World class manufacturing

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World class manufacturing
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World Class Manufacturing (WCM) is a method of improving the cycle of production and logistics. The main objective of the method is to increase quality and reduce production costs. The main rules of the WCM are:

  • Zero waste
  • Zero defects
  • Zero breakdowns
  • Zero inventory

The idea of zero comes from the numerous discussions about what the level of quality should be. Apart from setting realistic objectives, the WCM simplifies things and sets the ideal, to which all enterprises should endeavour.

Evolution of the WCM

The World Class Manufacturing is a concept developed by FIAT and partnering companies in 2005. However the name was used earlier by Richard J. Schonberger in 1986. Both ideas are different and not linked.

The original Schonberger's idea was based on the role of staff, economy, responsibility centers, zero defects, product and process design, partnership, simplicity.

The WCM can be viewed as yet another set of known quality methods, but ordered differently, with different importance. It stands as a competitive idea to Toyota production system, Lean management or Six sigma. The similarities between those ideas are visible, especially on operation level.

The pillars of World Class Manufacturing

The 10 technical pillars of World Class Manufacturing are:

  1. Safety
  2. Cost Deployment
  3. Focused improvement
  4. Autonomous maintenance and workplace organization
  5. Professional maintenance
  6. Quality control
  7. Logistics & Customer service
  8. Early equipment management
  9. People development
  10. Environment

The 10 managerial pillars of World Class Manufacturing are:

  1. Management Commitment
  2. Clarity of Objectives
  3. Route map to WCM
  4. Allocation of Highly Qualified People to Model Areas
  5. Commitment of the Organization
  6. Competence of Organization towards Improvement
  7. Time and Budget
  8. Level of Detail
  9. Level of Expansion
  10. Motivation of Operators

The managerial pillars create a foundation for technical ones. It is not possible to achieve WCM using only one of those sets of pillars.

How to implement WCM?

There are several steps to implement WCM idea:

  1. Reduce the lead times - the ability of sooner delivery can be decisive for success on the market.
  2. Reduce time-to-market - the markets demand quick response. The R&D and marketing processes should be optimised.
  3. Cut operations costs - costs have to be cut wisely. Identify operations that don't create a value and remove them.
  4. Exceed customer expectations - the customer expectations change so rapid, that the enterprise should exceed them, to keep up to speed with the market. The organization should know what customer will want even earlier than the customer thinks about it.
  5. Manage the global enterprise - limiting the market to one country only is limiting the possibilities. Even small and medium enterprises can globalize their operation using internet.
  6. Streamline outsourcing processes - it is impossible to be the best in everything. The organization should increase its flexibility using extensive cooperation.
  7. Improve business performance - the performance should be continuously improved using lean manufacturing or other concepts.


Author: Slawomir Wawak