Lumikko Oy’s operations are guided by the principle of continuous improvement. Since 2022, Lean thinking has been at the center of the operation, bringing great benefits to the company’s performance, efficiency and quality. Lumikko’s guiding values are quality, development, reliability and responsibility. One way to ensure the realization of these values is to evaluate one’s own operations and develop them based on that.
– You have to be able to do honest and self-critical evaluation. We are constantly doing things that advance our operations, ensure our company’s growth and remove its obstacles. Our goal is to grow from good to best and achieve unique competitive advantage, summarizes Joonas Pakkanen, Production and Development Manager at Lumikko Oy, who is an expert in Lean Six Sigma.
Continuous improvement in business is an approach where an organization strives to improve its operations, processes, products and services.
– In order to stay competitive and meet customer needs, the company must be ready to adapt and learn continuously, Pakkanen adds.
Growth requires development
One example of continuous improvement at Lumikko was solving the capacity challenges caused by the growth of the order book in 2022.
– Production was reorganized, material flows were improved and production layout was changed to suit the needs. With these measures, the productive square meters doubled and the efficiency of the operation increased significantly without additional human resources. Thanks to the measures taken, the delivery capacity was able to meet the increased demand.
Lumikko’s order book is positive and growth continues.
– We actively plan growth-supporting measures. This includes, for example, the design of the overall system architecture. This means, among other things, the digitalization of production in stages.
– By developing operations, we get more and better quality data. This supports the further development of manufacturing processes in many ways, Pakkanen explains.
staff is in key role in improving quality
Lumikko regularly organizes internal quality workshops, where the focus is on improving quality in cooperation with production workers and designers. The basis of the workshops is the collected quality data, which helps to identify development areas. Involving and listening to staff is important in order to develop processes and improve working conditions.
The staff is committed to the principle of continuous improvement.
– By listening to the staff, we find parts of the process that can be improved by improving both quality and efficiency. Production workers know best how to make work easier and clearer.
Product development and operational improvement go directly to the benefit of the customer.
– For example, we did a further development project for an existing customer solution, where we performed thorough research and testing, among other things, to improve the energy efficiency of the products. The goal was to find innovative solutions that reduce energy consumption without compromising cooling power or reliability. With this, we also want to demonstrate our commitment to continuous improvement and development towards our customers, says Pakkanen.
He continues that continuous improvement and proactive investments are important for all companies, but especially for a growth company like Lumikko.
– We aim for growth, which has a very positive outlook for the next few years. We are constantly thinking about what is required for delivery capacity and support processes in the short and long term. In order to grow, we have to build processes and technologies proactively.
Recruitment is an important part of the continuous improvement strategy at Lumikko
New employees bring expertise and support the development of different processes.
– We have, for example, three engineering students from Tampere University as interns, whose tasks include, among other things, developing test equipment, clarifying and visualizing work instructions, and environmental and sustainability report. In addition, in the spring of 2023, we hired additional expertise in customer project management and development, Pakkanen says.
Lumikko also invests in certifying its operations as part of quality development.
– We already have the ISO 9001 quality management system certificate and our goal is to audit Lumikko for the ISO 14001 environmental management system certificate within a year.
Lumikko strives to constantly evaluate and improve its responsibility and comply with the environmental objectives set by the legislation at a higher level.
– Achieving the ISO 14001 certificate is not a goal in itself, but it is part of Lumikko’s commitment to continuous improvement and responsibility. Lumikko’s continuous improvement principle combined with certified quality and environmental systems show that we take responsibility seriously and strive to constantly improve our operations in accordance with the principles of sustainable development, Pakkanen concludes.