Dennis Sowards's blog
Lean & 5S's in Construction
Newsletter #20 March, 2007
This e-newsletter is written by Dennis Sowards to share ideas on the 5S’s and Lean practices especially as applied in construction. If you have ideas or lessons learned to share - please contact me.
Keep it Simple
Some suggestions on the how to do the 5S’s and keep it simple:
“Whatever you do, don't seal it in the concrete, as you have to improve it as soon as you've implemented it!
Better stick tapes than paint lines,
Better use movable tools holders than fix them,
Better not using shelves next to workbenches as they hold dust, hide nuts and bolds underneath, put stress on workers having them make a choice for the good part, create walls between people, cut view,
So don't put money in something you're going to shoot out in few days, weeks, or months.”
High-Performing Contractor - NEWSLETTER
This e-newsletter is dedicated to supporting High-Performing Contractors and all contractors working to become one. Written by Dennis Sowards
**************** Customer Focused How to create Great Service
Brad Sugars, a world-renowned entrepreneur, author, and business coach, suggests these three steps to great service:
“#1. Deliver with consistency. Every time I call your company, the phone should be answered the same way, the orders processed systematically, the services delivered with regularity so I can trust that you know what you are doing and I can feel good about coming back and referring my friends. Remember, you can't WOW a customer until you have at least satisfied them.
#2. Make it easy for me to buy. Consistency is a start, but if you make it hard to do business with you, I can never be WOW'ed. Everything from ability to contact people, websites, emails, payment methods, delivery choices, and so on. All of these things you need to make sure are easier or at least as simple and easy as any of your competitors. Ring them, go to their websites, do as much 'market research' as you need to make sure buying from you is both simple and easy.
#3. WOW me. Satisfaction is boring; do something I don't expect. I remember when only a year or so back, having WiFi in your room was a bonus. Now I expect it and am greatly disappointed when a hotel doesn't have it. Check your industry and then check three or four others to find out what is now expected as standard so you can dream up a strategy to WOW me.”
A wise consultant, with many years of experience coaching executives in leadership, shared these two themes for leaders to use as they drive their vision:
· Stay the course
· Be a broken record
Leaders need to keep with their vision and not change it by the flavor of the month new idea. Leaders must have faith in their vision and what it will do for their organization.
High-Performing Contractor - NEWSLETTER
This e-newsletter is dedicated to supporting SMACNA High-Performing Contractors and all contractors working to become one. Written by Dennis Sowards
Carlos Cardoso, president and CEO of Kennametal Inc., a manufacturer of metal cutting tools. He believes that every successful company shares the same three traits:
- A clear vision and strategy that everyone in the company understands
- The right processes in place to drive that vision to results
- The right people to implement those processes
In short, while your customers are demanding that you build your products better, faster and cheaper, the key to doing that profitably -- which is the main point of being in business -- is to remain as competitive and productive as possible. In that spirit, then, hiring the best people, not just the most people, has become the new standard operating procedure for many U.S. companies.”
He also stresses that throwing money at technology is no panacea, especially if you don't recognize exactly what the problem is. "Whenever you're in doubt about what to do, just ask your customers. Whatever they tell you, that's the right answer,"
Lean & 5S' in Construction - Newsletter #18 - January 2007
***************** Attack Waste of Over Processing
OVER-PROCESSING: This waste happens when there are unnecessary or extra steps in the process or if steps that do not create value. The more steps in any process, the more chances for mistakes in processing. In construction this waste includes over-engineering, having to have someone’s’ signature on a requisition, multiple handling of timesheets, duplicate entries on forms or data-entry fields, and getting double and triple estimates from suppliers. Over-processing is caused by a lack of standard methods or processes, by poor communication and/or poor planning. Even when a standard process exists, this waste often occurs as the process slowly changes over time and it is not updated. A good way to detect this waste is to do a value stream, or even basic processes mapping, and look at all non-value added steps. Are these steps even necessary?