Trainee Sem starts with LEAN methodology at WBM

Since a few weeks, technical business administration student Sem Raedts can be found in our factory. He is now in the third year of this course at the Fontys Hogeschool in Eindhoven. “At school we get a lot of theoretical material about the LEAN method. Here I can connect theory and practice.”

Sem: “In the third year we do a practical internship. Coincidentally, a friend of mine had done a research internship here at WBM. The next step in that research was, among other things, to see whether the LEAN and 5S method could be applied here. These methodologies are widely used in industry and have proven results in areas such as quality improvement, cost reduction and improving work processes. “

But of course that is easier said than done. People with a wealth of experience walk in the WBM factory and they know their workplace very good. Sem tried to look at possible alternative methods and standards with them. Both Sem and our employees had to find a good way for doing that. “I have talked to them a lot. It is important that I understand their way of thinking and learn why they work in a certain way. These conversations gave me a lot of information. The final result of these discussions is that I now work with them on a number of points that make their work more efficient and even more workable. Together we make drawings, conduct good discussions and come to new insights. Actually, I do not lead these conversations at all, I am a participant; they themselves know much better what works for them.”

Open vision
Jo Klaessen – who works in our factory – Works together with Sem. “I see this assignment as an opportunity to further improve things,” he says. “Now that we are doing things that change – such as organizing and structuring things differently – you are already seeing improvements. Sometimes you just have to experience the effects of a different way of working. And thanks to this process we have that possibility.”

Sem will stay at WBM until February 2018. Until then, he will still cooperate with the people in the factory. “But in addition, I also have to make a report for school, of course, for which I am already collecting drawings and still have to take pictures. WBM also has a reference book for my work. So there is still work to be done! “