Helping manufacturers be the very BEST they can be

Helping manufacturers be the very BEST they can be

Are you frustrated at the pace of improvement in your manufacturing business?

Are you frustrated at the pace of improvement in your manufacturing business?

Turn your people into Problem Solvers who can think Lean, and your business will transform

Turn your people into Problem Solvers who can think Lean, and your business will transform

Are you a Manufacturer frustrated at the pace of improvement in your business?

Has your business started improvement initiatives only for them to lose momentum or fail to ever get off the ground?

Did it all start with enthusiasm, but then lost focus and energy?

Maybe you know you really NEED to start on a Continuous Improvement journey but you just don’t know where to start?

There is a lot of information out there. Should we follow a Lean Manufacturing approach? Do we want to focus on Operational Excellence? Should we think about Change Management first? Do we want a Six Sigma programme? Maybe TPM? OEE?

It can be overwhelming.

We are here to say that robust, sustainable improvement in your business is all about your PEOPLE. It is about engaging at all levels, providing simple and easy to use tools, enabling people to solve the problems that they see every day.

It is NOT about a complicated improvement strategy or an extensive training programme.

The most important skill is Problem Solving, plus the knowledge and dexterity to use some simple but powerful Lean Thinking tools. This is where the magic happens.

Turn your people into Problem Solvers who can think Lean, and your business will transform.


Over the last 20 years Gemma has held Continuous Improvement roles within different Manufacturing industries, including Pharmaceutical, Dairy, FMCG, Food, and Medical Devices. She has been a CI Manager numerous times and an Operations Manager running a factory of over 500 people.

She has been on both sides of that particular fence, and understands the challenges of both perspectives.

Gemma did a 5 year Masters in Mechanical Engineering, graduating with a first class degree. She is a creative yet logical systems thinker, who loves to work with teams to break things down, figure them out and rebuild them better than ever.

Gemma is hugely passionate about Manufacturing and strongly believes in Lean Thinking. She gets such a kick out of coaching and facilitating, especially when she sees the lightbulb switch on in someone's head – when they solve a problem; when they realise they have the power to change; or when they get excited about all the improvements they could make. Gemma's mission is to help your manufacturing business to be the very best it can be, by switching on as many lightbulbs in your organisation as possible.


WHAT WE DO

What can we do to help you?


FACILITATING OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE

We don’t like to go into companies and do things for them.

That approach might work in the short term, but it does not build the right skills, habits and culture within a client’s business.

Rather, we facilitate focused, effective activity to develop, stretch and enable teams to make improvement.

We work with teams to define what Operational Excellence means to them and where they need to focus.

For some organisations, this means starting right at the beginning and defining the destination, designing the roadmap and initiating the journey. For others, who may already be on their journey, it means offering support, guidance and occasional first-aid along the way.

Whatever Operational Excellence means for your manufacturing business, we can help you get there.


THINKING LEAN

Every manufacturer can learn from the concepts and principles within the Lean Thinking movement.

However, this is not about replicating every aspect of the Toyota Production System, nor is it about copying an approach from any other Lean Thinking company. Instead, your business can learn from, and be inspired by, the ideas and frameworks used by numerous Lean businesses and select the tools and techniques that are appropriate to your business.

Somethings will work, somethings won’t. Some areas need tweaking to fit with the culture or the dynamic of the team. This is a continuous cycle of Plan, Do, Study and Act to build your version of ‘Lean’ and drive sustainable improvement.

Effective problem solving is one of the main tenets within Lean Thinking. This is a key skill that must be mastered to make meaningful improvements that stick. The best way to learn how to problem solve? By solving problems. We can facilitate your teams using a simple, structured, visual, team-based approach.


COACHING FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE

Often, leading a CI programme can be a very difficult and demanding role, sometimes involving every department in the organisation, usually with exposure at every level of the business.

A CI Manager has to tread a very fine line – on the one hand, you need everyone onsite to trust you, believe in you, want to ‘get on the bus’ with you. You want everyone to share their ideas, to contribute fully and be open and honest when things don’t go how expected (which they rarely will). On the other hand, you also need to challenge people, to point out issues, to ‘shake the trees’. Sometimes, done carefully and sensitively, you have to be disruptive and ask the questions other people are not asking.

We can coach the drivers of your CI initiatives to be the very best versions of themselves. For some organisations, this simply means short-burst coaching to tackle particular development needs. For others, this means a more structured longer-term coaching relationship, with regular face-to-face and phone sessions. We offer a fully bespoke and completely flexible approach to coaching your CI Manager, tailored exactly to their needs and the needs of your business.


BESPOKE TRAINING

There are many different tools, techniques, and skills which can help you on your journey.

We offer bespoke training courses, in a number of areas including an introduction to Lean Thinking; how to use 5S and Visual Management; Statistical Process Control methods; Practical Problem Solving; Total Productive Maintenance (TPM); and Project Management.

We strongly believe people learn far better by undertaking an activity, rather than just listening to someone lecture them. We are not fans of so-called ‘death by PowerPoint’ and so our courses are heavy on the practical activities, involving team-based simulations, workshops, and personal workbooks.

We can also help you develop in-house training materials, and train your trainer to deliver courses to your people.


LATEST NEWS

Right from our blog

On not being perfect

I haven't written an article in a while, and this one explains why and what I have learnt from the experience. Striving for perfection may well be one of the key principles of Lean, but sometimes, in some contexts, I think it can hold us back. Thank you Karyn Ross, you got me started again.

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Brilliant Books for CI Managers – Book 2

If you are a CI Manager, CI Practitioner or a Lean Leader, I’d guess you might have a few books on your desk. Of course, there are the lean classics – Lean Thinking, The Toyota Way, The Goal – but I think there are also a number of other, less obvious, brilliant books which can be hugely valuable to you. Next up is the brilliant Black Box Thinking by @MatthewSyed – a book about marginal gains and high performance.

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How Drawing Toast can help you solve problems

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Journey to Excellence conference held in Manchester in the UK. This is an annual conference, organized by True North Excellence, created to inspire through sharing best practice, building new networks, and experiencing best in class learning. I delivered a workshop to around 75 delegates, titled ‘Solving the Biggest Problem with Problem Solving’ and I used Tom Wujec's Draw Toast activity during the workshop.

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We'd love to have the chance to talk to you about how we can help your business