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Visual Management Centres (Obeya)

An Obeya (Japanese – “Big Room”) Visual Management Centre provides a hub for management or project teams to focus on the performance of operations or projects and to develop team working practices.

The dedicated space away from the day-to-day distractions of operations allows clear thinking and analysis of quality issues, KPI’s and coming changes that will affect business.

VMT offer bespoke Visual Management Centre solutions tailored to our clients’ corporate branding and policy deployment creating a positive, professional and functional space to review projects, perform daily “stand up” meetings and for management to “go-look-see” on operational matters.

Standing up and presenting performance data and actions in front of peers drives Continuous Improvement and is a key Lean behaviour.

Why use a Visual Management Centre?

Create a hub away from day to day distractions to manage projects, drive improvements and control performance.

Easy to extend and add new sections if the organisation demands change.

Remove the need for free wall space and create the Visual Management Centre where you have the space available.

Professional service from quote & concept through to delivery and assembly.

Visual Management Centre Implementation

VMT utilise our years of experience of implementing Visual Management boards when developing our sophisticated, functional and well branded stand alone Visual Management Centre.

Our process is simple and we will take your idea from the initial stages through design development and concept through to delivery and final assembly.

3d Render of Visual Management Centre Visual Management Centre installed in Factory

Visual Management Centre Integration

Our Visual Management Centre are constructed using durable and aesthetically pleasing aluminium machine building extrusion.

This material allows us to assemble integrated Visual Management Centre at your site that can include supporting Visual Management tools such as 5S Shadow Boards, Cleaning Stations and Signage.

We can also integrate technology such as large screen TVs and computer workstations.

Rail Depot Visual Management Centre

VMT has wide experience supplying Visual Management Centres for the rail industry and rail depots in particular.

Due to the historical architecture of most rail depots, many have difficulty in finding the more extensive wall space that is required for a dedicated Visual Management Centre. So a standalone Visual Management unit that can be placed where there is floor space available solves this wall space issue.

Rail depot specific Visual Management Centres are useful tools for tracking and communicating train movements and manpower requirements around the depot. They also have a critical role to play in communicating safety notices, information and KPI tracking which are all essential in keeping the workforce safe in a high-risk environment such as a rail depot.

Visual Management Centre in Train Depot
Visual Management Centre in an office, with branded images on the reverse side

Visual Management Centre - Branding

We understand that successful Visual Management implementation also requires strong integration into the client’s existing branding. Tone setting and ensuring an aesthetically pleasing environment helps to create a productive and creative workplace.

We can develop branding elements from scratch to add to your Visual Management Centre or work with alongside your marketing department to ensure we fit any strict branding guidelines you may have.

FAQ's

VMT has over 10 years in advising, developing layouts, manufacture and supply of Visual Management Centres or Obeya. We supply Visual Management Centres to businesses and organisations to help them facilitate their stand-up meetings or huddles. The Visual Management Centre provides a hub and focal point for improvement and planning activity away from everyday distractions and ensures teams are using facts and data in their discussions and minimise the risk of falling into the trap of using opinions and theories.

 

We thought it might be useful to share some answers to the many questions we get asked about the Visual Management Centres that we supply.

 – Starting from Scratch– If you are just beginning you Visual Management journey, we have the experience and skills within our team to suggest and compile designs after having had a basic discussion of what you are hoping the Visual Management Board achieve within your business.

Quite often we will then have a back forth conversation relating to the board design with our client before agreement on the final design of the board.

– Send us your basic idea- Maybe you have a very basic sketch of the design for your Visual Management board. We can flesh this out and use our industry and lean knowledge to ensure best practice is applied to the design.

We want your Visual Management board to be an effective tool for you, so if we foresee any issues with the layout or design, we will raise them. These issues may relate to spacing, terminology or other blockers to use.

 – Existing design- You might have a very specific design in mind, have your own internal marketing department who have put a together or want to re-use use one of our previously supplied designs.

With any of these options we will ensure to apply relevant corporate branding to ensure professionalism, consistency and standardisation through your organisation.

After we have sent you a quote and we are in receipt of an order we will send you a 3D visual concept drawing (including the Visual Management Board designs) of the unit for approval or feedback

Visual Management Centres are becoming standard across many industries. They are proven to help teams develop Lean and operational excellence behaviours such as:

  1. Summarising or reviewing current performance – Did we have a good day or bad day? Are we on target or not?
  2. Prioritising – Briefing the priority of the work to be completed – ensuring the team has direction and know what they are doing.
  3. Logging Issues – Giving chance for everyone to raise concerns and for individuals to agree in front of their peers to take relevant action.
  4. Encouraging efficient communication – allowing a team leader to have an individual conversation with all rather multiple conversations with individuals.

 

We are happy to share our stories of implementing Visual Management Centres with our clients and how they impacted and improved their businesses.

 

Our business founders all spent time in their careers working as graduates, engineers and Managers at Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK, during this time the use of an Obeya/Visual Management Centre was part of day-to-day operations. Our founders still abide by these principles and use industry best practice.

If you have some doubt that some members of the team might want to change the design of the Visual Management Centre once delivered, then we might suggest that we send out a full-scale paper print for approval before we go to full production. A paper print allows you to have a run through the layout of the Centre and the use of the board with the team before taking full delivery of the final product and allows input to be considered on such details as: Titles, wording, colours, layout etc.

 

Our Visual Management Centres are constructed with Aluminium machine building profile which is a durable and flexible material allowing potential changes to the construction, size and shape of the Visual Management Centre if required.

 

Do you offer training on how to use the Visual Management Centres?

We can call on our background and experiences as Lean Consultants and ex-Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK Engineers and Managers to offer introductory training on Visual Management and 5S. We can also help with ongoing support on the best practice use of your Visual Management Centre including: how to run a meeting, how to update a Visual Management Centre and how to manage progression of actions and issues.

We can call on our background and experiences as Lean Consultants and ex-Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK Engineers and Managers to offer introductory training on Visual Management and 5S. We can also help with ongoing support on the best practice use of your Visual Management Centre including: how to run a meeting, how to update a Visual Management Centre and how to manage progression of actions and issues.

It is best to contact VMT for your exact requirements but depending on the complexity of the project we can typically supply Visual Management Centres within 3 weeks of approval of design work. We usually have designs to our clients within 3-5 days.

One of the benefits of developing and using a VMT Visual Management Centre is there is very little limit on size or shape of the centre.

We construct our Visual Management Centres with Aluminium machine building extrusion which allows us to create variable angles, full height panels and more. We can also mount large screen Televisions and apply corporate branding to areas of the centre that aren’t using utilised as Visual Management boards.

Yes, all our Visual Management Centres are designed specific to each client, so we are keen to ensure the logos and branding design elements are added to the design. Consistency and a standardised approach are critical in a successful roll out of Visual Management – we keep a library of each individual clients designs so we know we are always following a standard design approach when developing a new Visual Management Centre design.

We have a few options for developing the design of a Visual Management Centre to include new design elements or layout in the future:

  1. We can supply overlays or skins to cover a section of the board – this requires some basic installation which we can quote for, or we can provide instructions.
  2. We can supply magnetic overlays to cover a section or the whole of the board – the advantage of a magnetic overlay is there is no installation required other that lining it up straight onto the board.
  3. You can recycle your existing by removing the skin and apply a new skin to the board. This is best undertaken by VMT, and we can quote for this option.
  4. We can also add new structural elements to your Visual Management centre using the Aluminium machine building profile we construct with.