Posted by: productivityinc | November 6, 2012

Benchmarking…Key to Success?

Is Benchmarking A Key Tool for Lean Success?

Yes!

One of the keys to facilitating improvement is to continually benchmark your Lean progress against others on the Lean journey.  It is a powerful way to get feedback on your initiative and new ideas from individuals with fresh eyes and different perspectives.

I often accompany groups on benchmarking tours and it continually reinforces the value hosting plant tours can have for the hosting organization. When organizations open their doors to showcase their lean systems, opportunities for further improvements are always uncovered.  Why, because outside visitors don’t have the biases or cultural constraints that often hamper internal associates.

The key to taking advantage of plant tours is to host them on a regular basis.  Hosting tours regularly has an additional benefit for the host — it turns shop floor employees into teachers.   Teachers must learn before they can teach; through the tour preparation process the Lean techniques and culture are firmly implanted in those that act as guides.  The benefit of this is returned to the host organization long after the touring group has returned home.

So consider adding tour host to your improvement techniques.  You never know, the next big improvement breakthrough may literally walk through your door!

If you would like to find out how other organizations are managing tours on a regular basis, give me a call.  I’ll be happy to provide you with details on some innovative programs.

Eric Whitley, Sr. Management Consultant – ewhitley@productivityinc.com


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