"2-2.5-fold growth just because of changes at production facilities!”

Tatarstan is summing up the results of the first year of the national project to increase labour efficiency

Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov

The ministry of industry and trade of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Federal Centre of Competences in Labor Efficiency (FCC) have been implementing the national project Labor Efficiency and Employment Support in the republic during the year. The results are good: in the complete absence of purchases of new equipment, with available human resources, individual enterprises show a spectacular increase in labour productivity. As the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya found out, for this purpose, it was just necessary to begin to put things in order.

Productivity is higher, costs are lower, and loans are cheaper: a master class from the ministry of industry and trade and FCC

On the morning of December 24, the ministry of industry and trade and FCC summed up the results of the pilot project to optimize production processes in the framework of the national project Labour Efficiency and Employment Support. All this cumbersome verbal construction means that before buying new machines and hiring additional employees, one first needs to review the current processes in the production: as we know, the devil is in the details, and it would be good to find these details to increase productivity.

During the first year of the project implementation, 73 enterprises from different spheres have already joined it. It is construction, helicopter manufacturing, production of steelworks, poultry farming, and many others.

The Federal Centre of Competences in Labour Efficiency (FCC), the operator of the national project Labour Efficiency and Employment Support, helps the ministry of industry and trade of the Republic of Tatarstan to lead the pilot project and optimize production processes. The task of the FCC is to help medium and large enterprises to introduce lean production technologies, to revise the processes at the enterprise and make them more efficient. The project is first tried to be implemented in individual production areas, and if it proves to be worth, then it will be scaled up to the entire enterprise.

Large and medium-sized enterprises of the Republic of Tatarstan (with revenues from 400 million to 30 billion rubles) from non-commodity sectors of the economy can apply to join the programme. The share of foreign participation in the authorized capital of the applicant companies should not exceed 25%.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Tatarstan Almaz Khusainov said that during the first year they have managed to do a lot:

“This is a very important project for us. Today, 73 enterprises are participating in it in Tatarstan, where the projects to increase labour efficiency have started. By 2024, we are to implement them at 351 enterprises of the republic. All business leaders who have not joined the programme yet, I encourage you to take responsibility to apply for participation, and we will certainly support you. After all, already six months ago, the head of the enterprise where we are was skeptical about this project, but today we see that its labour efficiency has doubled. And this is not the limit: many global companies such as Toyota, Rosatom, our KAMAZ are implementing projects to improve productivity and lean technologies. And it really works and shows efficiency. Plus, it allows enterprises to get a preferential loan at one per cent for the modernization of their production facilities and for educating their employees on technologies and additional engineering areas for free. So, welcome, we look forward to see you all!

Almaz Khusainov: “This is a very important project for us. Today, 73 enterprises are participating in it in Tatarstan, where the projects to increase labour efficiency have started. By 2024, we are to implement them at 351 enterprises of the republic.

The reinforced concrete example of KDSK proves: this really works

Almaz Khusainov in his remark to journalists spoke not about an abstract but about very specific enterprise: KDSK, part of AK Bars Development Group, has hold a meeting and summed up the results of the year. It produces products made of concrete, cement and gypsum.

KDSK has entered the ninth wave of the enterprises where the programme has been launched (along with Kazan Airport). Experts from the FCC have been working here for six months, since July, and over this time they have already managed to achieve impressive results. Workflow is now three times faster, work-in-progress inventory is five times smaller, and output has increased by 60%. The salary of operators has increased, it has become easier to work, a comfortable canteen has been organized for employees, the quality of safety control at workplaces has increased.

The new director of KDSK, Andrey Nekrasov, who has been entrusted with a difficult task — to “make” a plan for 2020, was introduced to the audience. Nekrasov was brief and said quite expected things in his welcoming speech: he said he knew the production, would increase productivity, quality and implement the plan.

Deputy Director for Production Alexander Kartashev was much more talkative. He read a whole report, in which he touched in detail on all the sites that have been revised, he showed charts, diagrammes and even new buildings commissioned this year by Ak Bars Development using the products of the plant.

“The project took place during a very busy period of our work," said Marat Shagitov. “I speak both for myself and for those who were behind me on the first line, and for those guys who were in shop — all worked with full dedication”

Сhanging the order of addends... does change the sum

Interestingly, in some areas, to achieve an explosive increase in productivity, it was necessary only to relocate the machines and reschedule the location of components. Which is understandable: if everything you need to work is two steps away, then it takes much less time to bring it.

“Thus, just through changes in production facilities, logistics has improved and production growth has grown 2-2,5 times, depending on the site! And all this has been done without buying new machines, without increasing the number of personnel. We just churned it out, reduced losses — we can increase up to three times, I think.”

Not only 'industrial feng shui' but also new technologies, analysis, and training of employees

In the report, Deputy Director for Production at KDSK Alexander Kartashev said that the total production output has increased by 60%. Losses in production were excluded in all possible and impossible ways.

Executives were taught labour management in the programme Productivity Leaders. Now, it is being prepared a training programme from the FCC for welders. Technological process is changing at Sommer's production line: it has become more complex but more productive, and the plant has reached record values on it. The 5S system is being introduced at workplaces. Also, the enterprise now systematically analyze each problem to understand from where it arises. According to Kartashev, it has given an excellent effect.

Since January, work begins in the warehouse: this, according to the deputy director for production, is still a bottleneck. New forms of planning and control — information centres — will be introduced. The total cubic capacity of the shipment should grow by 30% in 2020. This is an ambitious task, but Kartashev promised that everything will be done. He finished his report with a quote from Henry Ford: “Businesses that grow by development and improvement do not die.”

Interestingly, in some areas, to achieve an explosive increase in productivity, it was necessary only to relocate the machines and reschedule the location of components

Cadres are key

The second part of the event was dedicated to personnel. Around the stage in the shop there gathered not only journalists and white-collar workers: on this day, KDSK was awarding and thanking the employees who have made the greatest contribution to the rise of their company. Almaz Khusainov was the first to strike the joyful note of gratitude. The deputy head of the ministry of industry and trade said:

“The greatest asset of any enterprise is, first of all, people. It is you who realise these projects. We see the best results where employees are interested in improvements. Therefore, I would like to wish you that this project, which we have implemented at your enterprise, will become a great beginning in the overall transformation of culture at your enterprise, the transformation of the philosophy of the whole production. And that these projects are implemented one by one. Growth rates of 30 per cent are not the limit. But the main thing is the people who work here, the safety of work, the quality of human capital in this enterprise.”

One by one, the workers of the shops were going up to the stage, receiving their diplomas and gifts. Most of them were very young people: apparently, the Herculian efforts of the republic in implementing the philosophy of WorldSkills are not in vain.

Dzhaudat Salakhov: “The factory where you work has a respected history and traditions. And today I see that it develops, reaches high indicators and is in good hands. There are many young people who are passionate about their profession and the development of the plant”

3,000 people to learn lean production

In total, as Almaz Khusainov said, it is planned to implement the national project at 351 enterprises in the republic. As part of participation in the project, they will be able to increase productivity by 10%, 15% and 30% cumulative total for 3 years.

FCC specialists will help to optimize only individual pilot sites. Enterprises will have to deal with the transfer of lean production technology to other shops and divisions themselves. For this purpose, the staff is being trained: they are taught the world standards and competence of lean production. More than 3,000 representatives of Tatarstan enterprises will undergo the retraining programme.

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By Lyudmila Gubaeva. Photos: Rinat Nazmetdinov
Tatarstan