Lean Management System work at Rebuilding Center

by Jared Davis
Developing the capabilities of people is a key task of a high functioning management system, as well as showing respect for everyone in the organization.  It’s that task that Lean PDX and the Rebuilding Center are transitioning into.  To do that, a manager and veteran employee have been the focus of the past two development sessions, where we have built tools to ‘hold the gains’ and enable the Rebuilding Center’s improvement efforts to continue.
The shop closing checklist developed last session has been experimented with and modified to be an’opening’ checklist, with safety and maintenance of past improvement projects as the primary objectives.  To pair with this checklist, we mocked up a (to be named) board to celebrate the gains, showcase what is being worked on and manage the incoming improvement ideas. Just like the opening checklist, this will go through many iterations, but it will be a vehicle to develop the people and refine the management system.

Holding Gains at Rebuilding Center

Today’s LeanPDX session with the Rebuilding Center jumped off from the momentum generated by the RBC’s warehouse meeting earlier in the week. They did some 5S training on their own and prioritized what they would be working on going forward.

At the top of that list was “Holding Gains”, which means different things to different people – from reducing rework and motion around the warehouse when an material is moved around, to the Standardize and Sustain concepts from 5S, even Leader Standard Work.

This week’s session stared out with how we could begin to really practice the discipline of standardized work, as well as sustain both ongoing operations and the smaller projects that the RBC has done with Lean PDX (see the Welcome Stations and Lumber Yard 5S posts).

This first step in creating this discipline is a standardized “closing procedure” checklist that Steve drafted up today, and will experiment on over his next few shifts.  This will primarily focus on warehouse safety readiness for the following day’s shift, but also ensuring the projects that have been kicked off are being sustained.  It will be backed up by the start of a management system to track the checklist usage and abnormalities that become visible from it (which is where we will pick things up next week).

Great work this week from the emerging Lean Leaders at the Rebuilding Center!

-Jared Davis

The Foundation of Continually Improving

We identified 4 opportunities to close the gap between our current and future state. Last time we worked with the Rebuilding Center staff, 3/14, we got some feedback about how some of their outcomes are improving.

The first opportunity we worked on was titled ‘guest education stations’. If you’ve popped into RBC lately a new signboard greets you with all of the supplies you need to shop; tape measure, pencils, hold tags, tape and other info about RBC. Remarks from Leif, assistant manager, is that guests are using more hold tags and coming to us staff less often with questions. This in turn has freed their capacity to tend to the work that requires their expertise. To sustain these gains, Pete, volunteer coordinator, made up a checklist to be used at the start of the day with a cart to stock the stations. There are many volunteers at RBC in addition to staff, so now staff do not need to manage the stocking – a volunteer does it and has instructions to refer to if they need.

The foundation is in place for the continually improving engine – good outcomes and engaged staff doing their own improvement!