Lean Cutter Change

A FastCap team member discusses how Lean can improve daily work tasks.

Article: Involve Employees in Lean Manufacturing Techniques

Carolyn LaWell wrote an incredible article that appeared online for the Smart Business Network. Below is the first part of the article. I encourage you to read the entire article online.

Jeffrey Kendall grows Liberty Tire Recycling through best practices

How to involve employees and implement lean manufacturing techniques

By Carolyn LaWell
Smart Business Pittsburgh | January 2011

Liberty Tire Recycling was rolling when it came to growth. More than 100 acquisitions took place in the last 15 years, and as the tire recycling company grew, CEO Jeffrey Kendall wanted to make sure it also became a great company.

“We decided to draw a picture of what a great company would look like,” Kendall says. Then we said, “All right, how do we get from here to there?” How do we get from being an OK company that is a consolidation of a lot of mom-and-pops to a great company, where we’re proud of every single thing we do?

By identifying and implementing your company’s best practices, you position your employees, your operations and your company for future success.

“The process is one of always improving, always getting better, always looking at each step in your process and wondering how you can do it better” Kendall says.

To make the process effective, you have to involve your employees.

Kendall made it clear when they started the process last year that listening to the company’s 1,400 employees at Liberty Tire Recycling’s 28 plants was essential.

“Instead of just us sending a team around, having them figure out the best way to do X, and then telling everybody to do it that way, we’re involving everybody in the process in determining which are the best ways,” Kendall says.

Written by Carolyn LaWell, Smart Business Pittsburgh

Keep Your Coffee in Place

Earlier today my coffee fell off my desk for the six time. So, I figured maybe there was a pattern there and an opportunity for improvement. I found a simple fix 2-second improvement by gluing a tape core to by desk. Now my coffee stays in place. No more mess. No more frustration. Fix what bugs you!

Lean: Ford Camacari Facility

Check out this amazing video!

Ford’s Camacari Facility

Thank You Very Much

A nice message and interview received from a publisher –

“Mr. Akers: Thanks very much for your time recently in discussing Fast Cap, your political venture and your work on lean principles. I wanted to forward you a copy of the newsletter containing the interview, which I’ve attached. Please keep me posted on what’s going on with your activities, your company and the manufacturing community. Take care, have a great 2011.”

Bill Virgin
Editor and Publisher
Washington Manufacturing Alert

Nanjo Sobi and Sekisui Heim

My friend Brad Schmidt at Gemba sent me some information about Nanjo Sobi (very cool auto leather seat company) and Sekisui Heim (modular house maker). Both these companies refuse to think that people have limits. Nanjo pairs slow people up with fast people and encourages both to beat their speeds. They also give people licenses which means their product goes straight off their desk to the customer – no quality inspection and this is for automotive! Sekisui has their people divided up in teams and trains them to build a house just by reading a salesman’s drawing! (not like Toyota who spits out gobs of paperwork on how to do it).

Lean Bathroom

Paul Akers discusses how they leaned out their bathroom at FastCap. For more information on Paul’s lean book, visit 2 Second Lean.

Improving the Fastedge Table

FastCap Team members use Lean to improve the Fastedge work table.

Winchester Mountain Lookout

Another KILLER day in the North Cascades. Paul Akers and friend head up to Winchester Mountain Lookout today. A warm fall day with crystal clear skies. Used FastCap’s iPole to video the trip. For more information on FastCap’s iPole, visit our website.