• Joe Rizzo

5 Reasons to Join a Lean Consortium

1. To take your Continuous Improvement Program to the next Level and/or to accelerate your Continuous Improvement Program.

As a member of a Lean Consortium, you join an elite group of Lean Practitioners who share best practices and resources through a number of activities, the most important of which, is a Monthly Lean Leaders Meeting. Each member company must host a Lean Leaders Meeting once a year. Knowing that 16 to 20 Lean practitioners will be visiting your plant, keeps the pressure on you to sustain your Continuous Improvement Program. In the second, third, and beyond years, the visitors will expect to see significant progress, year over year.

2. You are just starting a Continuous Improvement Program.

You know that you want to start your lean journey but you don’t know how. Joining a Lean Consortium connects you with real world practitioners in your area who have gone through, or are going through the same process of starting or improving a Continuous Improvement Program. You can learn the “Dos” and “Don’ts” from your new associates and thereby accelerate the implementation of a Continuous Improvement Program.

3. Not Enough Time

Most of us spend our days fighting fires, and we do not take the time to step back and ask ourselves if there is an easier and/or better way. The demands of manufacturing or any business are great. There are numerous problems that have to be addressed throughout the day. Joining a Lean Consortium provides the tools and the resources to address the problems and issues, and help you put them behind you. More time can be spent on planning the future of the company and less time on fighting fires.

One of the key activities of a Lean Consortium is the Lean Leaders Meeting. These events occur on a monthly basis. You get to visit a member’s plant, listen to their story on Lean, and take a Plant Tour. At the end of the tour is a Plus/Delta session which provides feedback to the host company. The Pluses are the things that the attendees saw and liked, and would like to implement in their own plant. The Deltas are the improving ideas that the attendees give to the host company, as a reward for hosting the tour.

4. You Have a Corporate Program

Many Consortium members are part of a much larger Corporation that has a very comprehensive Continuous Improvement Program. These programs have rigid structure and come with Standard Work. However, not all locations within a Corporation are at the same level of performance, and each location has its own problems and issues to deal with, not to mention the issues due to location, such as local laws, regulations, ordinances and the needs of the community.

Joining a Lean Consortium puts the member in touch with other members that are experiencing the same local problems and issues. All local members are competing for resources from the same labor pool. In a Lean Consortium, the members can share experiences in hiring practices, training needs, contributions to the community and many more locale related issues.

5. You already have a Good Lean Program

You have been on the Lean journey for years and you know, and everybody else knows, that you are great practitioners. You’ve got black belts, green belts, and kaizens by the dozens. The Gemba walks are the management team’s fitness program. You are so good that you don’t even remember when you forgot that you can still learn from someone else.

However, your efforts and your results are starting to plateau. You need to reinvigorate your program. You need to jump to the next curve.

Becoming part of a Lean Consortium will expose you to new ideas, new tools, new resources and will provide the support to you and your team to continue on and explore new regions of a Continuous Improvement Program. A Lean Consortium is a place to help your new team members gain experience, learn, and grow.

About Us: The New England Lean Consortium is a group of companies and organizations that work together to become more efficient, more profitable, and therefore, more competitive in the global marketplace, through the sharing of best practices and resources in Continuous Improvement efforts based on Lean principles.

This knowledge sharing is accomplished through Lean Leader Meetings, Workshops and Seminars, Training, and Kaizens.

Other benefits include: Attendance at Monthly Lean Leader Meetings, attendance at Board of Directors Meetings, Plant Tours of non-member companies, shared Kaizens, member Roundtables, access to the Consortium web-site, and receipt of a Newsletter. Membership also gives you access to an extensive network of resources.

If you would like to attend a Lean Leaders meeting and experience the synergistic effect of a Lean Consortium, you can contact me: 207-400-4403, jrizzo43@bellsouth.net