Ken Chess

    Recent Posts

    Building a Lean Culture, Part Two

    Posted by Ken Chess

    Feb 5, 2016 1:36:03 PM

    Read Time: 2 Minutes

    Tuesday’s blog discussed our visit to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, and the requirements of a successful company transformation. Under Dave Fox’s leadership, Advocate Good Samaritan has realized tremendous operational improvements, including reduced costs, improved employee engagement, reduced turnover, and increased productivity. The parallels to our lean company culture were profound. We continue this series with focus on a common key to any successful business: engaged employees. At both Fusion and Good Samaritan, there is a culture of employee engagement, which is supported by these three best practices:

    Read More

    Topics: lean culture

    Building a Lean Culture, Part One

    Posted by Ken Chess

    Feb 2, 2016 5:52:10 PM

    Read Time: 2 Minutes, 15 Seconds

    In an age when companies across industries are striving to increase quality of their services, employee engagement and customer satisfaction, anything that helps to motivate and retain a skilled workforce is worth the investment. Last week, a meeting with David Fox, President of Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, demonstrated that initiating and sustaining tangible results without sacrificing resources is possible, but it hinges on the quality of a company’s culture. Under Fox’s leadership, Advocate Good Samaritan has realized tremendous operational improvements, including reduced costs, improved employee engagement, reduced turnover, and increased productivity. As a result, this hospital has won numerous industry awards and recognition while serving as a nationwide benchmark in the healthcare industry. Observing the methods implemented immediately drew parallels to our company culture of lean operation and continuous improvement. During our visit, we noted the following requirements for a successful company transformation from Good to Great:

    Read More

    Topics: lean culture

    4 Tips for a Successful ISO 9001 Management Review Meeting

    Posted by Ken Chess

    Nov 20, 2015 6:55:58 PM

    As an ISO certified contract manufacturer, Fusion OEM is required to hold Management Review meetings, where we discuss our strategies for improvement, policies, goals, objectives, needed changes and resources, and financial performance. These meetings are a cornerstone of a thorough Quality Management System (QMS), but many companies do not seize the opportunity to maximize their effectiveness. Instead, businesses treat their Management Review meetings as a required formality to generate meeting minutes to demonstrate compliance to an auditor. How do leaders change the perception and get the most out of their QMS? Below find four successful strategies Fusion used to make these meetings meaningful.

    Read More

    Topics: iso

    Benefits of ISO Internal Audits for Manufacturers

    Posted by Ken Chess

    Jun 5, 2015 5:35:00 PM

    ISO 9001:2008 is a widely used standard for quality certification and also one of the most stringent. This standard ensures that every aspect of a contract manufacturer’s business is well-run and continually improving, including key processes, management roles and responsibilities, documentation, customer satisfaction, employee training, service and internal audits.

    Internal audits are used to evaluate the effectiveness of and assess conformity to documented Procedures and Work Instructions, and identify opportunities for improvement. Internal audits are also preparation for external audits and demonstrate that a manufacturer’s ISO 9001 Quality Management System is effective. During an internal audit, a manufacturer’s quality system is measured against the requirements of the standard. A group of trained internal auditors is selected from within the company to perform these audits. More than just a method of checking practice against procedure, internal audits are a powerful tool in manufacturing improvement processes. Audit results are examined in Management Review meetings, and they have proven a valuable tool for regularly assessing the status of our company. Additionally, manufacturers that perform regular internal audits can expect to experience the following benefits:

    Read More

    Topics: contract manufacturing services

    CM Facility Move Without Production Disruption

    Posted by Ken Chess

    Feb 6, 2015 5:06:00 PM

    Fusion OEM recently moved into a new facility to accommodate our growing contract manufacturing business. Our production floor now has 50% more capacity than the previous facility and is fully climate controlled to better serve our clients and make our people more comfortable. When planning the move, our top priority was to avoid any impact on our customers. To accomplish this goal, we planned the move well in advance, accelerated production in advance of the event, and engaged employees throughout the process.

    Read More

    Topics: contract manufacturer, contract manufacturing, lean culture, employee engagement

    Initiating a Lean Culture

    Posted by Ken Chess

    Jan 16, 2015 3:48:00 PM

    As an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or Contract Manufacturer (CM), you’re likely searching for ways to reduce costs without sacrificing speed or product quality. The key to gaining this competitive advantage lies in training your workforce to think Lean.

    Implementing Lean Thinking with IMEC

    Fusion OEM adopted lean manufacturing principles through a series of trainings and team development initiatives with the help of the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC). Lean 101 training is a program available from IMEC that teaches the effectiveness of Lean concepts. During the session, IMEC brings in materials and demonstrates how to evaluate processes and make them more efficient through the application of Lean principles such as one-piece flow, visual pull systems, line balancing and more. Our team found the program to be engaging, educational, and completely interactive. We periodically run this program for our entire workforce to introduce Lean thinking to new employees, refresh the principles for veterans, and to reinforce our emphasis on having a company culture of Lean thinking. This applies to every function and department in the company. The benefits of training with IMEC are immediate. With everyone focused on thinking Lean, we are able to streamline tasks with our employees and increase the efficiency, clarity and trainability of their work. In addition, clear ISO-based lean procedures help employees identify deviant opportunities for improvement and effectively address them. This increases efficiency, boosts productivity and increases our profitability.

    Read More

    Topics: contract manufacturer, lean manufacturing, lean culture

    Why ISO Certification Matters When Choosing Your Contract Manufacturer

    Posted by Ken Chess

    Aug 19, 2014 6:00:00 AM

    Selecting an outsourced contract manufacturer for your OEM company is a difficult process. After all, you’re not only handing over your company’s processes and production to another business, but you’re also handing over something even more valuable: your reputation.

    With your company’s reputation on the line, you need to be highly selective when choosing a contract manufacturer – and you need outside, objective validation that their business is run effectively. That’s why you should strongly consider potential partners that have an ISO certification.

    What Is ISO 9001 Certification?

    Standardizing processes ultimately leads to better productivity and overall safety on the manufacturing floor, and ISO certification sets the worldwide benchmark for that level of standardization.

    ISO 9001:2008 is a widely used standard for quality certification, but also one of the most stringent. This standard ensures that every aspect of a contract manufacturer’s business is well-run, including key processes, management roles and responsibilities, documentation, customer satisfaction, employee training, production, service and internal audits.

    ISO certification requires outsourced manufacturing partners to constantly review, improve and document each and every process in their facility, giving you the assurance that their company is running at the highest standard possible and, ultimately, that they are protecting your reputation with your customers.

    Read More

    Subscribe Here!


    Latest Blog Posts