Flexible Approaches To Implementing Lean Manufacturing
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Most states now have funds available to help companies upgrade the skills of their workforce through “Custom Fit” and OJT (On The Job Training) programs. These funds are typically used to “invest” in local companies for the collateral benefits gained for local and state economic development. The focus is less “team” based and more dependent on the trainer/trainee(s) relationship and their engagement in applying improvement activities throughout the company. Implementing Lean Manufacturing techniques throughout the company while transferring “Lean Expertise” to the in-house “Improvement Manager” trainee(s) is the goal of this program. Hours of instruction are conducted in a primarily hands-on fashion as the Lean expert teaches, coaches, and collaboratively implements various aspects of Lean Manufacturing throughout the company. Trainees are given improvement assignments and are mentored through this process in an intensive four to six month undertaking that makes Lean experts out of existing staff. This approach eliminates the need for increasing head-count, implements the majority of the “big bang” Lean techniques, and insures deep level understanding and capabilities of the trainee(s). After the training period, the expert level “Improvement Manager(s)” guide the company through new improvement initiatives as needed without further outside support.