Despite their impeccable reputations as lean exemplars, all was not well at wrapping-equipment manufacturer Lantech. Although the lean efforts described in “Lean Thinking” were still in place, gains were not being sustained. Defects kept slipping through the cracks and CEO Jim Lancaster found himself constantly calling and apologizing unhappy customers. Profits were razor-thin. He couldn’t figure out what the problem was.
His confusion only mounted when he travelled the world looking for the answers. Shockingly, some of the most “primitive” manufacturing operations he saw were faring much better than Lantech. One in particular, a manufaturer in the southern United States, featured mountains of inventory and a push-based assembly system — and yet they boasted profit margins at 10 percent and over $10 million in cash on hand.
It soon became clear what the problem was. Lantech was far further along in its lean journey than the other plants Lancaster observed — except for one thing.
Lantech lacked a daily management system to sustain the gains.
Jim Lancaster attended the 2017 Lean Transformation Summit in Carlsbad, California to speak about Lantech’s journey to create a daily management system. You’ll learn:
- The individual components of Lantech’s daily management system and the trial-and-error efforts that helped establish and sustain them
- How accountability standards for managers were established
- The role that asking for help played in ensuring success
- The many measures with which they tried — and failed — to sustain gains
- The hidden complexities of observing the work
- The strategies used to control the vast number of variants in the assembly process
- The critical importance holding daily management huddles to facilitate engagement, improve transparency, solve problems, and sustain the gains
- And more.
For the full story of Lantech’s daily management system, check out Lean Enterprise Institute’s newest book, “The Work of Management.”