As part of the strategic initiatives taking shape at Precision Wire Technologies, 2016 signifies the initiation of Lean and Six Sigma as a major priority for the company moving forward. David Faust, CEO of PWT, has a Master Black Belt in Lean and Six Sigma with almost 15 years of experience implementing lean systems in various businesses.
“Lean is a critical piece of our company’s future,” says Faust. “As part of our 2016 strategic planning, lean was at the core of where we want to go and what we want to be. We’re launching an initiative this year that, if we do it right, will never end as we put continuous improvement at the center of our daily activities and long-term vision.”
The company has established a Lean Implementation Strategy and Best Practices to guide through phases of implementation and sustainment. It’s first endeavor will be 5S and Visual Management, a tool to improve efficiency and quality through organization and cleaning. “Too often, 5S is misidentified as simply a way of making the plant or office look nice and therefore, the purpose of it is completely missed. The real objective of 5S is to teach discipline and create good habits in the day-to-day activities of a business. If a process or best practice is identified, we have to have the discipline to follow said process irregardless of circumstance. It is often the shortcuts and bypassing of procedures that get companies into trouble.”
Faust went on to say that with the discipline objective in mind, it just makes sense to start your lean initiatives with 5S. “If you skip this step of the process, it’s not too long before anything you implement and improve digresses and goes back to the way it was. If we can’t habitually do something as simple as put a blue broom on a blue hook after we use it, how are we going to sustain in-process quality procedures or kanban processes later on down the road?”
PWT has assembled a team of hourly employees and management to lead the 5S implementation and Faust is personally handling much of the training.