Last week, every member of Team Horst went through a refresher course on the principles of lean enterprise. Each employee attended a half-day session to learn about the Toyota Production System. For the past five years, our primary lean enterprise trainers have been GBMP, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening New England’s manufacturing economy.
GBMP’s mission is to sustain a strong and vibrant regional economy by improving the operational profitability and competitiveness of existing and emerging organizations, through training in lean and continuous improvement principles.
Our Senior Leadership Team and managers dedicated a full day to the workshop. In addition to getting a refresher on basic lean enterprise principles, we learned how to “lead in a lean environment,” and we identified our “True North,” which dovetails nicely with our own Core Purpose and Core Values.
In 2018, we have hosted three multi-day kaizen activities using cross-functional teams. Areas of focus have been Accounts Payable, Purchasing (of Supplies), and Quoting (Sales). In each case, we streamlined the process. We have several more kaizen activities planned, but by embedding the spirit of continuous improvement in every employee, our expectation is that like learning, ideas and innovation happen all of the time.