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Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC)

September 2009 Blog Posts (27)


East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) in Opelika, Ala. has partnered with the Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC) at Auburn University to launch a long-term initiative to implement Lean Continuous Improvement throughout the hospital operations.

Dubbed ‘EPIC’ – EAMC Performance Improvement Culture -- EAMC's program represents its commitment to instilling and sustaining a culture of problem solving, standardization and improvement as its standard operating… Continue

Added by Mitch Emmons on September 29, 2009 at 2:01pm — No Comments

ATAC Teaches Training within Industry Course at Benteler Automotive

Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC) held training within industry course at Benteler Automotive during the week of Sept. 21, 2009. ATAC Lean manufacturing specialists Hank Czarnecki and Dave Devore led the training. The two-hour course instructed seven employees in all fields including human resources on how to effectively communicate and instruct other employees.

The course broke employees’ tasks down step-by-step to simplify jobs, unify instructions by supervisors and… Continue

Added by Kati Jones on September 28, 2009 at 6:58pm — No Comments

Learning about ATAC with Henry Burdg

Auburn Technical Assistance Center is one of the programs that gives Auburn University its outstanding reputation outside of academics. A company would contact ATAC for a number of reasons. One reason an organization may use ATAC is because it has an idea or method it would like tested or researched. The company knows that by working with ATAC, they will be able to utilize ATAC’s resources and contacts to further the development of a certain project or technique.

Other reasons… Continue

Added by Kaitlin Collart Duffy on September 28, 2009 at 5:47pm — No Comments

Training for Benteler Automotive Corps.

As a company that bases one of its successes on the efficiency of its employees, Benteler Automotive Corp. took the challenge of becoming more efficient with on-the-job training.

On a manufacturing floor, proper on-the-job training doesn’t just make production more efficient, it also improves safety. As a manufacture of suspension components for BMW and Mercedes, there are specific safety precautions, essential to job training, that need to take place on a daily… Continue

Added by Margie on September 28, 2009 at 5:30pm — No Comments

If you could read mechanical prints, would it help you do your job better?

Are you embarrassed to admit that you can’t read mechanical prints? I have been teaching print reading for 5 years and most of my students knew absolutely zero about mechanical print reading in the beginning. I have taught students to read and understand prints that did not have any technical background at all. I have taught clerks, mechanics, machinist, supervisors and operators.

Teaching individuals to read prints is similar to teaching a person to do a job. One part of print… Continue

Added by John David Hayes on September 28, 2009 at 3:02pm — No Comments

Coach Comm is Coached by ATAC Team

Teaching another person a job or method. Improving a job or method. Dealing with other employees.

These are factors that are discussed in the Training Within Industry (TWI) four-component program that is taught by the Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC).

The TWI program has seen proven results in the manufacturing, medical services, hotel and restaurant and construction industries, with a growing number of companies investing in these programs to train their… Continue

Added by Kelsey Chandler on September 28, 2009 at 3:00pm — No Comments

12 Questions for Leader Standardized Work

Many leaders have heard the buzzword, read the book, picked up a pad and pen and headed out to the gemba to go see. Leader standard work is becoming a standard component of lean implementations everywhere. In essence it has always been a part, under un-buzzy names such as daily management and genba kanri. Leader standard work as a phrase seems to have some more staying power. In substance, leader standard work is all about sustainability and accountability built into the practice of daily,… Continue

Added by Hank Czarnecki on September 24, 2009 at 6:36am — No Comments

Waiting is Wasting: Helen Goldman and her Experience with Lean Training

A small pink pig on the side of her desk helps Helen Goldman, coordinator of catalog operations at the Ralph Brown Draughon Library, handle problems and eliminate waste throughout the day.

Goldman and other library staff members underwent Lean training from Auburn Technical Assistance Center in October 2008. The training was a 3-day Kaizen event lead by ATAC trainers Rick Battye and Terri Lawrence.

Goldman said the training centered on the word downtime. The letters in… Continue

Added by Amanda M McCoy on September 22, 2009 at 8:00pm — No Comments

LEANing Towards Improvement

Practice what you preach. Terri Lawrence, a LEAN training specialist at the Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC), practices what she preaches by applying learned LEAN tools and techniques to her everyday life. “The LEAN program is a continuous improvement methodology, which basically helps companies strive for perfection,” said Lawrence. “I believe in this program and live it by using it at work and at home.”

ATAC, Auburn University’s affiliate of the Alabama Technology Network… Continue

Added by Kelsey Chandler on September 21, 2009 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Work Experience

Work Experience

Do you have 20 years experience or 1 year experience 20 times?

What is it like to work in a process where you would describe your work experience as 1 year experience 20 times? This would mean that you face the same problems over and over again each day or each week. So part of your day is devoted to working on the same old problems. No one works to find the root cause and really solve the problem so that it does not occur again. Typically, problems are… Continue

Added by John David Hayes on September 18, 2009 at 1:48pm — No Comments

TPM means Total Process Management

TPM has traditionally meant either Total Preventative Maintenance, Total Productive Maintenance, or Total Predictive Maintenance. TPM should equal quality which equals TOTAL PROCESS MANAGEMENT! Now, Total Process Management means quality but Quality of What? 1. Quality of Equipment? YES, 2.Quality of Materials? Yes, 3.Quality of Method? Yes and 4.Quality of The Team member? Yes Now, does the traditional definition of TPM Still Apply? TPM is a process that maximizes the productivity of equipment… Continue

Added by Hank Czarnecki on September 16, 2009 at 10:15pm — No Comments

Lean for the Library

Lean for the Library

Through the years, Auburn Technical Assistance Center has been helping companies become more efficient at what they do; however, there is still a first for everything.

The Ralph Brown Draughon Library has enlisted the services of ATAC as the first organization on campus to institute lean training.

“We heard that hospitals were using the lean program to improve their processes in order to better serve their patients,” said Dr. Bonnie MacEwan, dean… Continue

Added by Margie on September 16, 2009 at 7:00pm — No Comments

That's Strange!

That’s Strange

“It has been said that scientific discovery is announced, not with “eureka!”, but with “that’s strange.” 1

How do you know that something is “strange?” The best way is to have systems that make your standardized work visually apparent. We need to be able to know what “should be” so we can tell “as is.”

I heard one standard for visual systems described as “one-eyed man on a galloping horse.” If a one-eyed man couldn’t tell the condition of… Continue

Added by David Hicks on September 16, 2009 at 6:30am — No Comments

Technical Assistance to Small Companies In The Wiregrass

Recently (September 3rd), Mike Cunningham and I drove to Ozark, AL to meet with the Wiregrass Incubator Alliance. First, some background -- Mike is a new MBA student at Auburn University. He moved to our area from Washington, DC after completing an apartment project. Mike has over twenty years of commercial construction experience with eighteen years of construction project management experience. He comes to ATAC through the College of Business MBA Graduate Assistance program and will spend, at… Continue

Added by Walker Jackson on September 15, 2009 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Beliefs, Values, and Behaviors

Beliefs, Values, and Behaviors

We all come into this world as blank slates, waiting to be shaped by our surroundings. As we grow, we develop beliefs about the world and our place in it. Some of those beliefs are religious, some social, some scientific, etc. Beliefs manifest themselves in what we value. Our values then act to shape our behaviors.

Companies develop their own set of beliefs, often without even knowing it. These beliefs are acted out as behaviors by employees,… Continue

Added by David Hicks on September 14, 2009 at 7:30am — No Comments

LEAN: Why Some Succeed and Others Fail

Toyota's growing market share and profit reports run counter to those of what's left of the Big Three, even though they each run their own version of the Toyota Production System (TPS, also called Lean). Every industry includes vibrant companies glowing from their success with Lean, and other members that have decided they just can't get good results from Lean. So why does Lean seem to revitalize some organizations and stultify others?

TPS is an attitude, a philosophy, an ingrained… Continue

Added by Hank Czarnecki on September 12, 2009 at 8:00pm — No Comments

A3 Comment

There is a renewed interest in the Deming cycle "Plan-Do-Check-Act" and the basic quality tools associated. This is due in part to the tremendous interest in "A3's". Unfortunately many people are missing the point of A3 report writing. They see it as strictly a communication device and not as a problem solving, process improvement, and even a management tool. The true benefit to crafting A3's is not in the single page document that typically results, but in the process of creating it

Added by Hank Czarnecki on September 12, 2009 at 5:20am — 1 Comment

Alabama Manufacturing

County Business Patterns for 2007 (most current data) indicates 4,925 manufacturing establishments in Alabama. One little known fact is that the majority of establishments (4,822 / 98%) are classified as small- to medium-sized, <500 employees.

We often think of Alabama manufacturing in terms of the "big guys"...Honda, Boeing, ACIPCO, Mercedes-Benz, US Steel, Hyundai, etc. These establishments are vitally important to the… Continue

Added by Henry Burdg on September 10, 2009 at 9:48am — No Comments

What did Socrates Know?

Are you familiar with the Socratic Method? Do your actions indicate that you've chosen to relegate it to history rather than utilize its power? Is it:

you're too impatient to allow true understanding by others?

you succumb to pressure to "just give me the answer"?

you feel that if you know an answer you should tell it to those who don't?

you feel that, due to position, you're supposed to know and must assure people that you do?

you believe your answer is THE… Continue

Added by Hank Czarnecki on September 7, 2009 at 8:28pm — No Comments

Wizard of Oz Syndrome

As the ATAC team travels around the state assisting companies with Lean implementation, a common theme emerges. Leaders fail to see the true nature of their challenge, saying “We’ve always done it like that”.

Digging into the dirty details is difficult work. Taking the time to do process capability studies, process FMEA’s (failure mode effects… Continue

Added by David Hicks on September 7, 2009 at 1:08pm — No Comments

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