“When you think of Finance, what images come to mind?” asked Yenling Chen during her presentation in the final round of the 2016 Deliver Best Practices competition. “Do you think of a finance person asking a Business Unit why they are spending so much money or do you see them as sitting at a desk preparing a report?” Chen continued, “Today, Finance is different. This is a story about change.”
Traditionally, finance departments have been called on to prepare financial data for business units to make decisions with little insight into what the data represents. The finance team at Taichung Stamping realized that there was an opportunity to tap into their skillset to provide analysis and commercial insights that help drive critical business decisions. Chen and her team set out to create a program that transforms Finance employees from report generators into business partners.
Using Lean methodologies, the team identified the skills gaps of the finance employees and created a career roadmap that would serve as a training program with training modules based on career and experience level. This provided employees with a clear picture of what they would need to learn in order to become a successful business partner.
Chen illustrated that the program was a success with and example, “ten months ago, she would have sat down with the head of Operations to discuss high inventory numbers and would say that they need to get the numbers down.” After the training program, she is able to start the conversation with “I think I can help.”
As a result of the program, the finance team lead 42 improvement projects that reduced more than five hundred working hours. Annual soft savings reached over $1 million in training and hiring cost as well as Lean savings. JGP demonstrated strong support and sponsorship to replicate the program across all JGP sites.
As a junior member of the finance team, Chen is also one of the participants on the journey. “Today, I am not simply sitting at my desk preparing numbers,” stated Chen. “Today I am standing here presenting our best practice to support business solutions. I am standing here showing you that finance can produce more than just numbers.”
With women representing four out of the five team members, this project demonstrates how females are driving innovation and shaping the future of manufacturing. Congratulations to Alice Lin, Amy Shen, Beita Li, Yengling Chen and Derek Yeh on their project’s success.