March, 2011

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Leaders Alliance Benchmarking Peer Groups
The Leaders Alliance is a group of peers from member companies who meet one morning a month to discuss critical issues of mutual concern. All 16 peer groups are specific to manufacturers and functional based. Groups include: Business Process Improvement, Finance, Human Resources and more.

MA LinkedIn Group

Join the Manufacturers Alliance LinkedIn Group to query over 550 local manufacturing practitioners with your specific questions, concerns or simply to share a great article you read.


New & Renewing Members This Month
A Couple of Gurus
Banner Engineering
Bokers Inc.
Braemar Inc.
Cannon Equipment
CareFusion
Coridian Technologies
Eaton Corporation
EcoWater Systems
Employment Action Center
Land O' Lakes Inc.
Liberty Carton Company
Liberty Diversified
Mid American Financial Group
Milltronics CNC Machines
Minco
Nahan Printing
P. Below Consulting
Reviva Inc.
Sifco Minneapolis
Taylor Machine
Tennant Company
Valley Craft Inc.
Waterous Company


Upcoming Events

February 7th 2023 09:00 am
- The Role of the Leader Online

February 8th 2023 08:00 am
- Creating Process Maps

February 9th 2023 08:00 am
- Sustaining Lean Culture Through Leadership Changes

February 14th 2023 09:00 am
- Learning to Solve Problems Supervision Fundamentals Certification

February 15th 2023 09:00 am
- The Role of the Leader

February 16th 2023 08:00 am
- Conflict, Communication and Collaboration

February 21st 2023 08:00 am
- Learning to Solve Problems 6 Sigma Green Belt Certification

February 21st 2023 09:00 am
- Leadership Style & Versatility Online

February 22nd 2023 08:00 am
- Root Cause Analysis

February 22nd 2023 09:00 am
- Learning to Solve Problems Supervision Fundamentals Certification

Other Announcements


Open House
Lifetrack at a Glance is an opportunity to learn about programs focused on employment and healthy family development and the clients served in our community. <a href="http://www.mfrall.com/attachments/0000/6436/Lifetrack_at_a_Glance_4-6-11.pdf">Learn More</a>

Wisconsin Governor Visits Minnesota Wire Eau Claire
Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin made an official visit to Minnesota Wire’s main production facility in Eau Claire on Thursday. He was joined two state legislators during the morning tour. Governor Walker made the stop as part of a comprehensive series of visits to state manufacturers. The goal is to help learn about issues these companies face in the current economic climate, and to hear their views with regard to how the state government can foster further job growth. <a href="http://www.mfrall.com/attachments/0000/6441/WI_Governor_Visit_MW_24Mar11.pdf">Learn More

Article Index

Lean Leader of the Month Interview: Bruce Roles
Article by: Bruce Roles

Bruce Roles is the Sr. Manufacturing Engineer for Mate Precision Tooling in  Anoka, MN. Mate is the the international leader in the design, manufacture and service of punch press tooling for the precision sheet metal fabrication industry.


Have you developed your RTE "Roadmap To Excellence"?
Article by: Don Hoffert

In a previous newsletter, we covered two characteristics for achieving and sustaining organizational excellence, validated to drive performance in today’s organizations.


Lean & Green: Team at PBG reduces facility’s energy use
Article by: MnTAP

Pepsi, Aquafina, and Lipton Tea are just a few of the numerous products that Pepsi Bottling Group’s (PBG) Burnsville facility bottles as an independent company under the stock exchange PBG. On a five day/week production schedule, PBG is actively working to reduce the facility’s energy use in order to save money and conserve resources.


MN Manufacturing Economic Update
Article by: Dr. Ernest Goss

For the month of February 2011 reported on March 1, 2011. Minnesota’s leading economic indicator from the monthly survey of supply managers was above growth neutral for the 19th straight month at 59.8 from 55.2 in January.


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Lean Leader of the Month Interview: Bruce Roles

Bruce Roles is the Sr. Manufacturing Engineer for Mate Precision Tooling in  Anoka, MN. Mate is the the international leader in the design, manufacture and service of punch press tooling for the precision sheet metal fabrication industry.

Bruce, where did you receive your Lean training and experience?

My Lean education has been multifaceted and is still continuing.  It has consisted of various activities over several years, including on the job learning (at both previous & present employers), networking with several Lean champions in industry, reading many different books, and peer-to-peer training both in the classroom and Leaders Alliance peer group meetings through the Manufacturers Alliance.

At previous employers, I was able to work with several individuals who had considerable experience with lean and certainly learned a great deal from them.  More recently, through involvement in the Leaders Alliance, I have enjoyed incredible opportunities to network and benchmark with local  Lean experts, including personal tours in their companies.  At some companies, I was even invited to participate in their on-site events, learning first-hand challenges and successes from my peers. Going forward,  the knowledge base within the Leaders Alliance network continues to be a great resource.

More formally, through the Manufacturers Alliance, I have earned the Lean Practitioner and Lean Leader certifications, as well as the High Performance Leader Certification.  The combination of all three has provided a solid base of peer-to-peer training to draw on.

 

How, when, and why did you get introduced to lean and what fuels the passion?

Over the last 20 years, I have had the opportunity to work in various companies that were either attempting to pursue a lean journey or well engaged with lean.  It was through those experiences that I really came to understand and see the potential in pursuing and implementing lean principles.  In many of those situations my role was not to lead those journeys, but rather to support them.  My bringing that experience to Mate and applying it to the lean journey they were already embarking on became a real opportunity for me to lead.  Through the responsibilities of leading a lean journey and the involvement in the Leaders Alliance, I have an even clearer understanding of where we can go with lean.  This experience and the understanding that it is not the tools, but the culture changes that happen and need to happen on a lean journey are really what fuel the continued passion.

 

What are you current Lean oriented activities?

Current efforts are focused developing and deploying a new process that we are calling our “Value Stream Assessment Process”.  It is a comprehensive look at given value stream that includes a “Waste Walk”, SIPOC mapping, current & future state value stream maps and a strategic plan creating the future state.  We have the core of the process developed and are now working on how to initiate the process and how to wrap it up with execution of the strategic plan.

 

What were the lessons learned from leading or training your team on a Lean project?

One of the more difficult challenges we had with Lean employee teams was to get them to understand that we really do want to hear their improvement ideas.  Any person actually doing the work knows where the problems are, what the workarounds are and what the best solutions are.  After decades of being told to just do your job (this is common at any company) and now you want them to be very creative, well that is a difficult transition for some to make.  The continued successes we have had are solid evidence that we are getting their best ideas.

Another difficult challenge is getting employees to understand that lean isn’t just implementation of the tools, it is the culture change that happens as a result of a change in the approach to everyone’s job. Part of everyone’s daily work becomes continually looking for a better way to do that work. It's not a short-term program.

 

What are the next steps in the Lean journey for your company? 

As we continue in our lean journey to become a lean enterprise our next steps will involve implementation of Hoshin Planning, standard work and leaders standard work, along with daily tier meetings.

More about Mate Precision Tooling

Mate Precision Tooling is the international leader in the design, manufacture and service of punch press tooling for the precision sheet metal fabrication industry. Nearly 50 years old, Mate is privately-held and headquartered in Anoka, Minnesota in a modern 300,000ft manufacturing facility.  Mate has an additional manufacturing plant located near Frankfurt, Germany and sales offices in Belgium, Poland and Malaysia.

Mate caters to a diverse customer base including GE, John Deere, Whirlpool, Flextronics, Pentair, etc.  Mate emphasizes customer satisfaction, using Baldrige National Quality program criteria and Lean Manufacturing to strengthen its reputation for top quality, superior utility, fair pricing, and fast delivery.  In addition to original and replacement standard tooling, including punches, dies, strippers, punch holders, die holders, adapters and other accessories, Mate provides additional tooling solutions to specific customer needs.  These specific solutions include special shape hole punching, forming tooling applications, and sheet metal design consultancy.

To learn more about the Leaders Alliance peer groups click here or contact Kirby Sneen at 763.557.8007 or email kirbys@mfrall.com

Bruce Roles is the Sr. Manufacturing Engineer for Mate Precision Tooling in Anoka, MN. He has worked there for 5 years and may be reached at bruce.roles@mate.com

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Have you developed your RTE "Roadmap To Excellence"?

In a previous newsletter, we covered two characteristics for achieving and sustaining organizational excellence, validated to drive performance in today’s organizations.

1)     High performing, world class organizations focus on their customers (or “stakeholders,” if you prefer).

2)    High performing, world class organizations have visionary leaders.

We also illustrated WHY they are critical,  showing results of a 5-year study of more than 600 quality award winners. As a whole, the award winners experienced significant improvement vs. their competitive environment. i.e., 44% higher stock price return, 48% higher growth in operating income and 37% higher growth in sales compared to the control group. Award winners also outperformed on return on sales, growth in employees, and in asset growth.

This month we will cover two more characteristics.

3)    High performing, world class organizations plan for the future

4)    High performing, world class organizations measure performance. 

3) High performing, world class organizations plan for the future. They focus on the changing environment; systematically address strategic challenges; ensure adequate resources to accomplish key goals; and deploy, measure, and adjust plans as needed.

Consider these pain points:

Effective strategic planning is hard.  About 70-90% of business strategies fail, which has a huge impact on organizational results.

  • Decreased employee commitment, 67%
  • Lost Market Opportunities, 53%
  • Decreased Revenue, 53%
  • Increased Costs, 39%
  • Increased Cycle Times, 28%
  • Decreased Customer Loyalty, 28%
  • Lost Market Share, 28%.

Here are some best practices in strategic planning:

Understand your environment – your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in terms of changing market and customers needs, shifts in technology, competition, regulations, and risks. 

  • Identify your strategic challenges and advantages (marketplace benefits that ensure future success), and core competencies (areas of expertise/strength that are difficult to imitate and create a sustainable competitive advantage). Next, determine strategic objectives that address the challenges or leverage the advantages/competencies.  Strategic objectives should be measurable, outcome-oriented results the organization must achieve to be successful in the future. They should be challenging, but realistic.

  • Develop action plans that align with strategic objectives.  Action plans should include resource commitment details and time-phased accomplishment horizons.  Deploy the plans throughout the organization, assigning both ownership and accountability for completion.

  • Involve all stakeholders in the plan development. This increases buy-in, develops stronger plans, and assists in ownership for implementation.

  • Determine resources (human, financial/budget) after you establish direction (most organizations do it the other way around). 

  • Track the achievement and effectiveness of action plans, and adjust plans as environmental factors dictate.  Project your organization’s performance as well as your competitors (so as to see a path forward and to have milestones that facilitate adjustments when plans are not on track).

 

Effective planning processes include Hoshin Planning, large-scale change, catch-ball techniques, balanced scorecard, and others. It is key to understand your environment, set strategy to address challenges and leverage advantages, and deploy, measure, and adjust plans. The role of measurement is critical.

4) High performing organizations measure performance. You cannot manage what you do not understand, and you cannot understand what you do not measure.  High performing organizations are data-driven. They rely on facts to make decisions (rather than intuition), and they systematically manage their information, knowledge, and technology.

Here are some best practices in measurement:

  • Use data and information to track daily operations and overall organizational performance. In other words, seek a balance of leading and lagging indicators that monitor progress toward strategy and also enable the management and improvement of key work systems and processes.

  • Occasionally review the data you no longer need, and consider “sunsetting” or discontinuing its collection and use.
  • Use comparative data to support decision making and innovation. Comparative data and benchmarks help you determine relative performance – how your organization compares to the average, to upper quartile or decile performers, to best-in-class.  It also helps set targets and promotes innovation.
  • Systematically review and analyze performance to promote continuous and breakthrough improvements. The review, analysis, and action should take place throughout your organization (and in some cases, extend to your supply chain and partners).  Frameworks like the Balanced Scorecard (or dashboards) are excellent for helping everyone to quickly analyze performance and take action.

  • Ensure data accuracy, integrity, reliability, timeliness, security, and confidentiality throughout the organization.  Make data available to all parties (workforce, suppliers, partners, customers, etc.) that need it to make decisions.

  • Manage knowledge, transferring it within your workforce, between your workforce and suppliers/partners/customers, and from departing employees.  Identify, share, transfer, and implement best practices across your organization.

  • Ensure hardware and software are reliable, secure, user-friendly, and that information is available during emergencies.

Good organizations need data to see how they are performing. Stay tuned, next month we will cover characteristics 5 and 6, continuing to develop our roadmap to excellence!

The “Excellence Journey” - based on hard, verified, data researched by Brian Lassiter-President, Minnesota Council for Quality-www.councilforquality.org

Don Hoffert is president of Roadmap To Excellence LLC., a management consulting firm specializing in performance excellence "roadmap development and execution" systems. He is a certified Baldrige Examiner, a Program Management Professional, and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. (excerpts from MN Council for Quality and MG Browns book "Get It, Set IT, Move It, Prove It"). Don may be contacted at www.roadmaptoexcellence.com. Ph. 612 298 7858

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Lean & Green: Team at PBG reduces facility’s energy use

Pepsi, Aquafina, and Lipton Tea are just a few of the numerous products that Pepsi Bottling Group’s (PBG) Burnsville facility bottles as an independent company under the stock exchange PBG. On a five day/week production schedule, PBG is actively working to reduce the facility’s energy use in order to save money and conserve resources.

Over the past 12 years, PBG has reduced their energy use significantly. 73% of the reductions have occurred in just the last two years alone. Based on these energy reduction efforts, the facility set an extremely low energy use goal for 2009.

To help meet this goal, PBG formed an energy efficiency team in the fall of 2008 with technical guidance and team facilitation from the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP). The plant manager served as team leader while other team members from various areas in the facility joined in the ongoing problem solving process.

Energy/Waste Reductions

Over the nine months the team worked on projects, the members identified and quantified many opportunities for energy use reduction. For example, the team determined that the shell washer was not properly drying crates after being washed; this was caused by clogged heat exchangers. Additionally, the drying solution dispenser was disconnected and hadn’t been supplying solution, which is an important measure in the drying process. By just cleaning the heat exchangers and reconnecting the drying dispenser, PBG was able to save $1,000 each year.

The team also learned that the facility’s boilers were using more water and chemicals than in previous years. This was caused by a leak in the bottle warmer. After the leak was repaired, the boiler load was reduced, saving $1,200 annually.

Additionally, PBG was able to reduce the amount of energy used to chill carbonated products by shutting off the chiller during non-carbonated product runs. This saves the facility $4,200/year in energy costs. Once bottles and cans have gone through the chiller, compressed air knives blow off excess moisture. PBG has replaced two out of the three compressed air knives with electric blowers and anticipates replacing the third soon. Estimated annual savings for the entire project will total $2,400 in compressed air costs.

Other energy savings opportunities were found in the bottle and can rinsing areas. In the bottle rinsing area, 17 three horsepower motors were continuously blowing empty bottles to the rinser, even when there were no bottles to rinse. Shutting off the motors when they’re not needed in this area saves $5,200 each year in energy costs. The can rinser was also running continuously despite the fact that cans are only run 75% of the time. This was fixed by replacing a worn out solenoid and saves the company 1,800 gallons of water per day.

Overall, PBG has made changes that have resulted in energy and water savings and cost savings of approximately $14,000.

Developing a Team in Your Facility

Engaging your staff in pollution prevention and energy efficiency teams may be beneficial to your facility. Many companies, like PBG, have employed the team structure and have realized significant waste and energy use reductions as well as cost savings due to the nature of the team. Teams typically consist of members from all ranks of the company and all locations in the facility. This enables the team to tackle projects and get many points of view regarding solutions. MnTAP can help develop an internal team designed to investigate your waste-related issues. 

MnTAP has a variety of technical assistance services available to help Minnesota businesses implement industry-tailored solutions that maximize resource efficiency, prevent pollution, increase energy efficiency, and reduce costs. Contact MnTAP at 612.624.1300 or mntap@umn.edu for more information.

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MN Manufacturing Economic Update

For the month of February 2011 reported on March 1, 2011. Minnesota’s leading economic indicator from the monthly survey of supply managers was above growth neutral for the 19th straight month at 59.8 from 55.2 in January.

Components of the index for February were new orders at 64.0, production or sales at 63.8, delivery lead time at 57.3, inventories at 57.8, and employment at 56.5. “Even though Minnesota has begun adding durable and nondurable manufacturing jobs at a healthy pace, the manufacturing sector has still lost almost 39,000 or 11.5 percent of its employment base since the beginning of the recession. Our surveys over the past several months point to job expansions for durable and nondurable manufacturing and the overall economy well into the third quarter of this year,” said Goss

Dr. Ernest Goss of Creighton University, used the same methodology as The National Association of Purchasing Management to compile this information. An index number greater than 50 percent indicates an expansionary economy, and an index under 50 percent forecast a sluggish economy, for the next three to six months.

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