover
team. This can include funding for books and instructional materials, on-
and off-site training, benchmarking visits to other plants, attendance at trade
shows, and the like. It may be hard to show a direct return on this type of
expenditure. Management must provide a reasonable level of funding for it
without requiring a direct cost justiﬁcation.
As improvements are identiﬁed, the team will need money for implemen-
tation. Much of this will be relatively minor expenses that may be available
from operating budgets. Speciﬁc cost justiﬁcations may or may not be neces-
sary, depending on the amounts and company policies. Other improvements
may require larger, capital, expenditures. The team must be expected to pro-
vide ﬁnancial justiﬁcation for all of these expenditures. Management must be
disposed to support these expenditures when they are justiﬁed.
Process or Project?
There are two ways that any improvement program can be implemented.
Both have the same goal but different approaches. One is a process or
open-ended approach which often goes under the umbrella of “continuous
improvement.” The basic concept is that the program will go on in perpe-
tuity. The drawback to this approach is that nothing ever continues in per-
petuity. Team members come and go. They remain on the team but lose