David for Saint Gobain who in their NA gypsum division followed a World Class Mindset. WCM is a mindset that starts with the intuitive and then strives to back up those intuition with data.
Hourly workers on the floor have a wealth of knowledge based on experience but often don’t have the skills to fix problems. Most of the time management discounts their ideas as well. This combination along with a lack of data to back up employee ideas leads to many improvements not being made.
One of the major advantages they had in finance is that they could pull ad hoc data from the ERP system into Excel. With this they could manipulate the data or filter the necessary data to properly assess the idea. In this way management could trust the idea and see the value in an improvement project or the employee could see that while they had identified a waste, the waste was not worth the cost or effort to attack (ICE analysis).