Blog posts from March, 2016

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means to Lean

March 28, 2016 by Liz Fox

In the previous installment of our blog series, we addressed how Lean manufacturing can foster positive changes in company culture. Higher morale, greater trust, better camaraderie – but how does Lean methodology really create the respect employees crave? As with any sector, manufacturing boasts leaders with an array of personal backgrounds and management styles. Those wanting to implement Lean as part of their operations are often looking for solutions to their short-term challenges, and whether it’s about meeting quota, enhancing equipment, or doing more with less talent, it’s important to think of employees as people instead of mere resources. Lean expert David Veech, a co-founder and former Executive Director of the Institute of Lean Systems, notes while drastic changes in operations can be a stressful process, morale should not be sacrificed in favor of efficiency. “Lean is a people-focused system based on a simple system: No one knows the work better than the people who do it,” Veech said in a guest entry for LeanBlog.org. “Lean emphasizes educating and cross-training workers and letting those who are closest to the work design the system.” Lean systems go far beyond basic methodologies of efficiency and streamlining. People are transformed as well as

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Lean and Company Culture

March 02, 2016 by Liz Fox

You’ve stocked up on basics and feel like you’re ready to implement on the factory floor, but how do you begin to “think” Lean? While equipping yourself with knowledge and strategy is the first step in your journey toward continuous improvement, it is not enough; in fact, focusing on tools and finer details can lead to short-term results that have little effect in the long run. Success through Lean means developing people as well as solutions. It is crucial for employees to look at it as a way of thinking in order to apply principles in an organized manner, and manufacturers who invest time and effort in introducing this school of thought to their staff members boast a higher chance in adapting to a Lean system. Old-school methods can emphasize end results over processes, but Lean principles exist more as a way of life in company culture. It is an ideology rooted in habit, and deliberate practice is often needed to get the blood flowing. In order for Lean implementation to succeed, the entire organization must participate and commit to 4 fundamental principles. Purpose: Thinking of your company, products, and employees can bring value to your customer base Process: Constantly

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