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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Executive Benchmarking Tour, Vancouver

This past week, we kicked off our Vancouver Executive Benchmarking Tour hosted by 6 companies in different industries to see their operations.  It was an eye opening program which prompted one participant to comment, "I can't believe how much we've learned in such a short time - I'm truly inspired by their passion to improve."  LSI plans to organize another tour later this year so please stay tuned!

Day 1:
Our first stop was Nuheat Floor Heating Systems located in Richmond. Nuheat provides "soothing warmth" to various types of flooring surfaces including tile, stone, granite, laminate, and engineered wood.
Here is the Nuheat office tour as we learn about the lean initiatives implemented.

After learning from Nuheat, we visited Alpha Technologies Inc. which is in the telecommunications industry. Alpha Technologies Inc. provides the most reliable, technologically advanced and cost-effective powering solutions available and is built to support expansion and provide unlimited opportunity.

While visiting Alpha Technologies Inc., Blackbelt Certified Derek Nakamoto from First West Credit Union spoke to the group. Below are a few short clips from him describing the journey of lean and lean future plans.

Below is a video about First West Credit Union's lean journey...

Plans for creating a lean video and a First West Lean School to share with the organization...

Our last visit of the day was at Moulding & Millwork which is one of the world's largest manufacturers of doors and moulding products.

The group gets insight from Moulding & Millwork from their lean experience.

Questions & answer time.

Day 2:
We started the day off by visiting Regency Fireplace Products International Ltd. (FPI) Regency strives to be a world leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of hearth products. Every day they employ EXCITE (Exercising Continuous Improvement Towards Excellence) in all of their processes which assures customer needs are met. FPI has continuously improved their training, including such programs as 6S training (vs just 5S because it includes safety). We also had the opportunity to film inside the plant and capture some of the 'lean initiatives' in action!

 Tracking inventory helps to eliminate waste.

Visual signage ensures fewer mistakes.

Traffic light inventory (supplier-managed) tracking/repleneshing system

Our second tour was at the North American Tea & Coffee Inc. They manufacture and distribute teas, dry mix, and grocery products in North America and internationally. The company also provides dry blended food products. Below is a video about North American Tea & Coffee's lean experience.

The group about to go for a tea factory tour.

Our last tour of the day was at Ideon packaging LLP. They provide solutions to packaging needs. Their packaging products include: corrugated containers, stock boxes, protective packaging, single-face lamination, POP, and folding cartons. Lean strategy has helped increase their efficiency and the factory is extremely organized. Ideon also strives to eliminate their waste and created their own charity for kids in their community.

Mike explains FITT (Finding Innovation Through Teamwork) training at Ideon. True to his Lean Blackbelt Training, he has absorbed the 'lean philosophy' and transformed it in order to suit Ideon's unique lean needs.

Ideon has created visual cues to increase efficiency and quality.

Ideon ensures lean consistency with a health check and scoring system.

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