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Helping Employees Use Tools of Continuous Improvement

I have never seen an organization fail because they didn't have the right improvement tools.

Principles and behaviors matter, often more than the tools. However, teaching and actions directly focused on building a lean culture are still quite rare, as the draw to short-term results and tangible tool application is appealing. I have never seen an organization fail because they didn't have the right improvement tools. I have seen many organizations fail because they didn't have the right behaviors.

My early experiences really helped shape my thinking. I was managing material handling at Harley-Davison's main plant, where they had installed one of the first large-scale pull systems in the United States. All of the company's bikes were made in a very vertically integrated plant, including everything from laser cutting to chrome and zinc plating. The plant still seemed to treat material handling, and its system, as a secondary system, perhaps evidenced by the fact that they had given such an inexperienced person as myself so much influence on it.

More on how to build a stronger continuous improvement culture on IndustryWeek.

IndustryWeek is an NED companion site within Penton’s Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group

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