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SchmidLEAN

The fine art of perfectionism

Although our production facility is located in the middle of the Swiss Alps, our horizons stretch right around the world. Nowhere is this better seen than in the Japanese Kaizen philosophy we follow. “Kaizen” translates roughly as “change for the better”, and on top of this we have developed our own company philosophy which we call SchmidLEAN.

SchmidLEAN involves continuous improvement and fine-tuning of our business processes. Our products come with numerous options, giving an enormous number of different configurations within our standard range, and as if this variety weren’t enough we also supply made-to-measure products. Today we work to a “one-piece flow” concept, which demands lean processes for batch size one production with quick lead times, because it would be impossible to supply this variety of products and offer such short delivery times with conventional serial production. Our most popular products are manufactured and stored at our site, which helps us meet the demands of all our customers.

SchmidLEAN is about far more than just improving our efficiency, however; it has allowed us to switch from monotonous serial working processes to a system of multi-functional working areas. Our staff do not spend all day carrying out repetitive tasks on the same part of the production line. Instead, they switch activities several times a day, which not only enriches their working experience and boosts motivation, but also makes our production process considerably more flexible.

In order to continuously improve how we work, we dedicate 10% of our working hours to optimisation, for which we set aside one day every two weeks. On this day, we work in small teams to examine our workflows and see how we can improve them. The principle of continuous improvement applies across the whole company value chain, including sales and management processes. As a result, all staff have the opportunity to play their part in shaping our business and develop their own skills.

SchmidLEAN has revolutionised our company. Our set-up times across various working processes have been significantly reduced over the past few years, and the considerably shorter lead times which result have enabled us to deliver much quicker than before. Product and process quality has increased at the same time, which in turn leads to higher customer satisfaction levels. And last but not least, motivated staff entrusted with individual responsibility inspire us to even greater heights, keeping the wheel of improvement turning.

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