In April 2017 with the help of
our local Industrial Resource Center (IRC) we started our journey into Lean Manufacturing, focusing on building
a Lean Culture. Initially when I thought of Lean Manufacturing
my thought process was to do more with less employees by pushing them to go
faster in their daily routine. Sounds simple Right? Not so much.
The program sponsored by the IRC introduced us to a process
called 2 Second Lean, the book written by Paul Akers ( 2 Second Lean, How to Grow People and build a Lean Culture), is based on the thought process of
Eliminating Waste through Continuous Improvement.
At first I found the process a little confusing but as I
continued to read and watch videos (which both I highly recommend) the process started
to become clearer to me. Instead of telling employees how to do their job
faster, we challenged/coached them to find ways to do their job faster
(Leaner). Who better to eliminate the waste from the process than the
individual doing that particular job? Worst case if it does not work you have
only lost 2 seconds. Sound Simple Right?
Well as I am finding out, it is not.
While engaging in the process we embarked on challenging our
employees to learn and find the 8 wastes
in their job process one at a time. The 8 wastes are Defects, Over Production,
Waiting, Non-Utilized Talent, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Extra Processing.
I recently attended one of the monthly meetings held by the IRC along with our
VP of Production and Shop Foreman. The meeting was held at a facility that has
been implementing 2 Second Lean for several years. Also attending were several manufacturing
organizations in our area doing the same thing,
along with another dozen or so companies like ours wanting to implement the
2 Second Lean within their organizations.
One of the First steps in the 2 second lean process was to
attend a Drum Beat meeting. At this
meeting the organization meets with their employee’s at the start of every
shift, this is done daily. This gives an
opportunity for each employee to share with the group their own 2 Second Lean,
and also lets the company provide information about what is happen within the
organization. There is no true drum meeting formula to follow you have to find
what fits for your organization and get everyone on board.
After some thought on what works for us we created an agenda
for our own Drum Beat meetings. Focusing on a short 10 – 20 minute meeting once
a week. The agenda includes: reviewing
numbers in regards to containers built, sold, and shipped in the previous week.
We then discuss total containers on order and agree on a Goal for production
for the coming week. We focus each meeting on four main topics to review openly
in the form of a question & answer.
Challenges: We ask
what challenges they may have faced in their job the previous week. (This gives them an avenue to vent a little
and keep management in the loop)
Mistakes: We ask what mistakes they have made or may have
seen being made.
Safety issues: We
ask about any safety issues noticed either good or bad?
2 Second Leans: We
ask what they thought and/or implemented in their own routine the previous week.
In our 1st two meetings we did not see the
feedback from our employees that we expected. By the third and fourth meetings
we had a good amount of feedback but during our fifth meeting we regressed a
little receiving less feedback than the previous two meetings. As we progress
through the process and as more employees get on board with what we are trying
to do we will improve ourselves and our jobs through the 2 second lean!
I am exciting about our Lean Journey and I will be sure to
blog again about it, I also encourage all to take a look at the following
website to learn more of how Lean Thinking can help you in both your
professional and personal life.