One effect of the COVID economy on Enterprise Minnesota is that attendance at our workshops has grown considerably as manufacturers seek ways to balance the twin challenges of workforce shortages and increased demand for products. Those efforts always include company-wide attention to continuous improvement.
Ally Johnston, one of our top business growth consultants, will explain her expert viewpoint of some of those solutions with “Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement,” at an in-person workshop 9:30-11:30 a.m. on February 24 in North Branch (Lakes Region EMS, 40245 Fletcher Ave. N.). It’s worth your time.
Ally Johnston is an industrial engineer who helps manufacturers improve productivity, eliminate waste and build a culture of continuous improvement. She’ll show how a culture of engagement and lean thinking can improve your company. You’ll find out why big CI events can be important tools, but incremental daily improvements can also yield big results to give your next kaizen or 5S enduring power.
You will leave the workshop understanding how:
- Small improvements can add significant value by compounding over time
- To incorporate lean thinking into all areas of your organization
- Employee engagement is key to CI and overall retention
- Improved productivity starts at the top
Also watch for her article, “The Value of Engaged Employees” in the next issue of Enterprise Minnesota® magazine.
Managers will meaningfully engage employees only after they’ve given them “the skills and authority to recognize and initiate process improvement,” Ally writes in the article.
“Highly engaged employees contribute to a thriving company atmosphere. A Gallup survey recently reported that companies in the top 25 percent for high employee engagement perform much better in measures ranging from quality defects to profitability.
“Leaders who embrace manageable, daily process improvements in short time will see happier employees as well as quality improvements and waste reduction. Notably, they don’t have to dedicate one staff person to the effort, or funnel substantial time and resources to a big one-time event.”
She emphasizes how employees must understand the goals and processes of lean and continuous improvement. “Lean is essentially a dynamic way to produce more product using the fewest resources. Continuous improvement, on the other hand, means ongoing positive change to all phases of an operation.
“Continuous improvement done well is a constant effort that changes the way people work, the way people think, the processes they use, and the capability of an operation. Lean companies always have continuous improvement, but companies need not be lean to practice continuous improvement.”
Manufacturers can register for Ally’s workshop on our website.
February 16 – State of Manufacturing regional event: Owatonna
Join us in Owatonna as we bring the State of Manufacturing on the road. Great networking opportunity for manufacturers and industry stakeholders as we discuss the SOM results and what they mean for Southern Minnesota. In-person at the Owatonna Country Club, Owatonna Learn more and register
February 24 – Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement – North Branch
Join us IN PERSON in North Branch, MN for a manufacturing workshop with expert Ally Johnston on ways to integrate lean thinking throughout your organization by developing a culture of continuous improvement. At Lakes Region EMS in North Branch Learn more and register
March 2 – State of Manufacturing regional event: Marshall
Join us in Marshall as we bring the State of Manufacturing on the road. Great networking opportunity for manufacturers and industry stakeholders as we discuss the SOM results and what they mean for Southwest Minnesota. In-person at the Landmark Mercantile Building, Marshall Learn more and register
March 10 – Automate with Purpose – Mankato
Automation is often seen as a way to alleviate a shortage of workers, but is often fraught with challenges and pitfalls. Greg Langfield will show you how to take a systematic approach that will save cost and support your long term productivity goals. In person at Courtyard by Marriott-Mankato. Learn more and register
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Seagate plans bigger Bloomington facility
The global data storage manufacturer plans to add 45 jobs to the Bloomington facility while scrapping plans to sell its Shakopee location. February 7, MSP Business Journal Read more
Growth in EVs to spearhead manufacturing demand for nickel
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Ransomware gangs now arbitrate disputes
Cyber criminals are getting increasingly adept at hacking and are becoming more professional, even setting up an arbitration system to resolve payment disputes. February 11, Manufacturing Business Technology Read more
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