Mr. Jeff Davis has been indispensable in my Lean journey as the Director of the 572 Commodities Maintenance Squadron. I have been privileged to work with a number of Simpler Consultants both in an administrative area and in production but none can match the superior knowledge, skills and abilities Mr. Davis has as a Lean Sensei.
But rather than extol his abilities, I would rather focus on the results he was instrumental in our squadron achieving.
Most notable was the C-130 valve housing repair. In May of 2006, we were faced with increased customer demand for repair of the component. Our average flow days (number of actual days a component was in the shop from induction to completion- to include weekends and holidays) was 22 days and our WIP levels averaged around 30 assets in the shop. At Mr. Davis’ suggestion, he co-led with me a Kaizen event to develop a model cell process with standard work for valve housing repair. Our best guess as an improvement target was a 30 percent reduction in the flow days to 14-15 days. Mr. Davis continually challenged us to strive for transformational change and recommended a 70% reduction. He further stated we should reduce our WIP to the number of work days; so consequently, we set out to get our WIP down to 10 days.
In the prep weeks leading up to the event, Mr. Davis led us to understand the importance of getting the right individuals in the lean event. He provided us with both an aptitude and attitude checklist to identify who should be on the team. We now recognize the wisdom of getting the right players because they play a critical role not only during the event but afterwords as well in being instruments of cultural change for the workforce at large. Heretofore, we very haphazard in our lean event team make-ups.
He also stressed the importance of getting good data – and made us do the tedious work of documenting the current state by capturing touch times for every task. The upfront work paid big dividends once we began to arrange the final work sequences and put the standard work together to meet TAKT times. Again, his understanding of how to really do a standard work event proved crucial in our improvement efforts.
Mr. Davis also performed much of the team training for the event. He provided the right training at the right time which enabled the team to hit the ground. Regardless of the Lean training – VSM, Std Work, Jidoka, Chaku –Chaku, Root Cause Analysis, Poke-Yoke – he has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to get the message across and get folks moving in the right direction.
Bottom line – flow times decreased 50%, rework reduced 10%, first time thru increased from 95% to 99% percent. WIP reduced from 30 assets in the shop to 15. We also saved 10% of our square footage by getting rid of excess assets, repair parts inventory and realigning the work space to move to a cellular flow.
Another area Mr. Davis provided critical help was in our Lean Assessment Model. He provided excellent guidance in structuring our deployment plans in order to leverage lean to improve our business processes. We now have a roadmap for transformation that will carry us thru at both a strategic level and a tactical level. As a consultant to me, he imparted the level of knowledge and the skills to use the Lean system to continuously improvement our production operations.
I have the highest regard and absolute confidence in Mr. Davis’s ability to lead an organization to make breakthrough process improvements using Lean as the system for change.
Charles Timothy Annis
Director 542 MXS Squadron402 Commodities Maintenance Group
I have known and worked with Jeff for over a year, where he has provided senior-level “Sensei” Lean Engineering expertise to the 330th Aircraft Sustainment Wing. His in-depth and hands-on knowledge has been instrumental in guiding and teaching this 1600 person organization in the methods and tools required to root out waste, discover and streamline processes, and create value for our warfighting customers who operate 3200 of the US Air Force’s fleet of aircraft – 47 different models and well over half of the inventory! These include the C-130, C-5, C-17, U-2, F-15, E-8, RQ-4, and MQ-1 aircraft, the entire fixed and rotary wing special operations (e.g. AC-130 Gunships) and combat search and rescue aircraft (e.g. HH-60 helicopters), and worldwide intelligence support through the Distributed Common Ground System. Jeff has instituted a grass-roots approach to implement visual management tools in the Wing, and regularly assists our facilitators during lean events by providing coaching points and continually evaluating their methods. I continually rely upon his advice and counsel, and make time to meet with him regularly at least once a week to assess our progress, discuss ideas, and chart our way ahead. He has been particularly valuable in helping us to break new ground in applying the Toyota method to our administrative environment, where he is adept at keeping a sharp academic and purist eye focused on keeping us from straying from the target.
He is completely trustworthy, has a strong work ethic, and has earned the highest credibility in our organization. He has been instrumental in helping 330 ASW achieve our vital mission of keeping the fleets ready and available in defense of our nation.
Terence R. Szanto, Colonel, USAF
Commander330th Aircraft Sustainment Wing