Innovative Work & Visual Planning Toolset in Munters
Munters is a global leader in energy efficient air treatment solutions. As part of its Lean Product Development efforts, Munters identified and deployed a set of lean tools to help them in their knowledge intense day-to-day work. The toolset is named as ‘Knowledge intense Innovative Work & Visual Planning tools’.
Munters is one of the world’s leading suppliers of air treatment solutions. The company was founded in 1955 and has since expanded from Stockholm, Sweden to more than 30 countries around the world. Munters AgHort develops and manufactures energy-efficient climate control systems for the growth and development of agriculture and horticulture applications.
The Lean Product Development initiative started in Munters started shortly after the Nordic Capital Fund VII acquired the company in 2010. The Lean Thinking approach was identified as the right fit to address company’s specific issues such as time to market, without increasing the amount of resources invested in the RD.
Knowledge Intensive Innovative Work/Visual Planning tools have been deployed in Munters R&D across all European offices, from the first year of lean implementation. The toolset consists of the following tools:
1.- Hoshin Kanri and Strategy Definition: Strategy deployment through vision-mission-goals (strategy is cascaded from the executive level (vision) to management (mission) and to engineering and development teams (goals))
2.- Visual Boards: showing, short-, mid- and long-term planning for the team and individual team members
3.- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): related to the team goals for the team
4.- Issue Log and Problem Solving: Focusing on three issues at the same time, the team identifies the best idea and lay-out the steps towards resolving the issue. YWT (What I did? What I learned? What I will do next?) is used mainly as a problem-solving tool that also includes lessons learned
5.- PDCA Cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle): Every week each team member records, in their own PDCA book, about why the plan was not respected and what will be done in the future to make it better. When a problem is identified, a specific department meeting is organized to solve issues and generate an agreed action plan
6.- Deviation Log: Used to record deviations in daily activities. Deviations are reported in a qualitative way; for example, the description of a delay is captured in the log as a deviation, but the hours of delay are not registered
Knowledge Intensive Innovative Work/Visual Planning toolset as in use in Munters
Many organizations use tools and methods like Hoshin Kanri, PDCA, Problem Solving, KPIs, and Visual Boards. However, Munters managed to achieve a really harmonious integration of the abovementioned tools and methods. This profoundly changed the way Munters runs its product development projects, which further enabled its development teams to focus on the strategically important projects, rather than investing time in low-value supporting tasks.
Munters’s Best Practices are presented and described on more than 25 pages in the Lean Product Development Best Practices book. Munters’s chapter is only one out of the 10 chapters presenting the real-world application of lean product development in multinational companies.
The hard copy of the book with the 10 cases is available for only 74.99 EUR.
Munters’s Lean Product Development case is available digitally free or charge to our members.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Matic has over 5 years of experience in working with global organizations from various industrial sectors, either leading or supporting the development and introduction of bespoke lean innovation and new product development solutions. Over the past years, Matic has co-developed a framework to enable better, faster and more integrated innovation across the entire value chain, enabling companies to maximize their innovation capability and deliver truly customer-centric products and services, while minimizing the risk of market failure.
Matic is a certified Service Design Thinking Facilitator, and the creator of the Set-Based Integrated Innovation Business Game co-developed with a multinational Swiss company. He completed his Master’s degree in Global Product Development and Management at Cranfield University in 2012.
Matic is a co-author of the Lean Product Development Best Practices book, and several journal and conference publications. He regularly appears as a speaker and workshop holder at various lean, product development and innovation conferences.
Lean Analytics Association
Dr. Flores has over 20 years of experience collaborating as internal or external consultant in different manufacturing and services organizations, leading several initiatives related to Lean Thinking, Business Process improvement, Six Sigma, Supply Chain, Change Management, Open Innovation, Digital Transformation and Human Centered Service Design; providing also training and coaching.
She is co-founder and president of the Lean Analytics Association (LAA) and visiting scholar at the College of Management of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.
She carried out her Post-doc at EPFL collaborating at the Lean Product and Process (LeanPPD) FP7 European project from 2009 to 2013. She completed her PhD in 2006 at the Politecnico di Milano studying Open Innovation Models to enable Industry-University collaboration for innovation. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Manufacturing Systems in 1999 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Monterrey Tec (ITESM) in 1996.