Next Lean Thinking Network Meeting Thursday April 10, 2014 @ Philips

Philips Where: 1 Echo Dr, Reedsville, PA 17084 phone 717-667-5000 Dave Lauder is our contact

When:  Thursday April 10, 2014 from 9am until Noon

What:  The A3 process, improving standard work in a large work cell……..go see and discuss the powerful results.

Who: 2 attendees per member company.  This meeting is designed for advanced lean learners.

Why:  A success story with standard work and A3!  Philips has targeted and achieved improvement in this cell three times.


9:00-9:30     Arrival/Introductions

9:30-10:30    A3 Standard Work Methodology

10:30-10:45   Break

10:45-11:30   Lensing A3 (manufacturing), and other examples as required (we have some transactional A3’s that may also interest the group)

11:30-12:00  Gemba Walk in the Lensing cell (space limited to 5 per group – not sure how many groups we will need.

12:00-1:00   Delta Review with pizza


Registration is required (to help our host to plan).  Please use the comment field to do so.

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Upcoming schedule:

May 15, 2014 at Rose Corp.  subject to be determined.

June 5, 2014 – training day at RACC – Coaching Up – overcoming organization obstacles will be presented by Dwight Bowen

Next Gemba Walk Network Meeting March 20, 2014 at Protonex




When: Thursday, March 20, 2014, meet and greet from 8am to 8:30, meeting begins at 8:30 ending by noon.

Where: Protonex, 153 Northboro Rd, Southborough, MA 01772
Phone:(508) 490-9960

What – Subject – Cellular flow – go see and discuss Protonex’s assembly cell.
Who – Max attendees: 12 – no consultants please.  All attendees must first register

Why – Cellular flow is key to reducing lead-time, reducing waiting and costs.
Safety & Security:  No open toed shoes, No photos. No competitors of Protonex.
REGISTRATION: All attendees must register.  Please use the comment field, below, to register.

Please do not use the “got a website” field, it is not functioning.

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  • Please enter your email address in the second field
  • Please enter your comments in the last (largest) field.

Thank you



Summary, Gemba Walk Network meeting 2/27/14

10 years of Lean at EIS Wire & Cable

“Mistakes made, lessons learned and continuing improvement”.

An inspiring morning for network attendees as Roy St. Andre and his team went through each of the last ten years with highlights, lessons learned and measures.  Continued growth (10% per year for the last few years) with no staffing additions.

Great stuff and a compelling argument for continuous improvement.

We went to see the entire shop floor and noticed good workplace organization; effective visuals supporting a supermarket/kanban pull system.

Businesses in attendance:

  • Precision Autocraft
  • Protonex
  • OFS Optics
  • Quirkwire
  • Southworth
  • Revere Smelting
  • North Amherst Motors


Next Meeting March 20, 2014 at Protonex.  Details to follow soon.


Summary, Network Meeting held at Green Leaf Enterprises 2/20/14

Recap from Andrew Bishop:

We had a good day.  How do I know?  Assessment based on much uproar (fun during the simulation) as well as positive feedback regarding both morning tour/meeting and the afternoon training session.

Companies participating:
Four Seasons
Rose/Mark Metals
Green Leaf (hosting)

Greatest challenge of the day:  preventing people from jumping to countermeasures when trying to discuss problems and waste!


I was very impressed by the sophisticated tour feedback given to Green Leaf.  Collectively, our network is gaining significant experience, confidence and insight which is demonstrated again and again.  I am delighted!

Many thanks to Andrew Bishop, the esteemed facilitator, and everyone at Green Leaf who put on a great show.


Gemba Walk Network meeting Thursday February 27, 2014 @ EIS Wire and Cable



Where:  EIS Wire & Cable, 775 New Ludlow Rd. South Hadley MA 01075,  Phone (800) 255-5201

What – Subject – What we have learned in 10 years of pursuing excellence
Who – Max attendees: 16 – no consultants please.  All attendees must first register
Safety & Security:  No open toed shoes, No photos

What’s on the agenda:

8:00 to 8:30        Greet and Brief Intro
8:30 to 9:30        Review of EIS Lean Implementation History – What worked / What didn’t
9:30 to 10:30     “Go See”  break up into teams and tour the plant following the same path that information and product flow through the plant
10:30 to 10:45    Break
10:45 to 11:15    Review EIS TRUE NORTH & Company-wide Value Stream Map showing the Future State
11:15 to 12:00    Q & A session and wrap-up


REGISTRATION: All attendees must register.  Please use the comment field, below, to register.

Please do not use the “got a website” field, it is not functioning.

Thank you

Next meeting, Thursday March 20, 2014 at Protonex, 153 Northboro Road, Southborough Ma

The subject will be Cellular Flow.

Details to follow.

Next PA Lean Thinking Network meeting at Green Leaf Enterprises February 20, 2014

When: Next network meeting date:
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Gather at 8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Network meeting 9:00 – 12:00
Training 12:30 p.m. to ~4:00 p.m. (hard to say an exact end time with this inquisitive, interactive group!)

Where: Hosted by:
Green Leaf Plants
2369 Old Philadelphia Pike
Lancaster, PA  17602

Contact:  Andrew Bishop

Meeting Theme:  Sustaining our lean production and management system

What & Why: Training:
The Lego Widget Factory:  Training to train.  A hands-on, HOW TO session where you will learn to run the Lego Widget Factory,
A lean simulation you can do yourself, with minimal resources, to introduce your people to
·         the 7 wastes,
·         flow,
·         pull,
·         the improvement kata, and
·         adaptable to teach other lean lessons, too!

Who: Max of 2 attendees per company (18 total) Suitable for people:
Who want to learn this training tool (main focus)
Who have never experienced a lean manufacturing simulation (we’ll be doing it as we learn to teach it…  so “non-trainers” will benefit as well)

All attendees must register.  Please use the comment field below to do so.  Company and name(s) please. 

Please do not use the “got a website” field, it is not functioning.

Summary – Network meeting at Four Seasons Produce 1/9/14

Our thanks to the entire Four Season’s, (especially Erin Edwards) team for doing a great job as our host.

Learning points from the tour included systems supporting velocity, logistics, learning and visuals and a several opportunities for improvement.

Afternoon training was “Creating a Favorable Environment for Continuous Improvement”

Our next network meeting will be held at Green Leaf Enterprises and will focus on visual management.  Afternoon training, and Introduction to Lean/Improvement Kata, will be provided by Andrew Bishop.



Adhesives Research


Rose Corp

Green Leaf Enterprises

Four Seasons Produce

Fenner Drive


Guest:  Pequea Machine


Peiffer Machine

Philips Ultrasound

Competing – The Dark Side of Six Sigma


Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes. ALL GOOD STUFF. It uses a set of quality management methods, including statistical methods, and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization (“Champions”, “Black Belts”, “Green Belts”, “Yellow Belts”, etc.) who are experts in the methods.

How can such a robust tool ruin culture?

Here is the edge of Six Sigma’s dark side, “a special infrastructure of people within the organizations………a few people using complicated systems to solve problems…Exclusivity, a long-term killer of participation and culture.

Black Belts, please relax, I know that Six Sigma is a very powerful tool for improvement with many well-earned successes.  I have high regard for the process, when used appropriately and for most Six Sigma Practitioners.  But it can be an ego based destroyer of culture.


Summary – Gemba Walk Network @ St. Vincent’s Hospital

The first meeting of the Gemba Walk Network took place at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester, MA. on December 5, 2013.

Ironically, St. Vincent’s subject was their daily Gemba Walk.

Attending companies:

Baystate Health

Southworth Corp.

EIS Wire & Cable

North Amherst Motors

St. Vincent’s team does Gemba walks every day, going to see 24 different areas.  Each area quickly reports the status of their problems and improvement activities.  Our network attendees were very impressed by the process in; scope, inclusiveness and obvious leadership support and daily commitment.

We have several events upcoming for early 2014.  When I have the details I will let you know though this blog.

Thanks to the entire St. Vincent’s team for their good work and support of our fledgling network, as well as our guest/attendees.

Without hosts and guests we cannot go see, meet people, ask questions or develop helpful contacts.

Network meeting January 9, 2014 at Four Seasons Produce

Where – Four Seasons Produce, Inc. • 400 Wabash Road • P.O. Box 788 • Ephrata, PA 17522-0788, contact Erin Edwards 717-721-2737

When – Thursday January 9, 2014 Arrive 8:30am, meeting begins 9:00am to noon, 12:30 to 4pm Dwight will train on “Creating a Favorable Environment for Continuous Improvement”

What – Four Seasons deals with fresh produce, they have to be fast and they are.  The mornings tour and discussion will focus on how Four Seasons people create and sustain product and process velocity.

Who – 3 attendees per member company.  No opened toed shoes please.  You will need a jacket as we will tour some refrigerator units

Why– Our first visit to Four Seasons so everything will be new to us.  This is a large fast moving distribution and logistics business.  You will find it quite interesting.

Please register in advance for this event.  You can do so by using the comment field below to email me how many will be attending and their names.