It's Not Their Fault - People vs. Processes

Posted by Scott Czysz on Nov 16, 2017 2:48:51 PM

Written by Scott Czysz, IMEC Technical Specialist

Over the last couple months, I've observed a recurring theme with a few of the companies I am working with: a frustration with "them" (co-workers, factory workers, etc.) not doing what they are supposed to be doing.  As I dig deeper, I have found the problem lies within:

  • Poorly designed (or never designed) processes,
  • Poor or no process documentation,
  • Poor or no training for the people that are doing the process every day, and, not surprisingly,
  • Poor results.
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Project Management Expert joins IMEC Team of Technical Specialists

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Oct 23, 2017 10:18:53 AM

Antuanet Sanchez has joined the IMEC team bringing a strong background in project management and customer service skills to Illinois organizations. As a Technical Specialist with more than 15 years of experience working in a Fortune 500 project management office, Antuanet has a passion for continuous improvement and prides herself on leading cross-functional and remote teams.

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Prepare for the Unexpected: October is National Fire Prevention Month

Posted by Mary Hallock on Oct 12, 2017 2:57:40 PM

Written by Mary Hallock, IMEC Technical Specialist

October is National Fire Prevention Month -- a great time to ensure your workforce is prepared for all types of emergencies. Start by reviewing any emergency procedures and documentation you have for the organization. Are they up-to-date? Do your staff know how to respond in the event of an emergency?

Fire in a business setting can cause an interruption in production, loss of revenue, and even worse, it could put your team at great risk. Understanding a few simple preparedness techniques may save you from a future catastrophe.

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You Need Lean Maintenance to Make Lean Manufacturing Succeed!

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Sep 27, 2017 1:59:21 PM

Written by Lawrence Bouvier, CMRP
Vice President – Fuss & O’Neill Manufacturing Solutions

Is equipment downtime holding you back from achieving Lean Manufacturing success?

We all have heard of the seven wastes addressed in Lean Manufacturing, but did you ever consider that if you applied similar principles to equipment health, you’d want a discipline to create Lean Maintenance?

Overproduction, Inventory and Waiting are three of the seven lean wastes that can come as a result of equipment failures.  A good maintenance process will keep these to minimum levels.  So, how can we achieve this?  The only way is to minimize the amount of maintenance and repair that we perform on machines!

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Doran Scales, Inc. Has Completed ISO 9001:2015 Registration

Posted by Marketing Support on Aug 24, 2017 2:18:14 PM

Pictured left to right - Steve Schiera (IMEC), Shani Podl (VP, Doran Scales) Mark Podl (CEO, Doran Scales) Ken Wunderlich (IMEC)

Written by Jim Dunbar, IMEC Marketing Coordinator

IMEC is very pleased to announce that Doran Scales, Inc. of Batavia, IL has completed the ISO 9001:2015 registration, demonstrating their on-going commitment to total customer satisfaction and quality improvement. The single most instrumental factor which has established Doran’s strong position in the market is a straight forward desire to “Provide the best customer service in the industry."

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Common misconceptions for aligning Total Productive Maintenance with your business strategy

Posted by Roger Shrum on Jul 10, 2017 1:48:49 PM

Written by Roger Shrum, IMEC Regional Manager

Recently in conversation with manufacturers I have fielded questions about Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and what it might do for their business. It is eye opening for me to realize many manufacturing leaders are unclear about TPM and how it serves as a strategic element of the robust Lean program many clients believe they have deployed.  Several key reasons exist for this disconnect. The following explores those reasons and offers suggestions to overcome the misconceptions.

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Make Strategic Planning An Engine For Growth And Improvement

Posted by Ryan Langdon on Jan 25, 2017 12:27:05 PM

Written by Ryan Langdon, IMEC Regional Manager

If you are wondering how another year has seemed to slip by so quickly, don’t worry, you are not alone. If you are worried that you have gotten off to a late start setting goals and direction for your organization; you are not alone there either. Most organizations delay planning and goal setting due to the unavailability of perfect data, lacking a structure to get planning accomplished, or just hate the painful process of creating a perfect plan that ultimately gathers dust on the shelf until the next year. Although strategic planning may not be something you look forward to, it can be a transformative process that brings the organization together and accelerates growth and improvement initiatives. I have accumulated a few tips and tricks over the years that may make your planning a little less painful. Or at the least, you may find a pointer or two that helps you think outside your planning box.

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Don't let accidents just "happen" - Update your walking-working surfaces and fall protection standards

Posted by Mary Hallock on Dec 7, 2016 4:27:52 PM

Written by Mary Hallock, IMEC Technical Specialist and OSHA Authorized Trainer

Falls from heights and from the same level happen at workplaces more often than you might think. Injuries from falls are a leading cause of serious workplace injuries and deaths. OSHA has recently updated their walking-working surfaces and fall protection standards for general industry. Make today the day to consider training so your employees are aware of these workplace hazards.

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Show me your standards for enterprise excellence

Posted by David Boulay on Nov 9, 2016 11:00:58 AM

Written by David Boulay Ph.D, IMEC President

What standards do you use to ensure your organization is functioning effectively?

We are reliant on standards in every way. We assume that we are adding a full gallon of gasoline as we fill up at the pump. We assume that we get the right amount of our favorite meats and cheeses when we ask for a pound at the deli counter. And, we plan to start meetings on time because we asked the team to arrive at the same time. Much of our lives rely on measurement and standards. Yet, we often take those standards for granted.

What about leading your organization? What standards do you use to ensure your organization is functioning effectively? Or, are you taking it for granted that you even have a standard?

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Are your Accounting Practices Value-Added?

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Aug 23, 2016 12:00:31 PM

Written by Andy Cave, IMEC Regional Manager

An example of how an accounting approach may hinder continuous improvement efforts

The Accounting concept of Standard Costing was developed in the 1920’s, and its application has remained fairly constant.  Manufacturing was noted for minimal product variation (“You can buy a Model T in any color, as long as it’s black”) and long production runs creating lots of inventory whose financial value had to be estimated. Lean principles have changed the manufacturing world significantly, with shorter set-up times and significantly less inventory.  Meanwhile, Accounting still spends time analyzing and understanding labor, material and overhead variances; often generating thousands of related transactions and accrual entries.  In the Lean world, these are Non Value-Added activities; the customer is not willing to pay more for our cost variance analysis excellence. 

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