Lean Support Functions

Essential functions for industrial performance

Support functions partially determine production performance, yet there is still significant potential for improving their efficiency.

Production relies on support functions that help to produce goods or perform services in optimum conditions and as efficiently as possible. The main support functions are:

  • Design and Production Engineering, which industrializes new products and operating modes (ranges), and optimizes manufacturing processes
  • Procurement, which ensures that materials and components arrive on production lines
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  • Quality, which defines the operating modes to obtain the required quality level
  • Maintenance, which ensures the availability of production equipment
  • Logistics, which coordinates physical flows of materials, components and finished products
  • Industrial Management Auditing, which produces and tracks KPIs, helping to demonstrate potential for improvement

Each of these functions contributes to overall production performance. It is therefore important to:

  • Carefully quantify and analyze all these tasks and expenditure on the services concerned
  • Question the need and value of different tasks and activities
  • Assess the risk of potentially eliminating certain tasks
  • Optimize interfaces between these functions and production
  • Set cost reduction targets to different managers, in order to stimulate the questioning of costs and to allow changes in behavior

How can Argon Consulting help you?

  • Choosing units for the analysis and calculation of a cost-reduction target
  • Identifying the related tasks and expenditure for each analysis unit
  • Analyzing performance and critical processes
  • Performing client mirror-style studies on the activities of the functions analyzed
  • Identifying levers and potential for improvement (low-added-value tasks, useless expenditure, organizational disruptions, benchmarks, etc.)
  • Assessing the risk of eliminating certain tasks and/or certain expenditure
  • Optimizing cross-functional processes between each function and production
  • Studying potential disruptions in depth and proposing alternative target organization scenarios
  • Managing the entire analysis phase, involving key stakeholders (service heads, training, etc.) and related communication
  • Drafting and managing the implementation plan and monitoring gains

Case Studies

Identify the paths of improvement of industrial performance for an automotive equipment supplier