Food for Thought "If you have the right people, with good, basic values and good work ethic, you can have a tremendous journey."

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Food for Thought 2 "The follow-up in my Food for Thought series, with more focus on my experiences with Six Sigma and Kaizen."

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March 26, 2012

We have come a long way since we started McPherson Lean Partners, thanks to you!

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 4:01 pm

Our first Total Quality Institute Kaizen event was Nov 2008 and as of January 1, 2012, we have had 530 participants in 53 sessions including:

• 215 people in 22 Leadership, Sales, & Customer loyalty events
• 321 people in 31 Kaizen events
• AND we have done over 400 personal profile assessments for attendees

(This does not include the 36 Kaizen events that I personally conducted prior to MLP)

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PEOPLE, PLANNING and PROCESS IMPROVEMENT : Where to Start?

All businesses can be looked at like a three-legged stool. The three legs (in no priority order) are People, Planning and Processes.

People: Attitude is everything

If you have the world’s best processes but if your employees don’t follow them, what good are they doing you?

Behavior, teamwork, conflicts, habits, all play a huge roles in employee performance and success. Keep in mind that there are habits to watch out for. Rework is an indication of people not following procedures. Scrap is an indication of processes not capable. Learning how to build a great team and what type of people you want on the team is a key factor in running your business effectively.

Think about:

• Who is best suited to invest time into training for a specific skill?
• Why does someone not fit on a specific team?
• What triggers bad behaviors?
• What is the cue, and reward, that triggers good behaviors?

Planning: Future Goal Setting

Where do you want to be by a certain date in the future? Usually the time frame should be 5 to 10 years, maybe up to 20. Ask yourself measureable questions.

• What will your business look like?
• What are your strengths and weaknesses?
• How will you measure the success of the plan?
• How many employees?
• How much revenue? How much profit? What is your debt load?
• Who are your customers?
• Who are your competitors?
• What is your market?
• What types of services or processes do you include?

Then add a gap analysis; take note of where you are today and where you want to be for each of your goals. Establish a year-by-year plan to accomplish your goals.

Processes: How you do what you do

Manufacturing Process : If you want to be best in class we must have very streamlined processes that produce no waste. A helpful visual tool is to Value Stream Map your Processes and look for waste. Examine actual processes, not the assumed process. Benchmarking processes from one plant or office to another is a useful tool when auditing your efficiency. Make it visual, easy to assess and ask why.

Things to consider:
• Ask yourself if there variation of the process on 3rd shift versus 1st?
• Compare one warehouse versus another.
• Which is the fastest, and most efficient with least errors?
• What are the walk patterns, the wait areas?

Business Process : It is important to consider all your processes, not just manufacturing processes. Include business processes as well. Both aspects of the business need to be working effectively in conjunction for your processes to be successful.

Things to consider:
• What are your HR and Accounting lead times to process paper?
• What is the time to process a sales order or a quote?

Feeling like your three-legged stool is a bit wobbly? Call McPherson Lean Partners and let our expertise and experience help you find the right balance.

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