ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Mark Johnson, Anniston Army Depot's director of Production Engineering, appeared on The Morning Show Feb. 27 to speak to the workforce about Continuous Process Improvement, better known as CPI, and the Suggestion Program.

Last year, ANAD stepped up its CPI program.

After requiring all supervisors to take Lean training and offering training in Lean Six Sigma and Six S to all employees, the depot concluded fiscal year 2019 with $38.65 million saved through CPI projects, well above the goal of $31.7 million.

This year, the depot's goal is $29.5 million.

Each organization on the installation has been assigned a portion of that goal, giving every individual on the depot some ownership in the program.

"To date we have realized a total of $8.7 million in CPI benefits this fiscal year, with an additional $13.3 million pending validation," said Johnson.

DPE hopes the training provided last year will continue to inspire employees to seek and recommend ways to improve their processes.

Employees are asked to look at their work areas with fresh eyes - examining how they perform tasks and where things can be simplified or rearranged to take less time, use less resources or be safer.

"Simply put, Continuous Process Improvement is an ongoing effort to improve products and processes," said Johnson. "These efforts can seek incremental improvements over time or result in break-through improvements that can be implemented immediately."

The directorate has an easy way for employees to remember what to look for - DOWNTIME.
• Defects
• Overproduction
• Waiting
• Not utilizing employees/Injuries
• Transportation
• Inventory
• Motion
• Excess Processing

The desired impact of using the acronym is the elimination of downtime and the things which cause employees or customers to wait or add steps to a process.

The process improvement specialists within DPE's Enterprise Excellence Division are assigned to support certain organizations within ANAD. They are available to help organizations identify process problems, collect data, conduct time studies and facilitate Lean events to implement process improvements.

There are numerous ways organizations can implement process improvement projects -- through Lean events, value engineering or quick wins.

Quick wins are process improvements that can be readily implemented without the need for a project or Lean or Six Sigma event.

An example of a quick win occurred recently in the Directorate of Production Management. One of DPM's employees, Tonika Cunningham, noticed two requisitions for insulation sleeves seemed overpriced.

When the invoices were processed, they totally $633,275 each. Cunningham felt this was excessive and submitted a price challenge to the Defense Logistics Agency.

"The price jumped tremendously," said Cunningham. "Some prices change every year, but an item shouldn't change from $1 to $1,000."

Through the process, she learned the price per foot for insulation was $1.66, but ANAD had been charged $1,266.55 per foot.

Cunningham said DLA initially denied the price challenge, but accepted it after evidence was presented. The depot was credited for the overcharge, saving the installation $1,264,890.

"I want to stress the important role our employees play in the success of the depot's CPI program," said Johnson. "The CPI program does not belong to DPE. It belongs to the entire installation. If you recognize an area where improvements are needed or a process that can be enhanced, we need your input. All improvements, large or small, are valuable in helping ANAD be the best depot it can be."

Employees who see improvements which can be made in their work areas should contact their supervisor, who can then contact the Enterprise Excellence Division. They can also submit a suggestion via ANAD Form 672-5, which can be found on the depot's Intranet.