"Culture of Efficiency"
The production system (PS) is a modern and efficient type of organization of production, focused on combating losses in all types of enterprise activities. This is a set of approaches and tools that help increase efficiency, reduce losses and involve people in the process of modernizing production. Many Russian companies are already actively using production system tools in their work.
One of the successful examples of the implementation of the PS is the largest gold mining company in Russia, Polyus. Pavel Vorsin, Managing Director of the gold mining company Polyus Krasnoyarsk, shared his experience in implementing a production system (PS).
Polyus Krasnoyarsk is the main production unit providing more than 60% of the entire annual production of the Polyus Group. The main industrial sites — the Olimpiada and Blagodatnoye fields — are located in the Severo-Yenisei region of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. Polyus is one of the main taxpayers in the Krasnoyarsk Territory.
– Pavel Gennadievich, tell us how developed the PS is at the moment at the enterprise? What results have you achieved?
– The implementation of the Polyus production system began at the company’s enterprises in 2015. The purpose of this work is to create a culture of lean manufacturing and a system of continuous process improvements to improve the quality of work and competitiveness in the global market.
The Polyus Manufacturing System is a very powerful tool for continuous improvement and lean manufacturing. Our company is considered one of the most efficient in the industry, and all activities, including PS, are aimed at increasing productivity, reducing injuries, continuous improvement, including safety measures, and more correct risk assessment. A production system is a range of activities and tools that help you work better, easier and more productively.
In 2020, Polyus Krasnoyarsk produced 51 tons of gold. We can say with confidence that a significant part of it was obtained thanks to the rationalization proposals of employees, the implementation of projects to improve operational efficiency and TOP.
Over the entire period of work of the PSP at the Krasnoyarsk business unit, employees have submitted over 12 thousand proposals. Of these, last year – 3,392 proposals. A third of all proposals were submitted to improve working conditions. In second and third place are offerings focused on performance and security.
16 activities of the TOP program were implemented. The financial effect of the events amounted to 376 million rubles. rub. At the same time, it should be noted that, compared to 2019, the involvement of staff in the submission of proposals increased by 10%, and their implementation increased by 15%.
– Pavel Gennadyevich, for three years you headed the Polyus business unit in Magadan. Now you are in charge of Polyus Krasnoyarsk. What differences do you see in these two business units in terms of PS?
– Development, increase in productivity, increase in capacity, increase in efficiency – these are issues that any manufacturing company has to solve. And we solve these challenges with the help of production system tools.
Of course, each Polyus business unit has its own level of development of this system. In general, everyone adheres to the general concept, they have gone through certain stages of training and development of the PS.
Polyus Magadan at Natalka GOK has developed such tools as a production analysis room, a problem-solving board, a 6C system, and a system for submitting proposals for improvements for individual sections. In Magadan, the introduction of the system coincided with the start of the business unit as such in production. At the construction stage, it was not up to the production system. It cannot be said that all the successes we have achieved have been directly related to the tools of the production system. There, rather, design decisions were implemented to the end and some of them had a continuation. But the productivity of the factory was increased as a result of the subsequent 2019 work by 30 percent. This is also due to the tools of production efficiency.
Many people in the Krasnoyarsk business unit have an understanding of PS tools, because they have been implemented for several years, people use them. Basically, this is a system for submitting proposals for improvements (Kaizen, A3 formats) and the TOP program. Each site has information boards, problem solving boards, the ability to submit proposals in various ways, tools that show where and why the process is ineffective, etc.
Our employees also have material motivation for suggestions for improvements to A3, Kaizen. At the enterprise, twice a year, a lottery of valuable prizes is held among employees who have implemented improvements. Colleagues win cars, ultrabooks, tablets, smartphones and other equipment.
– In what interesting projects or areas implemented within the framework of the PS, have you had a chance to take part? As far as we know, Natalka was a pilot site to start implementing a new PMOS tool (operating performance monitoring system) in 2020. How do you rate this initiative?
– SMOP is a system that still needs to be adapted for production. My implementation stage was more related to the mechanism, settings, etc. First, we determined what the indicators should be, combined everything into a system, put it in a certain form. When they began to discuss it, many questions arose from the production workers. These questions had to be answered, stopped at the initial stage. All this was just being implemented. I don’t know the results now, but at least when discussing the project, many new topics, new issues appeared, the solution of which added efficiency to the overall production.
Before that, there was another project – “Complex Diagnostics”, where we analyzed the processes in a career, involving large teams. We drew up roadmaps, then discussed the implementation of these projects almost weekly.
As a result, everything resulted in a certain picture of SMOS – a system for monitoring operational indicators, which just generalized complex diagnostics, but already in an online format. SMOP are those indicators that go beyond the normative values. For example, if an excavator deviates from the scheduled performance value, there should be answers: why is it deviating, what to do about it. Or, let’s say, the speed of the dump truck is reduced: why, what is the reason for this. It’s all visualized. During the discussions, we added many other questions. And as a result of the discussion, solutions were found. All this in general gave good indicators for a career. We must pay tribute, over the past two years, the quarry has always exceeded the business plan for rock mass. This initiative needs more improvements in terms of adaptability to daily work, you need to learn how to work so that everything happens “on the machine”. The team that stayed in Magadan is doing just that.
Also, one of the first business units in Magadan began to consider projects to improve operational efficiency at the governing boards. Why is it necessary to involve management in project activities?
– This is probably a rhetorical question. It seems to me that this is important and quite obvious, because when discussing projects, some unsolvable questions appear or those that local leaders cannot solve. Therefore, they generated solutions to various issues and constantly set the movement at the governing councils.
– How, in your opinion, does the participation of employees and managers of the enterprise in the activities of the PS “Polyus” contribute to their professional development and growth?
– Certainly, there are concrete examples. For example, a very high culture of the production system at Natalka GOK is shown by the heat and water supply and sewerage shop (TsTVSiK). Employees like this toolkit, in particular 6C, to develop at their site. They are constantly in dialogue with employees, showing how the Kaizen meeting, the Ishikawa diagram, can work. They lay out the problems according to the “fish bones”, “dig into” the root cause and see how the problem can be solved. It is very interesting! I always cited them as an example, and moreover, we brought colleagues from other areas there to exchange experience. And the employees of the TsTVSiK were pleased to show what 6C is, how everything is designed, laid out and how to use it. That is, people came and did not just look at the picture, but saw how 6C is actually implemented on the site, and adopted the experience. The employees of the workshop are improving and using other PS tools. They have an interest and a great desire to develop further.
That’s professional growth for you. Now everywhere there is a demand for a business system, a production system. And having come to any company with the knowledge of these tools and skills, a person will get more prospects, more development. The demand comes from managers, and they, of course, need assistants who know how to use this tool. The demand for such specialists will always be higher than for people who do not know the production system or have not put it into practice.
In addition, I believe that for the continuous development of the system, employees need to be constantly reminded that PS tools are elements of everyday work. This is what we are doing now. People need to be reminded that PS helps solve problems and move forward. I see a lot of employees who are interested.
– What is the culture of efficiency for you personally?
– This is an element of my work and professional development. I believe that without a culture of efficiency, I will also fail as a leader.
– What areas of activity, in your opinion, require more efforts within the PS?
– I see great prospects and opportunities in the development of digitalization. It is necessary to integrate our entire production system into digital. I see that here, at Polyus Krasnoyarsk, they are using it, but not enough yet. Until now, anachronisms have been preserved – pieces of paper, drawings, etc. I urge my colleagues not to “send” reports to each other, but to unload everything we need from the system and see: where, who and how works, how to increase efficiency. I am setting up more and more colleagues for this kind of work.
– How, in your opinion, does PS contribute to the achievement of the business results of Polyus in general and the Krasnoyarsk business unit in particular?
– We use PS tools in such important processes as repairs of the mining and transport complex, mining, labor protection and industrial safety.
Safety first. Here we need to look at how to integrate the production system with labor protection, how to use PS tools for safe work, including “highlighting” some problems, analyzing them. These tools help to sort things out, find and analyze the root cause and solve the problem.
In the processes of mining and repairs of the mining and transport complex, projects are needed in which the employees of these areas would be involved, so that they themselves analyze the problems and offer solutions. Especially in the direction of production and repairs, we now have a small “drawdown”. I will not say that the results are bad, but, nevertheless, this is a challenge for us this year and next. And we need to adequately respond to this challenge, using, among other things, the tools of the production system. Everyone needs to revive. And business results will improve.
– How do you imagine the further development of the substation at Polyus Krasnoyarsk?
– Further, the system will be developed through digitalization. Already all processes are so automated that it is simply blasphemy not to use it in a production system. It is necessary to train staff in this and involve digital tools in the SRP.
It should be noted that improvement is a continuous process. If today we have improved something, then tomorrow it is already a familiar way of life. Modern tasks require modern solutions. The Polyus production system allows each employee of the company to realize their potential and turn good ideas into changes that help to do work better, more conveniently, easier, more efficiently. After all, as you know, there is no limit to perfection. We are confident that the achieved results are a point of growth for new achievements and high results. We hope that in the future their number will steadily increase.