Lean Roadmap Newsletter
Becoming a World Class Organization 
34th Edition   
The topics for this edition are: 
  • Optimizing Your 5S Implementation - Some Thoughts and Considerations 
  • The Third of Five Strategies for Competing in the U.S. and the Global Economy for Small and Medium Size Manufacturers - Strategy #3 -Add/Find Global Niche Markets
  Free Lean Webinar Schedule
A complete schedule can be found at www.wcmfg.com
Certified Lean Facilitator Training 
This standard Certified Lean Facilitator training session (also known as Lean Lead) will be hosted by Alliance Laundry Systems in Ripon, WI.  
You can attend just one class or start the journey to becoming a Certified Lean Facilitator by attending all 3 weeks.
Session dates are:
Week 1 - July 19, 2010
Week 2 - August 16, 2010
Week 3 - September 13, 2010
For more information, click here, or for scheduling, call Gloria at 260_637_8064 or email gloria@wcmfg.com
Optimizing Your 5S Implementation - 
Some Thoughts and Considerations
While Value Stream Mapping (VSM) and Kaizen Events are often the most misused of the Lean tools, 5S is the most misunderstood Lean tool. Here are some 5S thoughts and considerations to review.  
by Larry Rubrich
Common 5S Issues and Mistakes
  • The 5S's are about creating a safe, clean, and organized work environment which eliminates waste including losses due to unsafe work conditions - there is no 6th S for safety.   
  • Successful Lean implementations occur in organizations where the management team demonstrates leadership. This means starting 5S in the office first, or at least implementing it simultaneously in the office and factory. There are organizations that say they have been doing Lean for years yet have never applied it to the office. These organization then wonder why they are showing "little or no progress" with their Lean implementation.
  • Demonstrating leadership also means managers and supervisors never "just walk by" an unsafe or dirty condition. This leadership helps develop a Lean Culture where no one in the organization would knowingly walk by an unsafe or dirty work condition. This Lean Culture is the foundation of World Class organizations.   
  • Organizations generally require their factory associates to clean up their areas during or at the end of their shift. Yet, in the same organization, a third party is brought in or used to clean up the offices of the administrative associates. If we want teamwork, we need one set of rules.
  • The 5S Red Tagging Event is a "one-time" activity, not an annual activity that allows us to make excuses for what our area looks like during the year. If our people are properly trained in 5S, they will protect "their area" from things that do not belong there and move things to the "5S parking lot" when they are no longer needed.
  • The 3rd S, Sweep or Shine, also means that we will develop ways to prevent things from getting dirty. It is not just a matter of cleaning up everyday. What can we do to prevent things from getting dirty so clean up is not required?
  • When 5S fails, it fails because we did not properly implement the 4th S (Schedule/Standardize) and there was no follow-up using the 5th S (Sustain).
  • If you want everyone to clean up - make sure everyone has their own cleaning supplies.
  • Over time the business will develop its own 5S expertise when new 5S safety, organizing methods, clean up techniques, and other 5S methods are established. Audit procedures and scoring should be adjusted to these developments, thus raising the bar to the new baseline.
  • One of the required measures for the success of your 5S implementation  includes never having to clean up in advance of customer or other special company visitors. Think about it - when we tell our associates they must "clean up" in advance of a visitor, what are we telling them?
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Seminar - Policy Deployment & Lean Implementation Planning

Two-hour Seminar - The most powerful Lean activity your organization will ever accomplish! Learn how the "Policy Deployment" process links your Lean activities directly to your organization's goals. 
Hosted by: Tooling & Manufacturing Association (TMA), 1177 S. Dee Road, Park Ridge, IL 60068 on Wednesday, July 14th from 8-10 a.m. CST.  
For More Information or to Register: 
  The Third of Five Strategies for Competing in the U.S. and the Global Economy for Small & Medium Size Organizations (SMMs)
Strategy #3 - Add/Find Global Niche Markets
Up until now, SMMs have typically not committed to a globalization plan since the thinking has always been about the cost and barriers of developing "foreign offices." We present two other marketing options here.  
by Larry Rubrich 
Visiting Foreign Countries
Global marketing successes just doesn't belong to high-tech companies. Quality Float Works, a 95 year old manufacturing company of metal floats used in the control of water levels located in Schaumburg, IL, visited 80 countries in two years in an attempt to find unfulfilled market needs. As a result of these visits:
  • Quality Float Works developed a design that was a new combination of current products (This type of innovation is known as "innovation within boundaries" - the boundary being what technology, designs, and parts/products are currently available)
  • As a result, their international revenues went from 3% in 2003 to >20% in 2007 (without starting a foreign office)
Quality Float Works initial international marketing experience and success allowed them to build other successes.  
Fully Featured Websites
Marketing costs can be limited by building a fully-featured website than can/may contain: 
  • Niche market language capability.
  • A complete explanation of how your organization services the target niche market - you have only a few seconds to attract the customer after they find you in a Google search. 
  • Product customization availability. Use Lean techniques to make your processes flexible enough to allow your organization to profitably produce one customized piece.
  • Make it easy for new customers or end users to order from halfway around the world.
  • Accept credit cards (with proper security guards!) and wire transfers (use a dedicated wire transfer location that is emptied out after each transmission). Be careful here because there are a boatload of scams on the internet. Develop methods to verify the legitimacy of the company and the payment method.    
Or upgrade your current website to Web 2.0 which:
  • Allows for two-way communication with customers (bloggers can share thoughts and ideas).
  • Allows dynamic presentation capabilities such as Webinars and educational videos. 
Like Quality Float Works, initial international successes can be built upon.
Government Help
There are many programs available to help companies seeking to improve their export position. Start at 1-800-USA-TRADE. Services include:
  • Industry and export specialists to help grow international sales
  • International partner search
  • Customized market analysis
  • Trade event programs
Alliance for American Manufacturing,
Manufacturing a Better Future for America,
Nash-Hoff, Michele, Can American Manufacturing Be Saved?, MM Bernard Publications, LaMesa, CA. 2009
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Next Edition 
  • How to Make Structured Problem Solving Part of Your Organization's Culture 
  • The Fourth & Fifth of Five Strategies for Competing in the U.S. and the Global Economy for Small and Medium size Manufacturers -Strategies #4 & 5 - Innovation; Within Boundaries, and Clean Sheet of Paper
Larry Rubrich
WCM Associates LLC
2010 WCM Associates
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