In February, we blogged about our Kaizen event, which is a highly focused workshop to take immediate action and improve existing processes within the company. While we’ve been focusing on “lean initiatives” for years, we recently contracted a company, Ro12 Enterprises, to guide us through the Kaizen event, assist with several projects, and provide on-going training to 40 of our employees. We continuously strive to reduce lead-times, improve quality, and reduce costs, and our long-term business model is geared toward these “lean initiatives.”
As an example of our lean initiatives, our team focuses on waste versus value-added activities in the manufacturing process, which means our employees are identifying and removing wasteful practices from their production and constantly seeking improvement. At Estes, we believe the best way to improve is to constantly re-evaluate and grow as an employee—which makes for a stronger company.
We’re not alone in putting emphasis on lean initiatives. Many other companies in a variety of industries look to eliminate the unnecessary, and Quality Digest has a few suggestions to implementing these practices:
1. Get your employees motivated and prepared to seek improvement and reduce waste.
2. Have an open stream of communication to share information and best practices.
3. Don’t be afraid to take risks—or fail.
4. Set realistic expectations.
We’ve committed ourselves to producing better, more cost-effective products, and we hope our lean initiatives inspire you to work with us or make changes in your own company.