If you have back surgery because of aging or ruptured disks, chances are that the surgeon would pack the site with bone shavings that will fuse with your spine and help you stand tall. The material would be the gift of someone who died. Think of all the things that have to go right - it has to be processed fast. It has to be clean and safe. It has to be compatible with your own tissue. All the labeling and transportation steps have to go right.
If you're getting the bone material from Dayton, OH, you'd be glad that Donna Hoying of Sinclair Community College's Advanced Integrated Manufacturing (AIM) center had been teaching people at Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services how to apply lean.
The Tissue Services company is a manufacturing site. CNC machines shave bone to harvest the fragments that are going to be used in your surgery. Demand was exceeding supply. With Donna's help, people like Rob Carpenter, the center's tissue processing director, are going to fix that problem.
Lots of you are doing good work in the healthcare field, which we baby boomers are going to be grateful for. I mention Donna because she's been a leader in the Lean Certification developed by SME, AME and the Shingo Prize. She's given countless hours to make sure the body of knowledge, the exam process and the portfolio process are valid and worth paying attention to. Donna's one of the first to be qualified as a review workshop leader. If you were hiring Donna to help out on improving processes at the tissue center, the fact that she holds this rigorous lean certification would be a pretty good indication that she knows what she's doing.
If you're in the Detroit area, you should know that our local SME chapters are joining together to help members achieve their Bronze Lean Certification. Truth be told, our chapters aren't much to be proud of. Only a few members show up for technical presentations, which are actually pretty good. I'm sure I'll get comments on why that is so - nothing wrong with hearing the voice of the customer. I brought up the idea of the Lean Certification Iniative with the leaders of Chapter One, with the ulterior motive of giving me a deadline to read the books and sit down for the exam.
But think about going after your lean certification with us. The exam will be in October, with a review workshop led by Linda Kelsey, another architect of the certification. I'll be leading four study group sessions in September, accompanied by Howard Weston, one of the founders of AME. That's so someone who has done more than read the books can keep us based in reality.
So come on, give it a shot. Let me know if you'll go along with us on our member-helping-member jaunt. Can't call it a journey, but it's a way to get a few steps farther down the road.