There are many reasons companies call their experience with LEAN “a journey.” Each company finds their own unique approach and path to reducing waste and creating value in their organization. However, there are some universal principals that apply to help ensure success. Networking and collaborating with other LEAN organizations is one of them.
At McKenney’s, we have experienced this success first hand. Collaboration and communication about LEAN happens on many different levels, and they all offer different valuable sets of knowledge. Below are five general groups we reach out to, share with and learn from on our LEAN journey.
- Peer Companies: We clearly have challenges and environments in common with our peer groups. This is a great environment to share successes and failures in LEAN approaches and experimentation. Similar technology needs, safety concerns, and labor requirements are common topics here.
- Customers: Customers, practicing LEAN are extremely valuable. They often understand the kinds of waste we are trying to reduce and the principals of a LEAN culture. Customers provide a unique and valuable view point to help us identify and improve processes.
- Suppliers/Vendors: Companies can be extremely valuable when we are identifying improvement areas like: materials, tools, inventory and, Just in Time Supply. Identifying LEAN Suppliers and introducing suppliers to LEAN can create many mutually beneficial solutions.
- Other Companies: Communicating with other LEAN companies in forums, networking, or local areas, provides a base for discussing basic LEAN principals, finding new ideas, techniques, training, and tools for managing our LEAN objectives and goals.
- Subcontractors: Introducing subcontractors to our LEAN principals and goals creates a valuable synergy to our efforts on the job site. It can create long working partnerships and promote shared success for everyone on a project.
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