ICP embarked on its LEAN journey back in March of 2013. Defining LEAN is really pretty simple, it’s eliminating waste in your business – be it material or time. It’s much more of a challenge to implement, expand, and continuing to improve.
Here’s what we’ve done so far:
- Partnered with Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) for education, implementation and follow-up.
- The entire company went through introductory LEAN training to officially launch the program.
- Several departments have gone through 5S training and implementation. 5S (sort, set in order, shine, standardize, sustain) focuses on evaluating your current work area and practices, eliminating waste, and structuring to improve efficiency and productivity. The change has been dramatic, literally night to day.
- A team has streamlined our Request For Information (RFI) with our outside partners (like engineering firms, general contractors, architects) saving loads of idle time and sharing more timely and meaningful information.
- Another team is working on our formal job contract process with our customers.
To ensure the LEAN effort continues to grow and stay alive, we’ve expanded our bi-weekly safety inspections to include a LEAN component. And besides the on-going involvement of WCTC staff, we’ve added an industry expert to provide an additional resource to audit our program.
LEAN has completely changed our business. Our housekeeping has improved by light years. We’ve sped up our lead times and cycle times. We’re safer. And we’ve taken cost out of the business and become even more important to our awesome customers.