Special Award: Lean Turnaround

REHAU Automotive, Plant Viechtach, Germany

Statement of the jury

Repeatedly dissatisfied customers, frequently problematic launches, lost programs, and an unsatisfactory EBIT - these are some of the characteristics that can be used to describe the situation of REHAU Automotive's Viechtach plant at the end of 2018.

Satisfied customers, perfect launches, recovered projects and a significantly improved result - this is how the situation can be characterised three years later.

What has happened in the meantime? The Viechtach plant has launched an ambitious lean turnaround project and made the site fit for the future. Starting in 2019 with the introduction of a Team Lead structure, which was extremely important for the required mind change, a paradigm shift was implemented, and processes were optimised according to the value stream methodology. In contrast to the sole focus on technical optimisation that prevailed in previous years, lean principles such as flow, pull, and tact also came to the fore. After successful segmentation, e.g., for the "large parts" cluster, the number of required process steps could be reduced from 36 to 9. The results achieved by the end of 2021 speak for themselves. Here just a small excerpt: Personnel productivity increased by approx. 27%, logistics space reduced by 13% and operating result improved by approx. 20% points within three years and turned from red to green.

Was the effort a one-off flash in the pan, or was a sustainable lean transformation achieved? The jury is convinced that the latter is the case. We are confident that the dedicated management team will continue to optimise the value stream in the newly launched projects and thus further enhance the future viability of the plant. For this reason, this year's Special Award - Lean Turnaround goes to REHAU Automotive in Viechtach.

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