It’s a Matter of Time:  Tips for Efficiency in Machining Operations

    Posted by Todd Stukenberg

    Feb 22, 2019 4:02:00 PM

    Machining is a complex business.  While some operations have sharply focused specialties, most apply their expertise and technology in a wide range of applications and types of jobs.  As such, being efficient with varied jobs can be a challenge, but is paramount to ensure competitiveness.  Here are some concepts that can be applied across even the most disparate of work:

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    Topics: lean culture, cnc machining, time management, machine shop, Cobots, automation

    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:

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    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:

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    Topics: lean culture

    Our 6 Must-Haves for a Lean Office

    Posted by Courtney Underwood

    Mar 13, 2015 6:06:00 PM

    The benefits of implementing lean manufacturing on the shop floor are well documented for original equipment manufacturers. However, more and more companies are striving to become a Lean Enterprise – applying Lean Thinking to all areas of the business. This is most apparent in the front office, where getting administrative employees focused on continuous improvement and the customers’ needs can boost profit margins and transform a company into a highly efficient operation.

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    Topics: oem, lean culture

    Lean HR: It's Not Just for the Manufacturing Floor

    Posted by Phil Lullo

    Feb 20, 2015 5:22:00 PM

    When a contract manufacturer (CM) grows as rapidly as Fusion OEM has, every role in the company needs to be filled with the right person in order to keep operations running smoothly, stabilize growth, establish a strong culture and maintain high employee engagement. The hiring process is a critical factor in making that happen.

    Streamlining the Process

    Part of Fusion’s overall strategy, as expressed in our Painted Picture, is to be Chicagoland’s premier place to work in manufacturing. Given this goal, redesigning our hiring process to accommodate the increased flow of applicants was essential. This comprehensive redesign was twofold: first, we thoroughly researched our existing processes to identify deviant opportunities for improvement. Next, we created systematic documentation based on our findings – including flowcharts, forms, templates and training guides - to establish standard operating procedures that would effectively address those deviations.

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    Topics: lean culture, employee engagement

    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.

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    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.

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    Topics: contract manufacturer, lean manufacturing, lean culture

    3 Ways A Lean Culture Increases Employee Engagement

    Posted by Craig Zoberis

    Oct 21, 2014 10:43:00 AM

    As an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), you appreciate first-hand how lean manufacturing practices enhance your profitability (and the profitability of your contract manufacturer). But, have you considered how a lean culture improves your bottom line as well?

    With a lean culture, all of your employees are personally invested and responsible for continuous improvement at your OEM or private label manufacturer. From high-level managers to front-line staff, your entire business focuses on new ways to work efficiently, increase value and deliver better service to clients and customers.

    Lean culture makes a difference in profitability by dramatically improving employee engagement. According to a recent study by the Workplace Research Foundation, increasing investments in employee engagement by 10% has the potential to increase your profits by $2,400 per employee, per year. The same study also found that highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity.

    So, how does a lean culture contribute to increased employee engagement? Here are three of the most common ways:

    1. Lean Culture Means More Employee Feedback

    Within a lean manufacturing culture, your employees have the opportunity to be a part of your firm’s process improvement initiatives. These lean projects give your employees the chance to provide feedback on current processes and then directly address those concerns themselves.

    By soliciting and using workers’ feedback, you increase employee engagement with your company. Not only does a lean culture foster a habit of continual feedback, but it equally encourages employees to get involved in making a solution happen – whether that’s in the boardroom or on the manufacturing floor.

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    Topics: lean manufacturing, private label manufacturer, lean culture

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