Lean and Six Sigma? You Mean I Can Do Both?

KCMN April Meeting

In this era of I want it now, and it must be perfect, juggling priorities with limited time and dollars is a continual challenge.  Is it possible to combine the effectiveness measures of Six Sigma with the efficiency gains of Lean?  April’s KCMN meeting will feature two speakers who will introduce you to the possibilities, and discuss strategies for accomplishing the goals of both.

Understanding Lean Six Sigma – Scott Gardner, Master Black Belt, MAMTC   Scott has worked with numerous companies throughout Kansas to improve operations through integration of the principles of Lean and Six Sigma.  Scott will explain how both systems can complement each other, and discuss measures for improving both quality and cost.

How Garmin is integrating the principles of Lean and Six Sigma – Luke Goodrich, Product Quality, Garmin International, Inc.  Garmin, the global leader in satellite navigation, has been applying lean and six sigma principles to manufacturing and distribution center operations at its Olathe, Kansas headquarters and in its facilities around the world for years as part of its constant quest to create flawless products and services. Luke will explain how Garmin is identifying opportunities, overcoming challenges, and measuring progress in these efforts.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
7:30-9:00 AM
Hilton Garden Inn, 520 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas

Cost is $15 for members and $25 for guests. Guests may attend 2 meetings before having to join as a member.  Sign up by April 7  By clicking HERE, or contact Donna Gordon at 816-304-7958, or donna@kcmn.org

About our speakers:

Scott Gardner has a wealth of experience as a Manager in manufacturing processes, material handling, production facilities, distribution centers and facility layouts. He has a very strong background in Lean Enterprise, Operation Process, Office Optimization, Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering. His history in Lean and Six Sigma boast projects that positively impacted the bottom line of the company by millions of dollars. He is educated and mentored to hold an executive position. He has worked closely with the FAA and Government over the past 7 years from a compliance, regulatory, and Safety Management System aspect.  Scott has experience in implementing cellular manufacturing, Kitting, Single Piece flow manufacturing using JIT, Kanban / KanWhip applications, continuous improvement, six sigma, safety, risk management, and team building. Scott designed his current home and his design of his church won a national competition with Morton Builders.

Luke Goodrich has a broad background in manufacturing and distribution center processes, global supply chain activities, industrial engineering, and sales & operations planning. He has extensive design, implementation, and management experience in raw material and finished goods handling, cell manufacturing, on-demand production, distribution center operations, reverse logistics, quality assurance, and root cause & corrective action processes. Garmin International, Inc. is the global leader in satellite navigation. Since 1989, Garmin has designed, manufactured, marketed and sold navigation, communication and information devices and applications – most of which are enabled by GPS technology. Garmin’s products serve automotive, mobile, wireless, outdoor recreation, fitness, marine, aviation, and OEM applications.

Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center and Missouri Enterprise are our Network sponsors. The event is open to area manufacturers and their suppliers. We invite you to join with us to make KCMN the premier resource for manufacturers.

Due to our need to cover the event costs, no shows will be billed. Cancellations will be accepted no later than 3 business days prior to an event. Cancellations of reservations paid by credit card will be assessed a $10 processing fee by the registration service, or contact us for event credit for a future event. You may register as a guest for up to 2 events before membership is required. For questions or comments, please contact Donna Gordon at 816-304-7958

Marketing: It’s not just about the ads

KCMN’s  February meeting featured two speakers who discussed the role of marketing in a successful manufacturing company.  Speaker Rich Delaney, of 20/20 Marketing made the point: marketing is not just about running an ad somewhere, it’s about having a plan to respond to your customers, and to spread the word about what makes your company valuable.  Rich noted that too many times marketing is ‘what those people in the marketing department do’.  He believes that in order to successfully grow your top line, that all aspects of the company need to be involved in promoting the company and responding to customers.   He gave the example of a company who wanted to spend $100,000 on a new customer service tool, but had never asked their customers whether this tool would benefit them, or result in their spending more money with the company.
Steve Hasty, with A & E Custom Manufacturing talked about the factors which have led to their growth over the past five years:

  • Have a plan.  Don’t be piecemeal in your efforts and understand how all of the things you do tie together around your brand or message.
  • Have a website.  Make sure the site reflects the image you want to convey, make it easy to reach a real person, and make sure you are able to measure your site metrics.  (Can’t manage what you don’t measure)
  • Ask your customers where they want to go, and then help them get there.  Rather than focus on what you can sell them, make sure your solution is the best solution for them.  This may mean re-training or rethinking your sales team.
  • Use current technology.  A & E has all but eliminated the use of brochures for video and live demonstrations and utilizes ipads for communication across all levels of the company.
  • Network, network, network.  Being involved in organizations both in and out of your industry gives you many more opportunities for collaboration.   No one can do everything, so knowing how to work with other firms to offer your customers a complete solution is a win for both companies.
  • Use the media.  Public relations is more critical today when reporting and research budgets are being slashed, and reporters are increasingly looking for content to help them tell the story.  A & E’s exposure in industry publications has brought them new opportunities, as well as re-enforced a positive image they have with current customers.
  • Go to your customers.   Steve stressed the importance of looking to current business for growth, not just trying to find new customers.   Make sure you have regular and open communication, and serve as a resource.   One example is A & E has started looking at trade shows  not only in their industry, but at shows that their customers are attending.

Of course many of the headlines revolve around social media.  Social media can be a great vehicle for staying in touch with customers, but is not a panacea, it is just another channel.  Ad Words campaigns typically have little value, unless they can be focused around a particular competency, skill or product that is unique or in high demand.     Bottom line, the value of a particular marketing tactic is only as good as the overall plan that is developed with all functional areas of the company’s input.

A & E Custom Manufacturing Technologies Featured on NBC Action News

KCMN members A & E Custom Manufacturing Technologies was featured in a story highlighting some of the many themes we have discussed in recent meetings:

- the opportunity to grow your business with shorter lead times

- the need for skilled workers

- the trend towards work returning from overseas

You can view the video by clicking here!

Product Development: Getting from Innovation to Revenue

KCMN March Meeting – Sign up by March 2nd!

Much is being written about the need for innovation in manufacturing to drive sales.  In fact, KCMN has covered this topic several times in the past few years.  However, we’ve not talked about the process of taking that innovation to market. Our March meeting features three KCMN member companies:

Lisa Kist – Robbie Flexibles

Steve Hall – Boelte Hall

Jason Grove – Dimensional Innovations

Our panelists will discuss their product or service offerings as well as:

  • The product development process – from innovation to revenue
  • Getting the right people involved
  • The customer’s role in development
  • Product development budgeting and planning
  • Suggestions and lessons learned

Tuesday March 6, 2012
7:30- 9 AM
Hilton Garden Inn at 5th & Minnesota, Kansas City,  Kansas

Cost is $15 for members and $25 for guests. Guests may attend 2 meetings before having to join as a member.  Sign up by no later than March 1st by clicking here, or contact Donna Gordon at 816-304-7958, or donna@kcmn.org

Jason Grove – Dimensional Innovations is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary firm taking ideas through design, fabrication and installation. We create experiences that make distinctive connections with our clients and your customers. Our proven experience in various market segments includes: cinemas, casinos, sports facilities, retailers, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, entertainment venues, museums, zoos, libraries and government.  In 2011, as a product of our Innovations Lab, we created and delivered to market Shield Casework™ , a solid surface microbial resistant line of healthcare casework. The product is designed to meet a wide range of applications in hospitals, labs, clinics and senior living facilities. Shield Casework™ delivers greater value and better bottom line performance.

Lisa Kist – Robbie Flexibles  Founded in 1970 and based in Lenexa, Kansas, Robbie, is a premier packaging company providing sustainable merchandising solutions using 10-color process printing on a variety of films for supermarkets, food/beverage, and consumer goods companies. In addition, Robbie supplies superior pouch and bag technology with high tech solutions for demanding applications.

Steve Hall – Boelte Hall was founded in 1967 to provide print services, including sheet fed lithography, die cutting, mailing, large format, posters, and banners. Over the years, we’ve grown and expanded our services to include not only print, but also event marketing and trade show displays, promotional items, brand management, mailing, video, online storefronts, variable data digital printing and complete cross channel marketing services.

Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center  and Missouri Enterprise  are our Network sponsors. The event is open to area manufacturers and their suppliers.  Service providers are welcome with the understanding that they not utilize the network as a sales channel.  We invite you to join with us to make KCMN the premier resource for manufacturers.

Due to our need to cover the event costs, no shows will be billed. Cancellations will be accepted no later than 3 business days prior to an event. Cancellations of reservations paid by credit card will be assessed a $10 processing fee by the registration service, or contact us for event credit for a future event.