Business is a competition in which
playing to win requires a methodical
approach to performance – precision,
continuous improvement and from time to
time, rehabilitation.
ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s approach has
always been to first ensure stable and
reliable operations and business processes,
then second continuously improve.
It’s an approach that requires each and
every employee to act like the business
owner, look at their role critically and
assess how, on an ongoing basis, it might
be done more efficiently.
In 1937 the Suggestion System was
launched. Employees were encouraged to
submit suggestions on how to improve
production and reduce waste. For a
successful idea, they were awarded a
cash prize depending on how much the
suggestion saved the company. Each
year, a Suggester of the Year banquet
was held to celebrate the employee
driven improvement.
To give the program a boost, the “Save a
Dime” contest was launched in 1949. The
program was rooted in cost reduction. A
letter to employees explained that every
dime counts: “We all know how little it
will buy today. But … a 10 cent increase
per hour for each Dofasco worker totals
over $750,000. Yes, our costs increase
that much each year. …The only way for
us to maintain profits is ‘cost reduction’
throughout the plant.”
years in, the well honed continuous
improvement efforts fall under the
company’s Value Plan portfolio. Among
other initiatives, the portfolio includes
Total Organizational Performance” (TOP),
an idea generator launched in 2009 that
makes its way through the organization
in facilitated waves. Ideas are culled and
analyzed, with the best being turned into
improvement projects.
In 2011, the company launched both
AMD100, an aggressive boost to
the Value Plan designed to find even
more productivity and efficiency gains
within the organization, and World
Class Manufacturing.
World Class Manufacturing works on the
premise that a business and its employees
are doing one of three things at any given
time: restoring, sustaining or improving.
It then builds in a culture to manage the
operation with a measured approach,
identifying losses, eradicating them and
sustaining the new environment.
The approach is at the local level whereby
teams of employees work together to
spot losses, identify opportunity for
improvement and execute. It’s a grass
roots approach, similar to the Save a Dime
or Suggestion System, but applied with
the rigor of project management and
results tracking.
The quest for continuous improvement
is the natural way ArcelorMittal Dofasco
employees work and the way the
company plays to win.
Looking for losses…
in all the right places