Next LTN meeting Thursday October 17, at Misco Products, Reading PA

Where – Misco Products, 1048 Stinson Drive, Reading, PA 19605
Phone: (610) 926-4106 *Rebecca Banks is our contact

When – Thursday October 17, 2013 from 9am to Noon

What – the subject will be Changeover including a discussion related to issues standardizing the documented best practice

Who – 3 attendees per member company. No opened toed shoes.  Safety glasses are required and available if needed.

Why – Misco began it’s lean journey twelve years ago.  Go see what they have learned

Andrew Bishop will be facilitating.



To register email:


Go See – the power of networking


Go See

The power of networking

None of us know what we don’t know.

No one has seen everything.

Concepts thought as ineffective in one business can be very effective in another business doing the same thing.

I know this because I continue learn new things every time I go to see other people doing different things in a different place.  This can be from department to department within one organization or at different facilities or at a different business.  I have learned that a tour of even the worst facility provides an opportunity to find a small but new and useful concept and sometimes even a profound innovation.

The best way to “go see” others is to join or start a network focused on continuous improvement.

What’s the big deal about networks?

Why should we join a network of companies with common interests? What’s in it for me and my company?


Little Things – Tiny improvements that everyone in your business can do


I believe that innovation begins with many tiny improvements.

Here are a few:

If I move this tool three feet to the left it will save us 40 hours per year.

Janice added a red sticker to those orders with credit problems.  This has saved us hours in the last two weeks.

Willy painted a 2×4 red and placed it on a cart to make it easy to see when something is missing

If I could see what was next immediately I would be so much more productive.

We moved Fred right next to Jane and it did wonders for communication, quality and work balance

If we could somehow make it easy to distinguish part 100 from part 200 we would make fewer mistakes in picking and assembly

If I knew about that revision change it would have saved 5 hours of rework and hundreds of dollars of material.

If we were certain we had everything we needed (parts, material, information, tooling) we would improve delivery, reduce costs, reduce frustration and improve quality.

We have so many opportunities to improve (some of us refer to them as problems), that there is not enough time to examine even half of them in the near term.  The answer, as Bruce Hamilton says. Is “everybody everyday” but how do you get there?

Many of us underestimate the impact of tiny improvements.  Tiny improvements limited or no administration, they are “just do it” applications of common sense.

Let me ask you this………………..when and what was the last tiny improvement made in your business?  Gemba walks (Competing podcast) will help you find these and acknowledge the efforts of those who made the improvements

Network meeting Thursday Sept 12, 2013 at Adhesives Research


The next meeting for the Lean Thinking Network will be held on Thursday September 12th from 9:00 am until 11:30 am
Adhesives Research
400 Seaks Run Road
Glen Rock, PA

Proposed Agenda:

9:00 am  –  9:15 am:  Arrive/Meet & Greet
9:15 am  –  9:45 am:  AR Lean Journey Update
9:45 am – 11:00 am: Break / Tour
11:00 am – 11:30 am: Discussion of positives & Opportunities

Please register by Monday September 9th at 5:00 pm

to register email please

Our host and meeting facilitator:
Tom Bezek
(717) 227-3396 Direct
(717) 586-8998 Cell

Tobyhanna Army Depot Tour – Summary

What a great morning at Shingo Prize winning Tobyhanna Army Depot.  Our hosts, led by Director of Productivity Improvement and Innovation, Brad Jones, enthusiastically responded to our questions and did a tremendous job explaining process and improvements throughout our tour.

It was easy for us to see why Tobyhanna has won several Shingo Prizes.  We were also struck by the kindness and respect to everyone exhibited during our tour.  BRAVO Tobyhanna team!

In attendance:

  • Rose Corp
  • Adhesives Research
  • Videon
  • ACT
  • Four Seasons Produce
  • Misco Products
  • Restek


  • Peiffer Machine
  • Philips Ultrasound
  • Fenner Drive
  • Greenleaf Enterprise

Network meeting schedule through 2013 (details to follow)

9/12 – Adhesives Research – 9am to noon

10/17 – Misco Products – 9am to noon

11/7 – Restek – 9am to 4pm – I will provide PM training on “Lean Product Design”



Money, where we make it, where we lose it and why don’t we spend more time there?


Competing Money, where you make itThe operational side of income and loss is the subject of this podcast, not the accounting side.

Manufacturers make or lose money on the shop floor.  The shop floor is where you can see problems (not having what we need when we need it, the wrong thing, quality, people, information and machinery issues).  These issues become obvious when we directly observe conditions.

Distribution centers are frequently focusing on reducing travel distance per transaction.  Too much travel, too much time, too many touches, and too much cost.  You can notice these by directly observing.

Healthcare issues can be associated with poor handoffs.  Progressive movement through the value stream can be directly observed.

Food service issues relate to varying levels of demand, adjusting capacity, good handoffs, clear instructions and meal quality.  All of these can be noticed by directly observing.

Most of us are very well connected to the outer world……smart phones, ipads, laptops.  We get emails every minute and maybe texts just a frequently.  It is quite easy to get sucked in to this physically isolated, Ethernet world as we are constantly bombarded by non-important information, most of which we cannot possible assimilate.  Too much information sometimes leads to feeling of overwhelmed…….not something that will benefit your or your business objectives in any way.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could break our addition from the “Ethernet world” at least partially?  Then we would have more time to spend at gemba, helping your team create value easier.

How can we lead when we don’t fully understand, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, what is going on at “gemba”? (the actual place where value is being added).

Benefits from spending more time at gemba include:

Up to the minute understand of the challenges confronting your team.

A clearer, faster understanding of the root cause of problems, as you arrive at a problem shortly after it occurred.

Making decision based on facts not data (how accurate is your data anyway?)

As the manager/supervisor you are “in the fight” with your team.  Your team will notice and appreciate your efforts.  A future podcast will speak to issues created by “command and control” managing, but fact finding, assisting, coaching and mentoring are keys to creating a more interactive and effective culture.  As leader, manager, supervisor or lead person culture is your responsibility, not your teams.

Summary Thursday June 13, 2013 at RACC

Nasty weather with threats of powerful thunderstorms, high winds and hail kept our attendance low.

The focus of the day was “Creating a Favorable Environment for Continuous Improvement” with the training provided by Dwight.

We were very fortunate to have Mark Graban   as our virtual Go-to-meeting/Skype video conference.  A keynote speaker at many Lean and Continuous Improvement Conferences, Mark was his usual interesting, thoughtful and insightful self….a real pro.

Here is a link to a pdf of Mark’s presentation today

In attendance were

Advanced Conversion Technologies

Restek Corporation

Reading Area Community College

Adhesives Research

and our guest and prospective network member Four Seasons Produce.

Muda, Cash, Mark Cuban and Your Business


I recently heard that billionaire Mark Cuban’s answer to the savings problem created by low interest rates is to buy huge quantities of “staples” such as razor blades, soap and toilet paper.  His concept is based on quantity discounts and inflation edging out interest earned on cash.

In case you don’t know, Mark Cuban is a self made online media, billionaire.  According to Forbes magazine he is worth 2.4 billion $ and is number 206 on Forbes top 400 list.  By the way, he owns the Dallas Mavericks NBA basketball franchise.  It is fair to say that Mark probably has a large house (mansion or 2 or 3) and lots of available cash in case of business downturns or personal emergencies.

Mark can spend lots of money on whatever he likes with little real economic risk.  So spending thousands of dollars on razor blades etc. is no threat to him.  Mark Cuban can afford the waste of excess inventory…..


I can remember back two recessions, I was working with a client who was told his primary raw material price was going to go up at least 10% soon.  Based on that information huge quantities were purchased.  The amount far exceeded the normal storage space so they “made it fit”, in other words crowded the plant making everything more difficult to accomplish.  With six months inventory on hand, sales began to drop.  With the lower demand they now had nine months inventory on hand.  With sales down they had a cash shortage……and it became necessary to extend the credit line with the bank (our friendly neighborhood bankers are less and less inclined to do so these days). (more…)

Network best practices – visit each other, observe, question and listen.

Fenner Drives’ Workplace Organization Program

On May 23rd, 2013, members of The Rose Corporation were invited to tour Fenner Drives’ facility in Manheim, Pennsylvania.  The purpose of this tour was to demonstrate 6S principles being implemented at Fenner Drives, and exchange lean network ideas with members of The Rose Corporation.  The Rose Corporation picked up many new ideas throughout the tour, particularly a demonstration of Fenner Drives’ scoring system used during their 6S audits.  Similar to Fenner Drives, The Rose Corporation performs a weekly audit of its facility.  Auditors observe different areas of the plant and note any 6S violations (as well as any best practices observed).  However, The Rose Corporation currently has no audit scoring system in place.  Following Fenner Drives’ principles, The Rose Corporation plans to implement scores into its weekly audit.  This will allow employees of The Rose Corporation to gauge their Lean efforts much more easily, which in turn, will motivate those same employees to strive for a more powerful 6S workplace.

There is no need to wait for a network meeting.  Call a member company and setup a time to visit and learn.