Operational Excellence (OE) is a business improvement process focused on team-based problem-solving and process improvement. OE leads to meaningful business transformations, including safer, more efficient workplaces. The program emphasizes leadership development, coaching and improvement routines designed to sustain progress and create a stronger culture of continuous improvement. Sherritt has improved visual management and the layout of work areas, management routines and displays to support communications, and weekly alignment on priorities and longer-term business plans.
The Moa Joint Venture’s OE program in Canada and Cuba has expanded to include a Lean Belt component that complements other OE processes. The Lean Belt program focuses on developing easy-to-use continuous improvement tools and putting those tools in the hands of employees. Examples of such tools include 6S (safety, sort, store, shine, standardize and sustain) techniques and visually managed daily huddle boards.
Employees can be trained and certified at different levels (white belt, yellow belt, green belt and black belt). By the end of 2019, more than 70 leaders at the Fort Site had completed the Green Belt program, and they are now trained to facilitate OE improvement activities. In addition, more than 375 employees completed White Belt training, giving them a strong understanding of how to participate in the continuous improvement culture being developed. The vocabulary on site is starting to change and, along with the use of Info Centres (daily huddle boards) as well as other forms of visual management, we are seeing a change in culture and in the way in which business is conducted.
Through the Green Belt program, each leader developed a process improvement, many of which have shown immediate benefits through improved time management, workflows, safety practices and inventory efficiencies. Two exciting process improvement projects include:
OE projects will continue to be advanced as part of the company’s objective to create a safer, more efficient workplace.