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 forKen Chess 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.

    Sustaining Lean Principles is the Key to Success

    This lean manufacturing mindset keeps our team focused on continuous improvement. They have an in-depth understanding of how their work affects both internal and external customers, including how the two are ultimately connected. Additionally, they are empowered to identify issues, raise concerns and make suggestions regarding quality and efficiency, which translates into higher levels of employee engagement. As a result of having an engaged, efficient, committed workforce, we reduce lead times and consistently deliver high quality with stable pricing despite rising costs.

    For Fusion OEM, lean training with IMEC was more than a one-time process improvement - it marked a shift in our company culture. As a CM, it is essential to stay one step ahead of the competition. Lean thinking gives us that advantage.

    Want to make your OEM more profitable through lean manufacturing practices? Click below to download this whitepaper from Fusion OEM and learn how to harness the 80/20 rule for more effective lean manufacturing – whether in your own facility or when working with a contract manufacturer.

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    Topics: contract manufacturer, lean manufacturing, lean culture

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