Lean Manufacturing is a centerpiece for the operations at PCI Group. Implementing Lean Manufacturing was certainly a big undertaking. It required employees to think and act differently, ultimately changing the company culture. In this episode of Ask the Experts, Tim Lackey, Director of Business Process & Improvement, provides insight into the evolution of the culture.
Lackey explained how the culture turn started, “There was an “aha” moment by the leadership team that we can’t make all the decisions. There are people on the floor that know the processes better than we ever will. We had to give up that control.”
In doing so, the company turned the pyramid upside down with management supporting the production team, now at the top. “Employees were seeing we were asking their opinion and that it mattered when we enacted those ideas, so that created buy-in,” Tim said.
However, change is hard because people innately resist it. “We got around that with small wins and celebrating them. If a process improvement team solves a problem and makes it better, we want to recognize them,” Tim added.
That type of recognition and respect evolved the culture. Now employees are more than willing to offer ideas and be involved.
Tim also noted that while having the slogans and signs on the walls is a big part of Lean Manufacturing and 6 Sigma, adopting these approaches is much more important. “Signs can just be background noise. Their buy-in is what really matters.”