Cross-functional teamwork and expanded decision-making power give Coca-Cola Andina the inside edge
During the five years that Andina’s Córdoba plant in Monte Cristo implemented TPM, plant efficiency increased by approximately 10% before it stagnated. The reasons for the slowdown included major site expansions and changes in management structure. To revive the initiative, the TRACC Solution, dubbed the Andina Excellence System, was implemented at the plant following an in-depth performance and practice assessment conducted by CCi, which revealed considerable potential for improvement.
- 8% increase in OEE over the last five years
- 47% reduction in raw material loss (sweetener)
- 8% reduction in returnable bottle breakage
- 19% reduction in preform breakage
- 49% reduction in plant accidents
Embotelladora Andina, one of Latin America’s largest Coca-Cola bottlers, introduced TPM on a single line at its Andina plant in Monte Cristo, Córdoba, in 2005. Having seen robust improvements within the first year, plant leadership soon introduced the program to the other lines. Efficiency showed a steady 10% increase over five years but, as with so many continuous improvement programs, started losing steam and eventually stagnated.
The reasons, among other things, were the large and quick expansions of the plant, and changes in the administrative structure. In 2011, CCi conducted a waste assessment and an evaluation of standard practices which exposed significant opportunities for improvement. Up until May 2013, there was little teamwork, and no structures for operators to be empowered. Improvements were made, but they were purely directional with no team involvement, which often resulted in disengagement.
The journey to world class at Coca-Cola Andina’s plant in Monte Cristo, Córdoba began with the introduction of the TRACC Solution in May 2013. First on the cards was the Site Steering Committee (SSC) workshop followed by the rollout of the Leading and Managing Change (LMC) TRACC. The continuous improvement initiative was called SEA: ‘Sistema de Excelencia Andina’, which translates to ‘Andina Excellence System’.
The next step was to train the three Implementation Task Forces (ITFs) to implement Phase 2 of the core TRACCs. Each ITF has its own area of responsibility for implementing SEA:
- ITF1 is responsible for the carbonated lines (lines one to 11, as well as the bag-in-box line)
- ITF2 is responsible for the sensitive lines (five water, isotonic drinks and juice lines)
- ITF3 is responsible for the logistics processes (sorting, selection, etc)
From 2013 to 2019 more than 54 000 man hours were allocated to training the operational teams in all the fundamental best practices. By improving the general and specific skills of each team member, the practice of team rotation could be eliminated and replaced with multidisciplinary teams instead.
Training was further refined when HR and Production joined forces with a local university to establish the Technical School of Manufacturing (ETM) in 2016. The school produces manuals for operator functions and standard routines, operating manuals, and job plan design that guarantees the skills of at least three operators in three teams.
It has become the main instrument to develop and create operational skills — an important step towards a world-class operation. The standardized business processes enable daily operational meetings to be linked to weekly and monthly management meetings. This allows the periodic review of operational, tactical and strategic KPIs to track the expected results.
By linking the TRACC best practices to company objectives and introducing continuous incremental improvements, Andina soon saw exponential improvements across all lines. From 2015 to 2019, OEE saw a steady increase of 8%.
The most notable progress was in terms of teamwork, where a strong problem-solving culture took root. As part of its transition to Industry 4.0, Coca-Cola Andina has been using sensors on the production lines for automatic data reading that allows immediate identification of losses or other problems. During 2019, they embarked on a process called ‘Industrial Management System’ to link these automated processes and improve decision-making at all levels.
Improved teamwork has translated into the successful execution of the Profit Improvement Projects (PIPs) throughout the plant. Returnable bottle breakage saw a reduction of 8% and preform breakage 19%. Raw material loss for sweeteners was reduced by 47% and plant accidents dropped by an impressive 49%. Standardized DMAIC tools are used to solve chronic and complex problems.
Bolstered by these results, the improvements are now being sustained. Multidisciplinary functional teams have an increased understanding of business processes, and there’s a greater focus on defined improvement goals. The savings achieved from start to date are roughly the equivalent of installing a new production line.
Embotelladora Andina SA is a Chile-based company engaged in the production of soft drinks in Chile, Brazil and Argentina. Andina’s principal business is the production and distribution of Coca-Cola brand soft drinks, among others, through licensing agreements with the Coca-Cola Company.
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