Train Maintenance Shadow Boards

Train Maintenance Visual Tool Storage.

It was great to visit Northern Rail Newton Heath train maintenance depot (TMD) yesterday and see the small part our bespoke Lean Shadow Boards are playing in ensuring tooling and equipment is always to hand for Train Maintenance and Exams.

We are looking forward to continuing to work with Northern as they begin work in their new Shed for the new CAF stock they are introducing. 

VMT supply Lean Visual Tool Storage solutions for tooling and equipment to ensure no time is wasted searching for equipment or parts.

Back-Lit Visual Management

See Status at a glance with VMT Backlit Visual Management Boards.

VMT now offer our Lean Printed Visual Management Boards with the option to be supplied backlit. Backlighting the boards helps to-
-Draw attention to important company information.
-Give immediate & simple visual feedback of overall health or performance, now more important than ever.
-Make a showcase of Lean Visual Management.

Salute the NHS

VMT Supporting Salute the NHS.

VMT have recently been doing a very small part in supporting the effort to feed vital NHS front line workers with nutritious, balanced and tasty meals.

We donated our time and products to supply a Visual Management solution that helps the volunteers organise the days plan for gathering the donations for re-distribution.

New project set-ups like this can benefit greatly from Visual Management boards by providing-

-A platform and focal point for team discussion.

-A forum to raise and discuss issues and concerns.

-A visual “one source of truth” for data and plans that need to be communicated to a team.


VMT – Guide to Visual Managemt Board Design Pt. 1

VMT’s Guide to Visual Management Board Design Pt. 1

At VMT we have successfully been working with and for our clients to design Lean Visual Management boards that have a positive continuous improvement impact on their businesses.  A well designed and implemented Visual Management board communicates if an organisation or team is having a “good or bad day” and provides a focal point for team meetings and briefs, helping to foster a winning team mentality.  We believe that there are key elements to Visual Management Board design that can help boost the success of the boards.

  1. Develop the design with the team

Engagement is key to Visual Management board success. To give Visual Management boards the best chance of smooth implementation and long-term prosperity, it is key that the working teams feel like they have had input into the development and creation – they are invested. When a new way of working is imposed on people it has a higher chance of creating negativity and suspicion towards it. Time spent jockeying people into keeping a board up to date is better spent completing value-added improvement activity, addressing the issues highlighted on Visual Management Boards.

VMT offer our clients the opportunity to receive a full-size paper print of a board design to trial with the working team ahead of the full order for a full Visual Management Board. This give the team the chance to “red pen” the design and buy into the concept through offering their input.

  1. Simplify the layout

Visual Management board layouts need to be easy to understand. Difficult to interpret company information can effectively become wallpaper as it is there all the time but never really looked at. Within a short time frame, it should be possible for anyone to interpret where in a business they are standing, what the area is responsible for and how the area is performing. A board stuffed full of graphs might look impressive, but it is unlikely to encourage an organisations people to stay up to speed on company performance.

VMT develop Visual Management Board designs with and for our clients’ and we will happily question a design if we think it is possibly trying to pack too much information into one layout.

  1. Drive Continuous Improvement

We are often sent Visual Management Board designs to develop for our clients with an area on the board dedicated to ‘Issues’. This is a great start; However, without some agreed ownership and action triggered by the issue, all that is created is a problem parking area with an ever-increasing list of problems. If the list isn’t cleared, a perception may develop that there is no point raising issues as nothing is ever done about it.

When we see these problem parking areas without ownership and action, we will suggest that our client adds: action (specific & achievable), owner & completion date sections. This keeps issues moving through the problem parking areas and drives continuous improvement.

  1. Keep information relevant

If information displayed isn’t current, it isn’t relevant. Data from three months ago isn’t reflective of current performance or trends, things could have got significantly better or worse in that time. A few views of a board that hasn’t been recently updated will lose it’s appeal to attract future views from the individual

VMT recommend the use of a ‘Board Owner’ and ‘Last updated’ box in the headline area of the board to serve two main purposes: Firstly, It gently encourages the owner of the board to keep the board up to date and secondly it tells the viewer if it’s worth spending some moments to digest the information on offer. If the last update was a week ago, then the individual might want to wait until a more recent update is shown.

  1. Display positive information

A working team that can see they are performing well against target will feel part of a winning team. However, some successes can’t always be measured with KPI’s and metrics. One-off actions or completed projects can have a fundamental effect on company success but have no visibility. The successes should be displayed for all to see, reinforcing the winning team philosophy and encouraging workers to implement actions & continuous improvement beyond their day to day work.

Creating a dedicated space to manually wrote in individual and team successes. These should be acknowledged during stand-up meetings and briefs around the boards. This is particularly beneficial on a team level board where a mix of information such as KPI, trend, and issues is also on display

Visual Foam Control – Cases

Make efficient working a habit

VMT Foam Control Tooling Case solutions ensure that tooling isn’t left behind before travelling to or from a different production line, site or even Country.

A quick visual check of a tool box or case will indicate whether all items are accounted for and ready to go.

Colour Coordinated Shadow Boards

See Clearly, Control Visually, Improve Continuously.

VMT supply Shadow Boards that allow teams to:

-Save time searching for tooling.

-Reduce the chaos of storing parts and tools in drawers with no inventory control.

-Support the 5S process by providing a standard that is sustained. 

-Colour co-ordination is an excellent way of providing clarity and ownership to visual tool storage.

-Put the onus on the individual to be responsible for primarily their own safety and also that of others.

-Show visitors how to protect themselves when visiting site.

PPE Signage

See Clearly, Control Visually, Improve Continuously.

VMT supply bespoke Visual Management safety signage solutions that allow organisations to:

-Protect the workforce and make it easy to remember PPE requirements.

-Put the onus on the individual to be responsible for primarily their own safety and also that of others.

-Show visitors how to protect themselves when visiting site.

Change Over Part Storage

Right Part, Right Place, Right Time.

VMT supply bespoke Changeover Shadow Boards to:

– Support a SMED process.

– Protect valuable assets and tooling from damage.

– Save time searching for similar Changeover parts.

SQCDP Performance

See Clearly, Control Visually, Improve Continuously.

VMT supply bespoke Visual Management solutions that allow teams to;

-Track metrics and KPI’s in real time

-Understand where underperformance and bottlenecks are to be found

-Set out improvement plans

Back-Lit Status

We were so impressed by the back-lit status light that our first-tier Automotive client added to this bespoke SQD scorecard board we recently supplied them, that we already have this in development as an offering!

An excellent way to firstly draw attention to important company information and secondly give immediate feedback of overall company performance….I hope it stays green!