Auburn Works

Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC)

March 2011 Blog Posts (24)

Financial Benefits of Lean Healthcare

What are the business benefits of Lean Healthcare?  How much can I save each year with a good Lean Healthcare Program?  Surely there is a financial advantage associated with Lean Healthcare!

Yes, you should have financial benefits from the Lean Healthcare Program?  I recently read a comment made by users of Lean Healthcare that said “you can improve the Quality of your services while saving financially".  This is a very unusual result of any program.  You usually have to spend money…

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Added by John David Hayes on March 30, 2011 at 3:05pm — No Comments

Bill Smith

In reviewing some old articles, I ran across this one.  I think it is worth a second look.  This article was written by Gail Chadwick, and was published in the January/February 2007 issue of isixsigma.

Remembering Bill Smith, Father Of Six Sigma

By Gail C. Chadwick, iSixSigma Staff Writer

 

Bill Smith spent years convincing higher-ups that he really had invented a better mousetrap. Then he spent the rest of his life spreading the word to business professionals,…

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Added by Mark M. Clark on March 29, 2011 at 10:39pm — No Comments

American Workers Know What is Wrong With The U.S. Economy

 

Want to know what's wrong with American manufacturing?  Richard McCormack, the editor of Manufacturing & Technology News, tells a personal story of a repairman giving him the answer. Is the repairman's perspective correct or should America be focusing on more "advanced" manufacturing areas?

 

A Sears repairman came to my house recently to work on my outdoor gas grill. I stood with him in a

cold wind. He poked around the grill and said I needed to replace a…

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Added by David Mixson on March 29, 2011 at 9:05am — No Comments

Making it Stick- Insights from the 2011 ASQ LSS Conference

As I mentioned in my last post, our Auburn Technical Assistance Center group just returned from the 2011 ASQ Lean & Six Sigma Conference. For the next few blog posts, I’ll give you a summary of some of the interesting presentations I heard.

The fifth presentation described a practical process for making change stick. Karen Martin titled her presentation “Making it Stick: A four step process for creating sustainable change.”

Sustainability is one of the greatest challenges…

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Added by David Hicks on March 28, 2011 at 11:21am — No Comments

Happiness in the Workplace

I recently read a number of research articles on happiness and its implications for society at large and within the workplace. The authors make the argument that, in general, employee happiness is important to organizational leaders. Why might that be so? 

 

First, it is important to define happiness. In terms of the academic research, happiness is a broad concept that encompasses more specific concepts such as job satisfaction, organizational commitment, job involvement,…

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Added by Brian Flynn on March 28, 2011 at 4:30am — 1 Comment

Characteristics of Successful Manufacturers

Four interconnected responses to change have emerged among successful manufacturers:

  • Innovating constantly to adapt to economic and technological changes;
  • Embracing green and green lean;
  • Recognizing and navigating opportunity in the global value chain; and
  • Developing and retaining current and future talent.

 (provided by Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board)

 

Our office (Auburn Technical Assistance…

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Added by Walker Jackson on March 25, 2011 at 3:19pm — No Comments

Growing through Service Solutions-Part 2

Last time we looked at the growth potential of “service solutions” and obtained insights from Dr. Stephen Brown, the Director of the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University.  In this post, we’ll look at Dr. Brown’s response to the second question related to this topic.

 

What challenges must be overcome to grow service…

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Added by David Mixson on March 23, 2011 at 3:56pm — No Comments

Demystifying the X Matrix-Insights from the ASQ LSS Conference

As I mentioned in my last post, our group just returned from the 2011 ASQ Lean & Six Sigma Conference. For the next few blog posts, I’ll give you a summary of some of the interesting presentations I heard.



The fourth presentation was designed as advanced training on the application of X matrix forms to Strategy Deployment. Companies have many ways to communicate and track their strategic initiatives and the X matrix is just one example. Tony Manos taught a basic class on…

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Added by David Hicks on March 23, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments

Applying Lean Practically-Insights from the ASQ LSS Conference



As I mentioned in my last post, our group just returned from the 2011 ASQ Lean & Six Sigma Conference. For the next few blog posts, I’ll give you a summary of some of the interesting presentations I heard.

 

The third presentation told the story of the Linde Corporation’s program to apply lean techniques in their medical gases facilities. Linde provides oxygen and other bottled gases to medical facilities like hospitals, surgery centers, and nursing homes. They have…

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Added by David Hicks on March 21, 2011 at 7:00am — No Comments

Better Training Materials-Insights from the ASQ LSS Conference

As I mentioned in my last post, our group just returned from the 2011 ASQ Lean & Six Sigma Conference. For the next few blog posts, I’ll give you a summary of some of the interesting presentations I heard.

The second presentation offered guidance on developing good training material, particularly for Six Sigma classes. Dr. Jack West, former ASQ president, reminded the group that the purpose of training is to close the gap between current behaviors and desired behaviors. Effective…

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Added by David Hicks on March 16, 2011 at 1:46pm — 2 Comments

Continuous Improvement...All In!

The featured article in AME's (Association for Manufacturing Excellence) 2011 first issue Target publication was "Lean Accounting: Currier Plastics Inc."s Disciplined Approach -- A Leap of Faith, and Continuing Improvements".



It was exciting to see a lean accounting example taking center stage for a change but the frequency of…

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Added by Henry Burdg on March 15, 2011 at 3:56pm — 1 Comment

How does your hospital reduce the time spent in the Emergency Department?

If you walk into almost any ED in the US and you can see one or more of the following scenarios:

  • Ambulances Being Diverted
  • Crowded Waiting Rooms
  • Long Wait Times
  • Patients Who Leave Without Being Seen
  • Stressed and Agitated Staff
  • Patients Waiting for Test Results
  • Patients Parked in the ED for Hours While Waiting to be Admitted
  • Very Unhappy Patients

The ED sees patients in priority order based on the type…

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Added by John David Hayes on March 14, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Growing Through Service Solutions

Recently I attended the Institute for the Study of Business Markets Winter Meeting where thought leaders addressed successful strategies to business growth and innovation in today’s business environment.  In this and future posts, I’ll share some of the highlights from the meeting.

 

Dr. Stephen Brown from the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University presented on the topic of Growing Service Solutions.  Broadly speaking, growing service solutions include the…

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Added by David Mixson on March 14, 2011 at 1:09pm — 2 Comments

Greetings from Minnesota

Hello fellow Auburn works members.  This week I joined this community of practice and am very interested to learn, grow, and share with you. 

 

As an introduction, I met Hank Czarnecki at ASQ LSS in 2009 and was very happy to see him at the 2011 conference so that is my connection to this community.  Now that I have probably embarrassed Hank, I will keep this short. 

 

Just for reading my Blog, and here is a free…

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Added by Robert (Bob) Petruska on March 12, 2011 at 5:20pm — 4 Comments

Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing

Hank Czarnecki’s blog this week was entitled “Disciplined People-Disciplined Thought-Disciplined Action”.  As I read it, I thought about how true the message was…that “A culture of discipline is not just about action. It is about getting disciplined people...who engage in disciplined thought and...who then take disciplined action."

 

We’ve probably all been part of a process improvement team that has required us to think in a different way than we…

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Added by Mark M. Clark on March 11, 2011 at 5:50pm — 1 Comment

The Talent Driven Firm

Manufacturing firms identify talent as one of the top issues impacting their competitiveness.  Knowledge and skills development is often done through education and training programs.  Today’s firms acknowledge a need for individual workers to gain knowledge and skills within and across firms through social and professional networks and through experimentation and innovation.  This drives the next generation of research and development employees. 

The primary…

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Added by Walker Jackson on March 11, 2011 at 5:43pm — No Comments

Canary In A Coal Mine

 

Life for an actual canary in a coal mine could be described as short but meaningful, although maybe not from PETA’s perspective. Early coal mines did not have ventilation systems, so miners would bring a canary in a birdcage into new coal seams. Why?  Because canaries are especially sensitive to…

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Added by Rick Battye on March 11, 2011 at 12:09pm — No Comments

Thinking Positive- Insights from the ASQ LSS Conference

Our group just returned from the 2011 ASQ Lean & Six Sigma Conference, where we presented several practical techniques. We covered Tips for Leading From the Middle, Toyota’s Annual Planning Process, and Lean Healthcare Kaizens. In addition to our speaking roles, we had the opportunity to listen as several other practitioners provided excellent information. For the next few blog posts, I’ll give you a summary of some of the interesting presentations I heard.

The first presentation…

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Added by David Hicks on March 8, 2011 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

Tool & Waste Matrix

Received this from Mercedes Benz as part of their Lean & Continuous Improvement Training.  Thought is was an interesting way to correlate the Lean tools and manufacturing wastes - Hank…

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Added by Hank Czarnecki on March 7, 2011 at 11:52am — No Comments

The Unemployed Need Not Apply

Recently, one of my students asked me if it was illegal to exclude the unemployed from applying to job postings. Having never previously heard of this behavior, I asked her why she was asking. She said that a friend of hers had been unemployed for a few months now and was looking for work. In at least two cases, but maybe more, he was specifically informed that he was not eligible to apply for the job because he was currently unemployed. This was an interesting dilemma, so I told her I would…

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Added by Brian Flynn on March 7, 2011 at 5:00am — No Comments

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