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.

Summary Network Meeting 11/7/13 at Restek

Our thanks to the Restek team for doing a great job as our host.

Learning points from the tour included some nice visuals and poka-yoke and a several opportunities for improvement.

Afternoon training focused on Lean Product Design.

Our next network meeting will be at Four Seasons Produce (the networks first opportunity to goo see their operations) Thursday 1/9/14.  The subject of the meeting will be “velocity”…..Four Seasons is all about velocity.   I will provide afternoon training, the subject has yet to be determined.




Rose Corp

Green Leaf Enterprises

Four Seasons Produce

Fenner Drive



Peiffer Machine

Philips Ultrasound


Next Network Meeting Thursday November 7, 2013 @ Restek

Where –Restek, 110 Benner Circle, Bellefonte, PA 16823
Phone: (814) 353-1300 ext 2473,  Brian Yangula

When – Thursday November 7, 2013 from 9am to 4pm

What –Arrival: 0900 – 0915
Brief Restek company overview & our lean journey to date – 0915-1000
Tour 1000-1130:
·         QC (test) – Product flow including kanban
·         Caging & Assembly – Their journey to Lean and 1 piece flow
·         Shipping/Warehouse – Beginning their journey and welcoming advice
Lunch (Restek will provide a pizza lunch) 1130-1300
Afternoon training 1300-1600

·     Dwight will provide afternoon training focused on “Lean Product Design”

Who –   3 persons per company
·         A visitor form will need to be filled out in advance (return to by end of 11-5-13) and an ID will need presented upon arrival
·         Long pants and closed toe shoes required
·         If you have safety glasses bring them. We will have some available.
·         No photos allowed. Ask us during the tour and we will obtain proper approval to fulfill requests

Why – See the progress Restek has made in the last year or for first time visitors go see a company aggressively embracing continuous improvement




To register email:

Thank you very much.