Efficient Plant March 2020 - 32

column | workforce strategies

Develop an
Operational
Excellence
Program
Jon Sillerud
Uponor North America

A House of Lean visual helps all involved understand the
underlying structure of an operational excellence program.

Jon Sillerud is Vice President, Operations, for Uponor
North America, Apple Valley, MN (uponor.com). Reach
him at jon.sillerud@uponor.com.

+

For more about workforce development
strategies and techniques, watch our new
webinar, presented by Jon Sillerud. You can
view the presentation at
efficientplantmag.com/2001uponor.

32

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM	

EP2003workforce.indd 32

A

CCORDING TO THE
Institute for Operational
Excellence, North Kingstown, RI (instituteopex.org), OpEx
incorporates continuous improvement
into a holistic approach in which
"each and every employee can see the
flow of value to the customer and fix
that flow before it breaks down." The
result is business growth and longterm viability.
One way to accomplish this is
to use the House of Lean structure,
which you "construct" based upon
your organization's culture and
goals. The house pillars focus on
problem-solving initiatives, while the
tools, visual management, metrics,
assessments, and processes constitute
the windows, which help you monitor
progress. The roof is satisfied customers, supported by safety, quality,
delivery, cost, and engagement. After
you've built your house and created
a visual, employ three key tactics to
keep employees aware, engaged, and
aligned with the plan and program.

TRAINING
A solid training program is paramount when creating an effective
OpEx program. Without training,
the program has no foundation or
measurement for success. Our OpEx
training follows a four-tiered approach in which new employees
begin with a one-hour continuous-improvement overview. They
progress to our bronze and silver
levels before advancing into focused
areas that leverage individual skills.
This structured design provides
employees with a clear roadmap for

their training journey and provides
them with incentives for continued
growth.

VISUALS
Throughout our manufacturing
floor, we have numerous boards that
showcase the status of various operations metrics, along with new ideas
and resources to help address them.
Each day, leaders from engineering, maintenance, manufacturing,
quality, safety, and training departments meet at a different board for
15 minutes to discuss the status and
any updates. Those visual boards
and daily check-ins keep the lines of
communication open and continuous
improvement in motion. They also
provide every employee the benefit of
seeing what's going on in and around
their departments.

EMPOWERMENT
The key to an engaged company
culture is ensuring employees have a
seat at the table. This means
empowering them to make change
and improvements where they see an
opportunity. We have a continuous-improvement board where
employees submit suggestions to
improve efficiency, safety, delivery,
and/or cost containment. In the past,
employees have directly contributed
approximately 2,000 ideas annually.
Whether you're a company of a
dozen or several thousand, a structured OpEx program can benefit any
team. The important point is to get
started on a path that will begin with
strategy and continue through to
action and implementation. EP

MARCH 2020

2/17/20 3:23 PM


http://www.instituteopex.org http://www.uponor.com http://www.efficientplantmag.com/2001uponor http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant March 2020

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