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Lean Manufacturing Tools

The best performing companies implement lean manufacturing tools across their entire organization with a focus on getting the most of all the resources they have. They understand that continuous improvement has everything to do with growing the business.

We take the proven concepts in lean manufacturing tools and apply them to the unique situation, needs and environment of the company.  However, Lean is not a one size fits all approach and not every lean tool is applicable for every manufacturer.  So the benchmark, copy and paste approach will not always work.

Much like buying a suit, lean tools can be bought off the rack or a custom provider can tailor a suit that fits the user perfectly.  This describes how we work with our customers on a regular basis.

Business Challenges that may be Improved using Lean Manufacturing Tools
  • Too busy fighting daily problems to make improvements
  • Staff is not able to deliver on the increased orders
  • Extended delivery times are chasing customers away
  • There has to be a better way but not sure how or where to start
  • The cost to produce is rising faster than the price a company is able to sell to customers
  • Lean efforts in the past did not seem to stick
  • Struggling to move beyond the training and into implementation

The Catalyst Connection Difference

We believe that successful lean deployment is 20% dependent on tool expertise and 80% dependent upon the leadership and culture in which they are utilized. We want to partner with companies that are looking to transform their business through a comprehensive continuous improvement approach. Our Lean Transformation Planning is based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act approach and allows us to create a deployment aimed at both short and long term success for the client. We begin by performing an onsite assessment using various tools to gather information about a business. These tools include a cultural readiness survey, lean assessment, high level value stream map and a review of key performance indicators as they relate to the strategic vision of the company. From there we can help design the best approach to deploying the lean tools across the enterprise. Finally, we will work with a company team to train, teach, coach and facilitate improvement events that will have a positive impact on business metrics and be sustained over the long term. Over the course of the transformation we will evaluate the effectiveness of the deployment and make changes as needed. 

Tools for Success

Lean manufacturing is "a systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste (non-value-added activities) through continuous improvement by flowing the product at the pull of the customer in pursuit of perfection." Its focus is on improving lead times, quality and operating costs and requires employee involvement to be successful.

Lean Certification – a full program that provides all of the fundamentals needed for a champion of lean activities.

5S (Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize, Shine) – a simple, yet highly effective, low-cost way to improve workplace organization and operational efficiency.

Cellular Flow – optimally produce a variety of products with little waste through this technique.

Lean Office – applying the lean streamlining and organizational tools to the adminsitrative side of the business.

Lean Transformation Planning – an assessment of the current situation focusing on the following key factors: Improvement Readiness, Culture, Leadership, Key Performance Indicators and Return on Investment. A detailed implementation plan is prepared with quantifiable improvement outcomes.

Kaizen – concentrated approach to process improvement, focusing on a slow and constant continuous improvement.

Pull Systems – regulate the flow of resources in a manufacturing process by replacing only what has been consumed and only what is immediately deliverable.

Practical Problem Solving – A systematic approach to empowering every employee to solve problems quickly and effectively using an A3 methodology.

Setup Reduction – time elapsed at a work center from when the last good part of the current run is completed until the work center starts running the first good part of the next run.

Standardized Work – eliminate variations by defining each step in the and perform them uniformly every time.

Value Stream Mapping – highlight inefficiencies and waste, and illustrates the best approach to resolve them.

Visual Management – Incorporates a range of tools for accurate, efficient communication, designed to turn conventional manufacturing settings into "visual factories."

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