Blog posts from March, 2017

A New Look at Lean Manufacturing

March 21, 2017 by MAGNET Ohio

It’s been more than a quarter-century since The Machine that Changed the World was published, in which Jim Womack and colleagues presented the Toyota Production System (TPS) and lean thinking to the Western world. A strong majority of manufacturers have adopted this methodology, and its principles have since spread from production to all functions (front office, finance, R&D, etc.) as well as to healthcare and other service industries. Some manufacturers have flourished within new lean cultures. But many other firms — maybe yours — have achieved some results from their lean efforts, but perhaps not as much as they had hoped. Or maybe your company is among the one-third of manufacturers not yet using lean or TPS. Whichever describes your organization, it’s time to take a new look at lean — and at five keys to implementation that will make lean work for you: Embed lean in your organization’s DNA: Lean isn’t about tools or techniques, but about changing how you think. Truly lean manufacturers have workforces — from the CEO to the janitor — in which every employee looks for problems (not blame), thinks about how to fix them, and then solves them. It’s critical that a leader (i.e.,

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"What Skills Gap?": How Employee Benefits Can Help You Find the Right Talent

March 06, 2017 by MAGNET Ohio

We hear it all the time: Manufacturers can’t find machine operators, maintenance staff, frontline workers, tool-and-die makers, etc. National statistics support these claims: the cumulative skills gap in manufacturing — positions that will go unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers — will grow to 2 million by 2025, according to Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute. What’s a growing company to do? First: relax. It’s important to remember that macro trends don’t necessarily determine micro (i.e., company-specific) results. In fact, a closer look at plant-specific data suggests that engaged leaders can find the talent they need — if they know how to attract and retain it. It turns out that many skills gaps are self-inflicted by companies that offer uncompetitive wages, limited opportunities for career growth, and unsatisfactory work conditions. For example, many plants don’t offer common employee benefits and programs, such as paid vacation days, paid medical benefits, a formal safety/health program, or paid sick and/or personal days. In fact, only 53 percent of manufacturing plants offer all four of those programs. Who wants to work at the other 47 percent?   HR Practices and Programs in Place % of plants Paid vacation days 86% Paid medical benefits

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