CASE STUDY

Shift start process
improvement

Client: Gold producer
Location: Victoria
Duration: two months

Context

With an expansion underway at our client’s mine, the site’s maintenance team wanted to increase productivity and work quality in the mobile maintenance function. This included consistent delivery of improved availability and reliability of loaders, trucks and drills to support increased production. Observations of the shift start process identified a lack of standardisation in delivery, content, meeting areas and durations. The right information also wasn’t getting to the people delivering tasks, disrupting work and reducing quality decisions.

Approach

The Minset process involved baseline observations, strategy reviews against industry standards, crew engagement, improvement trials, improvement implementations and monitoring. A review of the shift start process, implementation of an information centre and use of visual management techniques were all linked to desired productivity gains. The Minset team also knew engagement with site work teams would support a more than 15% reduced service duration for key equipment, with no compromise to safety, quality or equipment performance.

Minset worked with teams to make information more accessible, improving the communication of relevant information with workgroups when needed for task execution. Handovers and information transfer between shifts, and for teams commencing their rosters, also became smoother. A dedicated area was established for shift starts and a new Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) method introduced to improve problem solving. While it took time to gain acceptance, it quickly built momentum. From a leadership perspective, supervisors and leading hands were coached to better lead, communicate with and facilitate their teams, including training in visual management techniques. This underpinned a step change in two-way information exchange. For example, mine performance measures were now shared alongside specific team information to better connect daily performance with wider business objectives. New visual metrics also showcased performance to teams, leveraging the new information centre’s use of digital and physical methods to share information.

Results

Physical

  • Average service duration reduced by 31% for targeted equipment via teams having the correct information and data
  • Shift starts relocated to new purpose-built meeting area

Process

  • Nearly 50 workplace issues identified and 81% resolved within three months
  • New structured, standardised process implemented for shift starts
  • Visual metrics introduced for teams to facilitate data-driven decision-making

People

  • Leading hands and supervisors coached in key communication techniques – some receiving training in these skills for the first time