Principles of Lean: Beyond the Shop Floor – May Meeting Recap

Principles of Lean: Beyond the Shop Floor

May 10 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May’s Kansas City Manufacturing Network meeting featured a panel of manufacturing professionals, who shared their best practices for expanding Lean concepts to processes and services, and not just on the production floor.  The panel was led by Joe Torrago, Project Manager for MAMTC, who has helped Kansas-based organizations achieve their growth plans since coming on board with MAMTC in early 2015, and has led Lean implementation in 3 companies and 2 countries.  Joe noted that a current project he is working on with a local municipality was helping to streamline the permitting process, as the existing process was eliminating wasteful steps that did not add value to the process.

Talli Denney, Retail Technology Director, Sally Luck, Director of Corporate Services, and Mark Pettit, Corporate Services Manager, Hallmark Cards, Inc. discussed Hallmark’s transition from Lean in plant operations, to a broader tool for all areas of the business.  The ultimate driver for their Lean initiative was to help determine if services and processes were adding value to the customer.  For example, help desk functions were being considered for outsourcing.  However, with the implementation of Lean problem solving tools, help desk employees became empowered to add value by seeking solutions to common problems, thus eliminating or reducing issues that increased call volume. This led to increased customer satisfaction, as well as cost savings for the company.

The panelists noted that Hallmark’s creation of Lean coaches helps to sustain the Lean efforts, and also had the benefit of creating new challenges and development opportunities for those who are coaches, which boosts morale in an environment where not everyone can earn a promotion.  Another key to success of Lean efforts was changing the culture where it became OK to challenge management, to point out problems, and have a hand in creating solutions.  This change created momentum for the company’s Lean efforts, as empowered employees worked to solve problems using the Lean tools.

Additionally, the complaint that people don’t have time to devote to Lean efforts can be overcome by taking small bite sized efforts – 30 minutes a day, and over time the participants can see that the Lean efforts actually result in time savings as wasteful processes are eliminated or changed.

 

Thomas Dunbar, Mechanical Level Production Supervisor, SOR, Inc. discussed the success he has had with expanding the concept of Lean beyond just seeing it as a tool to solve problems.  SOR holds Kaizen events not just to discuss problems, but to also discuss what is working well, and how that success can be built on in other areas. Thomas noted that there were those who saw the efforts in a negative light, and that early on, it’s important to start with some ‘quick wins’ that are more visible – employees won’t always buy in to benefits they can’t see, which is more common in an office environment where work is less visible than in production.  He also noted the importance of building a Lean team that has multiple perspectives – sales, purchasing, accounting, etc, so that the issues are viewed from different problem solving angles.  Finally, he noted that when looking to prioritize issues, choosing the laziest person you know can help bring problems to light, as the things they are complaining about most are likely also the most in need of improvement.

Among the takeaways noted by the panelists:

  • Seek opportunities to benchmark performance measures and differentiate between value added and non value added activities.
  • Don’t get caught up in terminology – using common terms instead of some of the ‘Lean’ terms removes some of the mystique around Lean and makes it more accessible.
  • Creating Lean champions, or inside experts is key to creating and building on momentum.
  • Find ways to celebrate wins, and recognize the people who contribute to gains and efforts.
  • Understand that there will always be naysayers, or those who don’t buy in completely.  Try to focus some effort to make the complainers part of the process, but don’t let managing them bog you down
  • Remember that value is determined by the customer, that the ultimate goal of any Lean effort is to improve the customer experience.

Global Opportunities for Manufacturers

KCMN June Meeting 

Looking for new business?  Have you ever considered exporting your goods or services? Have you ever been contacted by a potential customer in a foreign market and you weren’t sure what to do next? The KC region now has a metro export plan, released last month by the Global Cities Initiative (GCI) Steering Committee. The goal:  100 new exporters within the next five years. The World Trade Center Kansas City (WTC-KC), an affiliate of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, will serve as the export concierge providing advice, direction, market information, connections to not only WTC-KC’s global network of world trade centers in 330 cities around the globe but also to other regional export assistance providers in the KC region. Join us for our June 14 meeting as Ivry Karamitros, the Director for the World Trade Center in Kansas City explains how WTC-KC can help your export efforts and leads a panel discussion with manufacturers who will share their export stories with the audience.

Our panelists:

Panel moderator:  Ivry Karamitros, Director, World Trade Center in Kansas City

Kristen Cowan, Energy Solutions Manager – International, Milbank Manufacturing

Steve Williams, Vice President of Manufacturing, Labconco

Kristen and Steve will share their company’s exporting history, and discuss how they have expanded their business utilizing international markets, and best practices for prospective exporters.

Tuesday, June 14
7:30-9:00 AM
Hilton Garden Inn, 520 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas

Cost is $20 for members, $25 for manufacturing company guests, and $50 for non manufacturing company guests. Guests may attend 2 meetings before having to join as a member.  Sign up today BY CLICKING HERE or contact Donna Gordon at 816-304-7958, or donna@kcmn.org 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.

Ivry Karamitros: Director, World Trade Center. Ivry received her B.S. from Southwest Baptist University in both Business Administration and Political Science before working for the Missouri Department of Agriculture as an International Trade Specialist. After assisting Missouri Agribusinesses expand their exports to foreign markets through commodity and international trade missions with 4 countries, she worked as an International Trade Manager for the Missouri Department of Economic Development. At DED, Ms. Karamitros helped MO businesses expand their efforts in Asia and Southeast Asia. At the World Trade Center, Ms. Karamitros leads the implementation efforts of the Global Cities Initiative, Kansas City’s first export plan, and provides 1-1 consulting to Kansas City businesses who are interested in expanding their global reach.

Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center (MAMTC) 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.

For questions or comments, please contact Donna Gordon at 816-304-7958

KCMN: Upcoming Opportunities

EHS Subgroup is forming 

If you have environmental, health or safety concerns as part of your job description, you know there is a forever-changing regulatory landscape, the challenge of worker compliance, and sometimes the challenge of top management engagement. KCMN is here to help! We are pleased to announce the formation of a new Environmental Health and Safety Sub-group for KCMN. This group will meet 6 times per year (alternate months of the Workforce group) to discuss and brainstorm solutions to common EHS challenges in manufacturing.

We will be holding an organizational meeting on July 20, 7:30 AM at Robbie Flexibles in Lenexa. Thank you to Lisa Kist of Robbie and Ben Troja of Webco for leading this effort!  If you are interested in becoming part of this group, please contact Donna Gordon at donna@kcmn.org or 816-304-7958. This is a group for KCMN manufacturing members only.

August 2016 Networking Event

Our most popular event of the year is back! Join us for our Joint Networking event with Kansas City Manufacturing Network, Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), APICS, Chemical Coaters Association International (CCAI) and American Society for Quality(ASQ).  The event will be the week of August 22nd, we are finalizing date and venue in the next week or so, so watch your emails.  Sponsorships will be available.

Emerging Leaders will Return 

Emerging Leaders is a popular partnership program with JCCC where participants learn the basic concepts of Leadership with a blend of classroom instruction, materials to utilize/retain the concepts taught, sharing of best practices with each other, and an opportunity to apply what is learned in their workplaces. See http://kcmn.org/category/news and scroll down to see all of our proud graduates! A total of 208 enrollees have participated in Emerging Leaders to date, and 30 more are currently enrolled in Tier 1. Signups will launch in early June for sessions that will begin in mid-August and end before Thanksgiving.

How Can We Make Manufacturing Sexy?  October 4, 7:30 – 9:00

To celebrate Manufacturing Week, KCMN has invited Author and Speaker Karin Linder to share insights from her book – How Can We Make Manufacturing Sexy? Sexy manufacturing?

For some, this may sound contradictory but in her book, Karin Lindner outlines that in reality, every organization needs an element of sexiness – her presentation will help you recognize motivation versus inspiration, leading versus managing, the power of attitude, the power of engagement and possibilities versus problems.  Sponsorships will be available.

Go Global, KC!

Looking for new business?  Have you ever considered exporting your goods or services? Have you ever been contacted by a potential customer in a foreign market and you weren’t sure what to do next?

95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside U.S. borders.  And that population is expected to enjoy 85 percent of the planet’s economic growth in the next five years.  The opportunities are ginormous.

Increasing our number of Kansas City exporters is an important goal in the KC Rising effort to grow Kansas City’s regional economy – which, by the way, is lagging behind the rest of the country.

The good news:  the KC region now has a metro export plan, released last month by the Global Cities Initiative (GCI) Steering Committee.

If you’ve been daunted by the complexities of international business, or haven’t thought about it, you now have your own global business advisor – a concierge to help you expand into new markets.

Concierge: a hotel employee whose job is to assist guests

The goal:  100 new exporters within the next five years.

“Our strategy revolves around a new export concierge program,” says Chris Gutierrez, co-chair of Kansas City’s Global Cities Initiative Steering Committee and President of Kansas City SmartPort. “We found that most Kansas City businesses were unaware of the many local export services available to them. The new export concierge will provide personal, one-to-one guidance to current and prospective exporters, helping them navigate the complex process of entry into foreign markets.”

Paul Weida, co-chair of the GCI Steering Committee and Vice President, Government Affairs at Black & Veatch, adds, “The KC area has all the right pieces to grow exports but the market assessment showed the pieces need to be better connected. That’s what this export plan does. It connects potential exporters to export service providers by way of the region’s economic development agencies and the newly created export concierge.”

The World Trade Center Kansas City (WTC-KC), an affiliate of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, will serve as the export concierge.  Just as a hotel concierge makes reservations or gets theater tickets, the new international concierge will provide advice, direction, market information, connections to not only WTC-KC’s global network of world trade centers in 330 cities around the globe but also to other regional export assistance providers in the KC region. An easy first step to being connected to a world of trade resources available to businesses who want to go global!

What is the Global Cities Initiative?

In late 2014, Kansas City was selected one of 28 cities in the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase to help business and civic leaders grow their metropolitan economies by strengthening international connections and competitiveness.

Through GCI, the Brookings Institution has been providing research, data, and wise counsel.

The WTC-KC is already providing concierge services to a number of local companies interested in international business.  To learn more, visit wtc-kc.com, or contact Ivry Karamitros at Karamitros@kcchamber.com. You can read Kansas City’s export plan here: https://view.flipdocs.com/?ID=10014359_768877