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I’m going to talk about world class manufacturing and the obstacles that can occur when you are implementing the system. Take a castle, for example. If you’re building a castle, technically there are a few things that you need to get right. There’s the right type of stones, solid foundations, the right place. You have to have the right windows. Everything must be technically correct. Otherwise, you will not get a castle that stands for so many years. It’s kind of obvious.

The same goes when you build a WCM system in a production facility because what you put in place, when you implement WCM (world-class manufacturing) must be connected to the business you have. For example, if you try to implement a system that is connected more to the process industry, when you are working in a mechanical industry it could become problematic. If you have a lot of different machines where you try to flow things through, where the flow of material is more important than running one big machine, you are going to run into problems because you are choosing to run the world-class manufacturing system based on process industry when you’re not in process industry.

Then of course, there’s another side to it which is normally a much bigger issue obstacle-wise. When we measure these obstacles, we can see that there are twice more emotional issues than technical ones, when implementing a world-class manufacturing system. Of course, when you work in any workplace, the way you feel when you’re working, the way you can express yourself, the respect you feel is very important for mental health’s sake. People need to feel that they are secure and safe and feel that they can express themselves without having to worry about things all the time and not feeling listened to and respected.

In today’s world, mental health issues are very important. We need to keep our eyes open for it every day, so we can see how much that affects us and it gets more and more okay to talk about, which is something we appreciate a lot because for whom we are. The number one part of any system is the people in it. You cannot be very healthy and high-performing without healthy and high-performing people. But emotional issues often show up in disguise. It’s very rare that people will say, “I’m afraid of this. I’m worried. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me,” so instead people talk about other things and disguise it as, “We don’t have time. We have tried this before, it will never work anyway,” things like that. So, if you want to be a high-performing person in the world-class manufacturing system and handle the obstacles of emotions, you have to really pay attention to emotional intelligence and learn from people who are strong in that type of field.

And as I wrote earlier, normally from our experience, you have twice as many emotional issues as you have technical issues. Imagine if you can combine them both. imagine the power you can get from knowing what technically is correct for your business and knowing how to handle your people. That is so powerful and it’s almost unstoppable. I often use the analogy of a zipper in your jacket. When you have two sides that should connect, when you zip up your zipper it becomes strong and it’s almost an unbreakable bond and that’s what you’re looking for when you build a system like WCM.

So, do you recognize this from your business? Do you see that you need to understand what technical parts you need for your business so it’s designed correctly and it stands for many, many years technically? And how you engage people to feel that they can own it, feel respected and listened to so they can develop as well. If you feel that is a need that you have in your business, I suggest that you contact us. There’s an email address here, there’s also link below. Book a call. Let’s talk about what we can do to help you. And like, share this article, spread this around. We need your help to spread this message. We appreciate everything you do for us when it comes to that. And other people might need to read to this as well. And thank you so much.

Johan Majlov, CEO Lean Dimensions International

LetsDoIt@askldi.com

Handling the Obstacles of World Class Manufacturing

In this article, I will be talking about the key components in delivering a deep-rooted change in an organization, focusing on leadership.

Implementing a continuous improvement system obviously requires 100% committed management team, so after you have a clear direction, and you have your deployment done, your organization is aligned, now it’s important to ensure that the management is 100% commitment.

1% lack of commitment in a management team means 50% lack of commitment on the shop floor. That is important to remember. There are pockets on the shop floor, pockets in the company, they are now not committed to run or do anything with inside the improvement system. Why is that? Well, the managers don’t show commitment, why should I?

Here’s the thing that a lot of managers misunderstand: if you come in, in the beginning of a meeting, and you tell everybody how important it is and then you leave, that is not necessarily considered commitment. It’s not a bad thing to do that, but you know what’s much more powerful? Action, Participation.

Stay in the meetings. Participate. Walk the shop floor. Ask questions, and stay tuned for more articles on that part. I’m going to tell you more about how to develop questions. But if you don’t show action, it doesn’t matter how much you talk. It doesn’t. And maybe that’s unfair, but it comes with the territory, I’m afraid.

So, show actions. Think about this: when you come to work every day, as a leader you can either be a driver that make things happen, you can be a person that builds the road makes connections, the track, the path forward, you can also be a rock that blocks the track. That blocks everybody else from running. You can be a block by not doing anything. Think about that. So, you need to show actions to be 100% committed.

Johan Majlov, CEO Lean Dimensions International

LetsDoIt@askldi.com

Hey can we all get committed please…

Drawing by Johan Majlov

This article is about the habit of resisting change. Habits are created and often require some consistent work to be sustained.

Not too long ago I met a Vice President of a company, let’s call him Bob, he told me that he had an exit interview with a person a retiree, let’s call him Mike. Mike told him, “you have disappointed me so many times”. Bob said “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to do that”, Mike said “not you personally, but the company has”.

Bob started to ask more questions to understand what he meant and Mike said, “you started so many programs, interesting things where we could get going and learn more, develop, take more responsibilities, etc. and I really liked that. I wanted to learn and do more of that and I got engaged. I put my heart into it and tried to get going. Suddenly you stopped it, for unknown reasons. It just disappeared and sometimes it was because you didn’t have time, but we had time and the will but we’re not allowed anymore. Then Time goes by and you started another program and another program and another program, the only thing that’s common between them is, that they all stopped. I put my heart into the first ones, but after a few of them I got hurt because I wanted to do something good and liked it but as soon as I let myself get into it stopped. I started to protect my own feelings.

In my own passed I find this is very common, people get trained into resistance. When they were hired, they weren’t resisting at all. They just become resistant to change, to protect themselves from the pain they feel when they tried hard and then something stopped even though they liked.

This is a key part for successful change leadership, to think about why people don’t change. Maybe they are more than willing, but it might take time and real leadership where you walk the talk to convince them that you are serious about it.

What about your organization, have they been conditioned to resist to protect themselves?

Like and share this article and send me an email to talk more.

Johan Majlov, CEO Lean Dimensions International

LetsDoIt@askldi.com

 

Conditioned to Resist Change

Drawing from Shortcut To Fame Ltd

Audits a key part of any business

In today’s business world Audits are a common component. Examples are Supplier Audits, Quality system Audits, Compliance Audits, Environment Audits etc.

The idea is that an outside resource Audits to find Gaps that highlights key areas of attention, if improved the business is a step better.

The issue is often that an Audit or the Auditor has the focus to find what’s wrong, that is often a uncomfortable approach for the one being Audited.

I have been to businesses that hide tools that aren’t calibrated, give answer cards to employees and basically try to doctor the results. A bit crazy since the Audit is supposed to help and drive improvements but the consequences can be severe and the business finds it important to Look Good.

When it comes to the Audits related to Improvement systems they should be handled totally different and below I go through the process of that.             

The word auditing comes from the Latin word audītus which means listening, so an Auditor is a person who will come and listen. (More about the State of Mind the auditor and the audited should be in can be found The Article Taking Charge of Your Change published on LinkedIn in my name.)

This means that for an improvement team you should ask someone from the outside to Audit you. The definition of outside is outside of the team that needs the Audit. For example, if you have a steering committee or any type of management/leading team, in some different types of program you might even have pillars (a team of people who focuses on a limited part of the improvement system) they are good choices of Auditors.

Let us assume that you are running a 12-week improvement team, as a minimum I recommend that you have 3 audits, after 4, 8 and 12 weeks. The 12-week audit is also called the final audit. The objectives of an audit are to support the team to stay on target, to ensure that they understand the process and that they follow the process of the improvement team. I choose to follow the PDCA approach (Plan, Do, Check Act) in this example. I also promote that the 3 Phases of change are followed, the 3 phases are…Basic Condition, Improve and Innovate. To complete a phase, you go through the PDCA cycle, so the PDCA cycle could be gone through 3 times or more if you follow all 3 phases.

2 Min Drill 3 Phases of Change                     

An Auditor should follow that approach and should also be aware of which phase the team is in and to ask questions according to the PDCA approach and in tune with the Phase, to ensure that the process is followed and understood by the team. A good auditor also leaves the team with energy after the audit. The Important role of an Auditor is highlighted in the fact that the team must understand where they are, what could be needed to develop further. What an Auditor needs to understand is that the team needs support and energy; a bad auditor will leave the team deflated only considering all the problems.

            A good audit process could look like this, the team is waiting for the auditor or auditors and will present where they are now using a team board, that I recommend every team have. They will tell the story about where the team is, the team leader or a representative, preferably several people that are a part of the team is presenting the status and what is achieved, and what they are looking forward to do. The Auditors are listening to where the team are and will ask questions according to the PDCA thinking.  They will ensure that the planning phase, the do, check and act is done properly. The questions are normally asked open ended so that you do not have “yes” or “no” responses, and that you explain the way of thinking and the auditor will then have a better understanding. This will help confirm that the team has understood the concept and the process. Sometimes an auditor can ask a question implying that something should have been done. For instance:  during the planning phase an auditor could ask “What type of root-cause analysis did you use?” This implies that you should have done a root-cause analysis and nobody can answer with a simple “yes” or “no”. This can drive the behaviour that you want in a team as an auditor. After the audit the team leader should make sure that the team understands the auditor’s comments, support and questions, as well as have a lesson learned session after the audit. Lessons learned are key for a team to gather along the whole process, the lessons learned are transferred to the next team that starts a similar type of problem-solving initiative, so we do not run into similar types of problems again.

As an Auditor, you have a choice to Put Pressure on the Team or To Inspire the Team to accomplish something. The inspiration path often has a positive effect on the climate and leaves a team energized.

If this process is followed and the principle of listening is the focus, the Audit has a positive effect on the people involved. Understanding what is done well can that being highlighted can induce energy in a team.

Johan Majlov, CEO Lean Dimensions International

LetsDoIt@askldi.com

Auditing for a positive climate

Drawing from Shortcut To Fame Ltd

I was contacted by a management team, this wasn’t too long ago, I was talking to them and they had a need of hiring more engineers. It’s a wonderful feeling, right, because you develop your business, you need more people and such. I love that myself.

Here’s the thing though, they weren’t thinking about the possibilities of improving that specific area first. The problem that many companies face, I think, is that when it comes to business processes, they have never mapped out the process to fully understand the losses they have. They’re often organized in about ease of management, so people who have the same type of job title and job function report to the same manager sit together and they are most likely never working together with any person close to them. So, they always have to walk around and find people in the organization that they actually work within the process.

This company specifically, they had eight engineers. They needed to up the level of new products coming into their organization and they were looking at maybe hiring two more people. Here’s what we did. We mapped out the process. We understood where the losses were. We saw that the lead time was a little bit over 400 days to implement a totally new product. We worked together with the team to reduce the lead time by doing a certain number of activities that takes away the time between all the tasks you do, so the lead time went down to approximately 200 days, a 50% reduction in Lead time.

What if this is a situation that you could have as well? What if you could reduce your lead time with 50%, what would that mean? In the previous 400 days, you could introduce one product. You can now do it in 200 days. That means that you have basically doubled your capacity, right? You can develop two products in 400 days. To me, that will be a double capacity. They didn’t have to hire any engineers. They already had them in house. They increased their production or output 100% without adding any people. Imagine, I’m just saying imagine if that is true for you as well. What would that mean for your organization?

Being a leader, a modern leader, means that you constantly look for how the organization and its individuals can develop. Having a structured approach like this will lead to success, I’m sure of it. You can do it too, dream about it, smell it taste it…it’s called success.

 

Johan Majlov, CEO Lean Dimensions International

LetsDoIt@askldi.com

The hidden secret in Business Processes

WCM Results

What are the results you can expect from world class manufacturing, and more importantly what results you should look?

It is very common that we look for financial results. We want to lower the cost; maybe we want have lower inventory levels. We might want to turn over our money faster. This is one of the key parts; I guess that people want to start working on. But there are other results that you should look for as well, but let me come back to the financial results a little later.

When I talk to potential customers and most of them are potential customers because they haven’t seen the results yet. I am always a little worried that I’m going to seem to be naive, because I can show improvements that are greater than what they can expect, so it sounds like I don’t know what I’m talking about.

When you get into world class manufacturing, you’ll start speeding up and get more and more people involved in it, if you do it the correct way. The results you can get financially are often surprisingly high. Savings are 5 to 10 times higher than the cost, for example of hiring a Consultant Company.

If you look at one key result, it is the process that you have built and left behind, while solving the problems and saving money that you did during the implementation. So, one result is that you have built a process where people can execute the process. So, if you leave capabilities and process behind, it can bring that value to you and make sure you save the money, or move any needle in any KPI that you want to move. That’s a key part of the results.

A third part is the emotional part for people to feel that they have grown as a person. That they are allowed to be engaged in something, that they feel that they really own something that they’re working on. It’s such an important part for people, and it should be a part of the result you’re looking for, because here’s what it will give you. Sustainability.

One of the hardest things to achieve in any system is to make sure every result is sustained. We truly believe that sustainability comes from not only a well performed executed project, but also the heart, that people are in it and own it. It’s a key part of it.

If you want to achieve results like this, here’s what I suggest you do. Email us or book a call, and we can discuss how we can help you to achieve the same results as many of our customers have got already. And the cost, you’d be surprised how much we can save and how little investment is compared to the cost you’re going to save.

I hope this makes sense to you. If you have any interest in understanding more of how this could work for you in your business, please contact me. A free call or click on the link below. Let us know if you want to talk more about world class manufacturing. And also like and share this article. I’m sure there are a lot of other people who would like to know more about it as well, and thank you for reading

Johan Majlov, Founder and CEO Lean Dimensions International

LetsDoIt@askldi.com

Result expectation from World Class Manufacturing