How to Support Change Management

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Successful change management begins with the understanding that first we must manage change effectively. The Change model below lists the five things that any organization must have in place order to effectively manage complex change. Complex, because there are no two identical situations and there are a myriad of inputs depending on your company’s business sector and input variables. (Above: Without the proper Vision there’s confusion, without Skills there’s anxiety, etc.) Vision Management must provide a specific vision or purpose of what they want the organization to look like down the line. This vision must be specific, and employee buy-in…
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How To Improve Productivity

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Seven Skills of a Highly Productive Workforce By Doug Howardell Customers in the global economy are more demanding than ever before. They can be; there is more competition than ever before. Customers take it for granted that you will deliver a low cost and high quality product or service. Now on top of that, they demand it faster and customized to their individual needs. To be a survivor in the marketplace today you must produce world class quality products and services, designed to meet the specific customer’s needs, deliver them quickly anywhere in the world and at a competitive price.…
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Hoshin Kanri

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Most companies that I have worked at lack a centralized company-wide Quality Assurance, metrics and delivery strategy. They simply seem to be going through the motions, sometimes very destructive motions based on one or two individuals “running the show.” This can be a very dangerous long-term proposition. With this in mind then, we introduce the concept of Hoshin Kanri, or Policy Deployment. Hoshin Kanri is a company-wide quality system that creates constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service and adapting a philosophy that does not tolerate lack of quality, defects, antiquated training methods, (or management’s styles). Hoshin helps…
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6-S A System for Quality, Productivity, Housekeeping and Workplace Organization

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Does your place of work have materials and WIP all over the place, are tools constantly missing? Are their stacks of unread magazines or financial statements in boxes on the floor? Does everybody put things wherever they want to? If this sounds like your place of work, then the 6-S system is a way to get in control and stay in control of workplace housekeeping and organization. The 6-S System increases workplace efficiency and employee productivity by involving everyone in the improvement process. At the heart of 6-S is controlling and creating strict standards in order to control and improve…
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“Leaning Out” Hispanic Employees to Improve Productivity and Quality

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I enjoy working with multicultural workforces. I am fully bi-lingual, and bi-cultural, so this skill really comes in handy in relating to today’s very heavily Hispanic workforce in the manufacturing environment. What I often find is that these compadres have so much to offer, but their intellectual capital is very rarely fully utilized by management. Many times management thinks that because a Hispanic employee may have very little formal education or may even be functionally illiterate (cannot read nor write in their mother language) that they cannot get more involved to view themselves and participate as stakeholders in the organization.…
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Going for the Bottom Line

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Increasing the bottom line means increasing profit, and in today’s economy one of the biggest ways to do this is to control costs. If your organization is effective in controlling costs, real costs, then you will be more profitable. This article will give you some great ideas to help you effectively reduce your costs in order to help you increase your cash flow and your profit! In this economy, going for the bottom line means transforming our organizations fundamentally from top to bottom. It means listening to and satisfying the Voice of the Customer through increased value, while effectively reducing…
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Managers Must Become Multicultural

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Excerpt from his new book, “Motivating Hispanic Employees” You are probably discovering that today’s work force is a cultural salad bowl. Everyone is in the same bowl, but striving to keep his/her own identity or culture. At the same time, you are probably discovering that the old ways of managing are just not working. Test your organization’s “M Culture” quotient: Are ideas that your managers discussed at staff meetings and thought were crystal clear totally misunderstood by the workforce? Do tempers seem to flare within different cultural groups at the slightest provocation? Is production or service suffering due to ineffective…
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Single Minute Exchange of Dies: Set Up Reduction, Change-over Reduction Leads to $13 million in Potential New Revenue

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A recent 5-Day improvement project lead by Sr. Consultant and Lean Specialist Carlos Conejo, lead to a 66%, 68%, and 75% reduction in set-up and change-over time on three separate printing and die-cutting presses for a corrugated cardboard facility. Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is a cornerstone of lean manufacturing and helps improve productivity by enabling smaller batch sizes and increased production flexibility while reducing lead time. SMED separates setup time into “internal” and “external” activities. An internal activity is one that can only be done with the machine stopped, such as attaching parts, hoses, bolts, tooling, etc.. External…
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The Value of Bilingual Education in the Workplace

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I remember the look of terror on their faces on the first day of class, and now, on the last day of English classes how they were beaming, filled with pride and accomplishment, belying the journey these immigrants took from speaking little or no English with really thick foreign accents, to being able to make a public presentation in their “new and improved” English to their esteemed colleagues. Eyes welled-up as the Vocational English as Second Language (VESL) students shared their success stories at this high-tech medical device company. Twelve short weeks ago, Tran, an electrical assembler from a small…
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Thriving in a Challenging Economy

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I recently stopped by a local deli to have a little something to eat while on one of my weekend bike rides. This deli is in a very upscale neighborhood in a brand new shopping center. There are plenty of businesses nearby to support a lunch crowd and a humongous recreation center just the other side of the parking lot. I soon found out that the deli had been there a few years and that the owner was thinking about selling because business was so bad. I wasn’t surprised when the owner told me this, because he “pooh-poohed” all of…
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