College offers sessions on lean manufacturing


Northwest Indiana News:

Here's a nice article about some community lean training in Indiana.

South Suburban College and the Chicago Manufacturing Center created a Lean Academy to teach this manufacturing philosophy to businesses and individuals wanting to increase productivity and quality of product and services.

A small company lean sponsor said:

“We're sending more people to classes, more shop people, operators and assistants. We'll send as many as we can afford to lose for a day,” Mika said. “But we can't afford not to do it because, if you don't, it's costing you money that can be your profit.”

For T&B, the process has produced tangible results.

“It's changed people's attitude about their work to make things better for them and the company,” Mika said. “It's a cultural change. Everyone has to change their way of thinking and be open to new ideas.

“We send shift supervisors and shop-floor employees. They come back with a new outlook on what their areas can be. A supervisor came back and reorganized his area and saved us money on replacement parts.”

I like their focus on sending real value-adding employees to the lean training. I hope that upper management is also getting trained on their role in the lean transformation. They're not just focusing on cutting heads or using specific lean tools. This small Indiana company understands that lean is also about culture change and getting people to see and eliminate waste on their own.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

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