Taking a Walk on the Lean Side

Tom Caouette
Tom Caouette

Taking a walk on the lean side is more of a journey than a destination very similar to a fitness or a weight loss program. As we said in our last blog, Stern implemented lean initiatives with our employees, through a weight loss and step tracking initiative; as well as with our facility, through a clean-up and reorganizing initiative.

The results are impressive with close to 100 pounds being shed by the employees and over 11 million steps taken and recorded. The facility clean-up started in the front entry and moved into the office areas as highlighted below. Business is being conducted more efficiently because we are accomplishing more work with less resources, and we are taking pride in our workplace environment; yet the journey continues.

As part of going Lean, we have upgraded our capital equipment with two new Ferry RS Shuttle Machines.  We have modified documentation in our manufacturing plant reducing paperwork duplication which makes life easier on our employees and improves overall efficiency. The documentation workflow modification was an output of a collaborative team effort utilizing the A3 problem solving techniques.

Ferry RS2600

Ferry RS3000

This Lean journey has a long way to go but it seems the immediate results provide the energy and motivation to continue on. We all feel better when we shed some extra pounds and we work more efficiently when our work environment contains less clutter. Our journey will now be moving from the office to the production environment where the challenge increases but the results may pay greater dividends.

Tom Caouette is the Plant Manager at Stern Companies, Inc.  He has been with the company since April of 2013.  Prior to coming to Stern, Tom has 36 years of experience in production, engineering and quality management with a major defense contractor.  Tom’s knowledge and experience he has brought to Stern’s rotational manufacturing facility and assembly has been beneficial in the LEAN and Quality Improvement processes here at Stern Companies.

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One response to “Taking a Walk on the Lean Side”

  1. Tom, thanks for your comments regarding Stern’s Lean journey. Look forward to future insights as the journey moves to your production area.

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