Ground Rules for Creating a Game Changing High Performance Organization (HPO)!

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A High Performance Organization is one in which there is tremendous alignment among and commitment by the team members. And as a result this motivated team is able to achieve superior results. The level of collaboration and innovation they demonstrate is remarkable.

There are many characteristics of the culture which allows such teams to be high performing. And when they set out to drive change and make improvements it is those cultural characteristics which allow them to succeed.

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10 Signs You Should Reboot Your Lean Program!

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How many people make a New Year’s resolution to “Lean” yourself out only to abandon it shortly thereafter?

One of the top New Year’s resolutions is to start exercising. In January the local gyms are filled. But by February those gyms are much emptier and many of those well meaning people are still at home.

What do you do when your Lean program at work suffers the same fate? How do you know when your improvement program needs to be improved?

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A Tale of Two Companies: Different Quality Management Starting Points!

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Company 1

The CEO came in to my office carrying a product and said, “The label is off centre on this item.  It has a quality defect.”  I responded, “Is that actually a quality defect?  Quality is a measure of conformance to a standard, and we have no standards.”  The CEO didn’t quite understand the distinction.  Certainly the item was mis-labelled.  But there was absolutely no Quality management process in the company.

Company 2

I toured all of the company’s facilities around the globe.  It seemed like we had a tremendous amount of resource working on quality.  But they were spending 100% of their time on inspection.  A report subsequently  confirmed my concerns.  Over 10% of our entire direct workforce was spending the vast majority of their time doing 100% inspection.   We had a Quality management system but it’s only principle was to inspect in quality.

Whichever the situation was, proper Quality management objectives required something to change in both cases!

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Inventory Turnover – A Formula For Achieving Game Changing Results!

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Many projects often fade away over time and fall well short of their original goals.  People face many very real challenges in leading these projects.  So how do you avoid having your project become another program-of-the-month and disappear from view?  Is there a formula?

As we have discussed in other blog posts we have tackled Inventory Turnover several times, amongst many other challenges.  We have doubled turnover and achieved industry leading results in very short periods of time.

Your challenge may be trying to improve Inventory performance or trying  to create a transformational improvement in some other area.  We have found that there is a formula and a set of key principles that are critical to driving the game changing results you are looking for.

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Lean in Retail … Value Stream Mapping your Current State Process!

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We had to begin the transformation of the company’s business processes to support the new business objectives.  Specifically the company was going to carry a dramatically different set of products which required a new set of capabilities in Strategic Planning, Merchandising, Marketing, Procurement, Inventory Management, Retail Operations and Logistics.

That scope defined the set of processes we needed to change first.  The overall goal was to enable the transformation of the company which would manifest itself in higher revenue, improved growth and profitability, greater customer satisfaction and superior employee engagement.

We decided to attack this by introducing the Lean technique of Value Stream Mapping to the organization.  We had to start with mapping the Current State process.

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Customers Do Not Care About Your Internal Problems!

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“The system is down.  We can’t ship any customer orders. We’re not sure when the system will be back up again.”

Coming into the Holidays, the busiest time of the year, that is the last thing that I wanted to hear.

I thought about it and said, “The Customer doesn’t care.

From that point forward we pulled together the necessary resources and visibility to get the problem solved quickly.   But the message was clear: The Customer doesn’t care about our internal problems.

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A “Don’t Touch” Strategy will Dramatically Lean out your Supply Chain!

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The box I was looking at in the Pick-To-Light (PTL)  lane was full of at least 1-2 dozen different skus with as many as one to twenty of each sku in the box.  It looked like the insides of a piñata in there.  Although a piñata is used in celebrations I was quite sure that when the retail store opened the box they wouldn’t be celebrating.

All along the PTL conveyor every box looked like an explosion of different skus in different quantities.  At every station an employee was following the lights and picking a different quantity of each sku from one set of boxes and putting them in the “piñata” box.

I knew that this was the way it had historically been done, and the company had just spent millions and millions of dollars automating this historic process, but from a Lean perspective the whole approach was wasteful, slow, and expensive.

Was it really necessary to touch every single piece of every single sku multiple times?

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