Business Stationery Completes its First Lean Kaizen Event
Cleveland-based Business Stationery completed its first Lean Kaizen event in March. Business Stationery and its parent company Identity Group (www.identitygroup.com), and their primary investment group Saw Mill Capital (www.sawmillcapital.com) partnered with the leading consulting group TBM Consulting Group (www.tbmcg.com) to launch an aggressive company-wide initiative toward operational control and continuous improvement, called Lean Sigma.
Lean Sigma is a powerful process to implement Lean manufacturing techniques and Six Sigma quality improvements in a single, intense coordinated effort. In this five-day event, employees from various disciplines throughout the company are selected to participate on a full-time basis, led by a TBM team leader trained in the Lean Sigma process.
The team trained on the concepts and objectives of Lean, Six Sigma and 5-S on day one. Through the balance of the week, the team worked on the plant floor—observing, documenting and performing detailed time studies in a chosen workstation to identify opportunities in all areas of process and quality improvement. Teams are empowered to make immediate changes.
Through exhaustive effort, working 10+ hours every day, 50 areas of opportunity were documented and prioritized by their level of impact and difficulty to implement. Improvements were then immediately put into action by the team. Those projects requiring additional work to complete were assigned to team members for follow-up scheduling and action plans.
At the end of the week, the Kaizen team achieved impressive results with ergonomic, safety, organization and setup time enhancements throughout the work cell. The program was deemed a success and will become part of the every-day business model at all Identity Group companies. The event proved a valuable tool for improving operations, quality and controlling rising costs. Most importantly, the company now has a new process to quickly identify and solve problems while empowering all associates with a new team spirit.