Aug 8, 2006

Extreme plant makeover - update from Richard Kunst

An event of this magnitude is difficult to facilitate and coordinate … but by the end of the week several very tired souls departed back to their respective organizations hopefully with their tool boxes just a bit fuller with new ideas and techniques.

The initial challenge is getting the support from the leaders in the organization who are always focused on getting their 100 tons of coal out each and every day.

An event like this takes a great amount of preparation weeks in advance. We were very fortunate to have Chris White our student intern available to capture ideas and opportunities into assignment sheets well in advance of the event.

To make the event successful you should embrace the event with a key strategic indicator, in our case increase throughput by 10% with existing resources. As you proceed with the data collection phase, you should be able to identify themes, opportunities and the ability prioritize the projects.

The event allowed leaders of the organization another method to see waste in their processes. In some cases inventory was creeping into key processes inhibiting throughput to the point the area was a constraint to regular production. It truly makes you wonder if traditional measures will insure focus on getting rid of the waste.

It was an exciting week and our outside eyes were wonderful with their commitment and energy. The event would not have been a success without the participation of our outside suppliers who provided great coaching clinics for our corporate champions. We were especially please that Rhonda Kovera from Visual Workplace decided to spend an extra day with the team for in depth training of her tools and general tricks on going beyond the traditional 5S and creating the true definition of a Visual Workplace, that is, Self Managing, Self Directing and Self Explaining.

We hope that what has been started will continue, the numbers will naturally follow. Cheers … Richard

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