Updated: May 1, 2019
If you want to stay relevant in the business climate of today, it’s no longer enough to sit on past methods and even past successes. “The way we’ve always done it” is not a mindset that will carry you towards future success. Business is always moving forward. Today, the predominant philosophy across all manufacturing industries is Lean Manufacturing. In previous posts, we’ve outlined the different approaches and made a case for ContinuoUs Improvement: a people-centric approach to process improvement and innovation.
The HVAC Duct Manufacturers Association was formed to provide resources and support relevant to our industry. One of the ways we do this is by encouraging our associates to adopt a culture of ContinuoUs Improvement into their organizations. We have spent years testing different tools and methodologies under the continuous improvement umbrella and come up with principles and activities that produce real-world results and lasting change. The core component of our efforts centers around the formation of ContinuoUs Improvement Groups who meet weekly to communicate, mastermind & train together. These groups become the engine of innovation for the organizations involved.
Want to know what happens in our ContinuoUs Improvement Groups? Here are three areas we focus in every week:
Iron sharpens iron
The key to success in our groups is open communication. We always start off our meetings by catching up with each other. We make time to build community so that we can foster a culture of trust and openness on the team. This is a time to catch up on improvement efforts, share our victories as well as our struggles, and celebrate the efforts of the people on our teams. We come together with a singular goal: to get better. Our focus on communication allows us to rapidly adopt ideas from other organizations and saves us from having to reinvent the wheel.
“None of us is as smart as all of us.”
Along with Communication, we dedicate plenty of time for problem solving together. At its core, the ContinuoUs Improvement Group is a work party, not a book club. We choose projects to tackle as a group with clear goals, assignments and accountability. Through rigorous and structured testing and measuring, we look for the best ways to move forward towards truly innovative solutions. Our masterminding efforts produce exceptional results.
The right tools for the job
When it comes to the many different philosophies of lean manufacturing, there are so many different tools that it can be hard to know where to start and where to focus. We want to avoid analysis paralysis. In our ContinuoUs Improvement Groups, we choose the tools based on the problems we want to solve. It starts with basic training to give us the fundamental tools for improvement and a common language as we communicate and mastermind together. Outside of that, our training focuses on the job at hand. Whether we need to learn more about how to reduce waste, how to bring our teams on board, how to analyze problems, how to set goals, or how to grow our culture, we train together. Our training is always simple and always relevant. We don’t get caught up in abstract theory – we pick the tool for the job and learn how to use it.
The ContinuoUs Improvement Group model produces results. Across our groups, we have seen hundreds of hours of labor and thousands of dollars saved. Not only that, we have seen team cultures strengthened and communication vastly improved. If you’re interested in joining one of our active ContinuoUs Improvement Groups, please contact us for more information.
Want to see a ContinuoUs Improvement Group in action? Check out this video: