We engaged the ILS team early in our lean transformation and asked them to assist in the education part of our transformation plan. Our strategy, developed with their assistance, was to teach lean and develop a thorough understanding of lean principles within the organization. This foundation could then be used to implement the changes to reduce wastes, establish process stability and flow, foster broad team member participation, and in the end, create a learning organization.
In the two years since we started, substantial changes have taken place within the company. We have noticeably improved flow, streamlined material delivery, freed up space and improved product quality. We have begun putting in place Standardized Work. Bottom line is we have a strong start on building an effective production system.
But the greatest accomplishment is the cultural change our people have experienced. We have established strong teamwork, broad participation in improving operations and problem-solving and better communication. For many employees, the improvement philosophy has even carried beyond the workplace. This type of transformation could never have been achieved without the lean educational program championed by ILS.