Lean in Action
The Milsco facility in Jackson has been in operation since the 1960’s (although it was called Michigan Seat until 2006). We have 2 Value Streams that make up 95% of our business. Our Turfcare seating Value Stream produces seats for various manufacturers of riding lawn care equipment and our Industrial seating Value Stream produces seats primarily for the Forklift industry.
Milsco dabbled with some Lean tools beginning in 2010 and had some success and some failures. Beginning in 2012, we really began to focus on the thinking behind Lean, and not just implementing “cool stuff” on the shop floor (which usually ended in disaster). So, what does that actually mean? Here are some things we are doing:
- Management “Lunch And Learn” sessions each month. These are 2-hour learning sessions for the leadership team
- Supervisor “Lunch And Learn”. Same goal as the management sessions, with an extra dose of coaching the “human side” of Lean
- Daily Gemba Walks. All managers walk for one hour each day, every day. We have really honed our “learning to see” skills!
- Yearly Facility assessments and Lean Vision review. We dedicate time to reflect and plan for the future
Of course, along with these, we have done some great things in the facility by using the Kaizen workshop style improvement effort. We have really made an effort to involve employees in every decision that affects their direct work area which has been a challenge and a big change from the leadership style of years past. We have a long way to go and are just finishing up our Lean Hoshin planning for 2014. Some of our larger areas of opportunity are in our material identification and flow and continuing to raise the Lean IQ of everyone in the shop, from the corner office “up front” to our wonderful custodian, Connie!
Visit their website at www.milsco.com.