develop a plan to eliminate it.
This is where most leaders falter. They fail to allow staff time to
apply the lean thinking skills that
they were trained to employ. It is
this single most important point
that has differentiated Hunter
Trim and Cabinets from most
other cabinet manufacturers.
Help staff find waste
Hunter Trim staff had always
been encouraged to take time
to make improvements. One
afternoon a week had been designated for that purpose. On the
surface that seemed like a good
approach. However, the shift to
make continuous improvement
a part of the long-term culture
would need more emphasis than
one afternoon a week.
Dustin recognized momentum
had stalled, so in February 2016
he made a dramatic shift. This
new strategy was introduced at
the seemingly most inopportune
time. Lead-time was increasing,
on-time delivery was slipping,
overtime was on the rise, and
staff had become complacent.
His strategy? Devote fewer hours
to production and more time to
applying lean thinking.
The plan would be to dedicate
the first hour of each day to
continuous improvement. The
shop would work seven hours
on production and one hour on
eliminating waste. Even I thought
this was a bit over-the-top. But,
by the second week, the hour lost
had been regained through pro-
ductivity improvements. Hunter
Trim hasn’t deviated from that
strategy since. So, why did Dustin
ask me to come back?
One reason is because increased demand required changes in the organization structure
and a couple of new people have
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