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  Sharing information with others through improvement-project teamwork and videos (he creates about one per week) helps everyone eliminate problems. “If I’m struggling, I can see how others made changes,” says Taylor.
Simplicity and Spreading the Word
Leadership continues to hone its strategic-planning process, initiatives reflecting lean progress and means for communication throughout the organization. Having a three- to nine- month “thematic goal” or rallying cry, with defining objectives, has been a primary method for building align- ment during the past five years. Begin- ning in 2017, a three-year strategic plan is in place to help drive longer- term decision making towards a com- mon vision.
“Our three-year plan has helped the teams focus and continue to increase engagement,” Braun says. “For exam- ple, one of our initiatives for 2017 is that every employee will spend at least a half-day learning by benchmarking at another company.”
The company’s primary method for sharing strategic plans and goals with employees and asking for their feed- back is the daily all-company meetings. Last year, executive committee mem- bers also asked employees, in groups of 10 to 12 at a time, about their feed- back on these plans, and made changes, such as reducing the number of initiatives, based on feedback received.
What’s Next?
In the coming year, developing stan- dard work will be a major area of focus, as Cambridge continues to drive for the next level of quality systems, according to Braun. “What’s good is that our people are asking for it,” he says. “It is employee-driven, enhancing our ability to innovate rather than sti- fling it. Also, using scrum methodolo- gies to increase the speed of product innovation through our engineering teams is a next evolution for using the same level of experimentation in this
area, which will deliver rapid value to our clients.”
Cambridge also is ramping up efforts to utilize its continuous improvement engine to build a world- class safety culture. “We have a culture that cares deeply, but intend to focus more of our continuous improvement time on building a zero-incident mind- set across the company,” says Braun. “We want to demonstrate that safety
and innovation cultures can be built simultaneously. We’re learning, having a blast, and building a powerful and sustainable growth engine.” MF
Lea Tonkin is a freelance writer in Woodstock, IL. Her article is an edited reprint from the winter 2017 edition of Target, published by the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, For more on Cambridge Engineering, visit
Fabrication: Lean
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