Page 40 - MetalForming-Aug-2018-issue
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                  Fabrication: Lean
of a lean culture, many times it felt like we were going backward rather than forward.”
Staying Focused
After working with an executive coach and following the plan for orga- nizational health described in Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Advantage, Kramer determined that his leadership was the biggest challenge and barrier
to making the cultural changes he envi- sioned. “I would whipsaw the organi- zation in a million directions without giving employees the chance to make progress,” he says. “Once I stopped and allowed the team to focus on key areas for success and develop a rhythm and pace, the cultural progress started to come alive.”
During this period of growth, oper- ational team members came back after
a lean benchmarking trip to FastCap, lean expert Paul Akers’ facility in Wash- ington state. “They were excited about his book, 2 Second Lean,” Kramer says. “They had met with Paul and learned that you can improve and prosper by taking something complex and making it simple. We started making simple changes and celebrating small improvements, opening up more dialog with our employees. The concept, embraced by our organizational lead- ership, also resonated with our execu- tive team members and me because it focused on people growth and engage- ment. Because it was so simple to understand and was people-focused, the team was able to quickly share with others inside the company, and we haven’t looked back since.”
Akers strongly encourages readers to start their lean journey by learning to see waste, allowing people to “fix what bugs them,” and then to make short videos for sharing improvements with others.
“I remember how excited our lead- ers became about the concepts taught in 2 Second Lean. Their courage to try something new and experiment with videos was amazing,” says Marc Braun, president, who was the executive vice president of sales and marketing at the time. “Our marketing department had used video sparingly. We had a collec- tion of several videos reflecting the ‘Cambridge Story,’ and little presence on YouTube. The company now has more than 4300 videos created by employees.”
Every employee is encouraged to make 1-min. videos. Some are accounts of rapid changes to elimi- nate wasted steps or prevent over- reaching at a workstation. Other videos reflect improvements over an extended period.
Ideas, Processes and Products
“For us, lean is about people and people growth,” says Greg Sitton, plant manager. “It’s not something that is simply implemented.” Key ele- ments in creating lean understanding include lean classes for all new hires
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