Blog posts from December, 2011

Continuous Improvement Part 5: Methods and Tools for Healthcare in Northeast Ohio

December 12, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

For a continuous improvement project to be effective and sustainable, it requires a systems approach involving the entire organization. Management should guide the organization in four fundamental areas to ensure success: Purpose: Maximizing customer value; Process: Continually improving speed and defects for factory and office; People: Involving people in improving the process, providing knowledge, and tools;  and Sustainable Culture: Encouraging change, communicating success, and results.   Here’s an example of how this systems approach to continuous improvement can yield great results, even in industries seemingly unrelated to manufacturing: During the past several years, MAGNET has worked with healthcare institutions in Northeast Ohio to refine best practice techniques for implementing Lean and other continuous improvement tools in the healthcare environment. The Lean approach’s effectiveness has long been proved in many other industries, including manufacturing, services, business/office processes, and information technology. For example, in 2009 and 2010, MAGNET partnered with the Humility of Mary Health Partners (HMHP) in Youngstown, Ohio, to pilot a Lean continuous improvement project for HHMP’s three facilities that employ more than 5,000 workers. As a result, in 2010 alone, HMHP realized $1.7 million in savings from reduced overtime. The HMHP project clearly demonstrated that a Lean and continuous

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Lead by Example!

December 01, 2011 by MAGNET Ohio

As a growth strategy, innovation is not a buzzword that will pass with time. Successful companies have systems for harvesting and vetting ideas that can lead to growth and competitive advantage. Such systems produce a steady flow of ideas that result in innovative products, processes, or services. Everything from new products to talent recruitment requires a culture of innovation that permeates every aspect of the firm. Innovation is what differentiates winners from those struggling to keep their heads above water. High quality and lean operations are not a competitive advantage. They are sine qua non business fundamentals that must be maintained just to stay in the game. Managing the fundamentals won’t move you to the head of the class. Smart manufacturers know this. So, how does a company establish an innovative culture? Start by implementing a system for gathering ideas from all corners of the organization and from other organizations.Set goals and establish a process to measure what happens from idea generation to idea implementation. If you can’t figure it out, get help! Invest in capital and talent that will position your organization to accelerate innovations. It’s time for bold and deliberate steps that lead to double-digit growth.  That is,

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