3 Steps to Becoming a Lean Thinker
Looking for another great resource for Lean and continuous improvement solutions? We found a helpful tool at FastCap.com. Check out the variety of blogs, videos, and more from Paul Akers, founder and president of FastCap and keynoter at the 2015 Continuous Improvement Conference!
Time and money—two things most of us don’t have in excess. And if you’re thinking of using a continuous improvement strategy to reduce costs and boost customer satisfaction, the task can feel like an overwhelming use of your resources!
But as the experts know, your journey to operational excellence is not an all-at-once undertaking. Rather it is the accumulation of small improvements by many employees that add up to a strategic advantage for your company. When you can inspire workers to make small-yet-frequent improvements rather than just focus on a few big ones, you are ready to join the ranks of Lean thinkers.
What is a Lean thinker? Someone who has been conditioned to look at processes, spot the waste (and teach others to do the same), and apply tools to make the processes more efficient. Lean thinkers can’t avoid thinking that way—that same mindset kicks in when examining processes at home, at restaurants, and when visiting other companies. Take it from Paul Akers, founder and president of FastCap, an international woodworking supply company with distribution in 40 countries. As the “American Innovator,” he publishes a series of videos, blogs, and other resources on his website, including this one, “Becoming a Lean Thinker”.
In this blog, Paul breaks down the continuous improvement nature of Lean into three steps, borrowing from the world-class concepts practiced by leading firms like Toyota, Harley-Davidson, and Porsche.
Three steps to becoming a Lean thinker:
1. Learn the eight wastes and how to recognize them within your own facility.
2. Take small, consistent steps each day to removing the waste for good.
3. Network and share your company’s Lean journey. Document your improvements. FastCap documents many of them with short videos shared with employees. Continuous improvement is an ongoing process, so listen to the best practices of other companies and keep increasing your efficiency and profitability!
Watch Paul Akers’ Video on Becoming a Lean Thinker.
When you’re ready to learn new improvement strategies, start at the Continuous Improvement Conference. Here you can learn and network with some of the most innovative thinkers in the field. Paul Akers will also be there to dive deeper into this topic with his keynote presentation, Seeing Waste Like You've Never Seen It Before.
Becoming a Lean thinker means that you can recognize the opportunities for improvement within your facility and be on your way to greater efficiency and profitability.
For more information and to register for the 2015 Continuous Improvement Conference, April 12–15, in Minneapolis, MN, visit www.ci.printing.org.