Continuous improvement

at the PACCAR Parts Distribution Center

If you have visited the PACCAR Parts Distribution Center (PDC) and have entered the warehouse, you may have noticed a wheel of fortune. Within the PDC, employees can provide improvements in terms of for example efficiency, quality or safety. Every month the best small improvement and the project of the month get the chance to turn the wheel of fortune.

The initiative is initiated in the context of the PACCAR Production System (PPS) philosophy. According to Dominique van Elsen, PPS Facilitator, it does not only contribute to further optimization of business processes, but the wheel of fortune is an incredibly attractive valuation system “In the beginning people laughed about it and were very skeptical,” says Dominique. “But if I explain them more about the idea behind it, they think it is a fantastic initiative.”

The employee is key
A few years ago Dominique started with the introduction of PPS within the PDC. “We started with listening to what the employees want. I could see where things are going better, but I saw also improvement possibilities. Instead of forcing the employees to improve some routines, we looked first at improvements that are in line with the employees. We always focus on the employee. Sometimes, that requires a different way of thinking, because we tend to think from a technical and product-oriented improvements. That is of course still important, but in the end we are increasingly looking to improve the people in our teams. If so, we can really bring our teams to a higher level.”

Dominique emphasizes that it is important to implement new ideas that are initiated from the employee. Those are the people who do the final work. Dominique continues: "The better someone feels in his or her job, the more motivated someone will work. Productivity, quantity, but also quality will increase. It is appreciated when their opinion and input is valued. By using a simple tool like the Wheel of Fortune, we show that we take their input seriously. We also see that employees think more and faster about how they tackle certain issues. Involving the people and letting them think along in the processes, that's important. "

We get the opportunity to come up with new initiatives and improvements
Ronald Rademaker is one of the employees who had the chance to turn the wheel. The project of his team was chosen as project of the month. Together with colleagues, he came up with a solution to keep the error margins on export documents as low as possible. “I think the wheel of fortune is a good initiative. It contributes commitment and contributes to continuous improvement,” says Ronald. “DAF still gives me energy and challenges, but I need to stay connected. This happens because we are involved and get the opportunity to come up with new initiatives and improvements. It’s very nice that it is rewarded in a way like this.”

Ronald is not the only one who benefits of the reward. Because of his turn, the whole department will be treated with pastry. According to Ronald, they definitely deserve it: “They too have made an important contribution to this project."