Lean for Food with Workplace Language Issues
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Idaho companies are stepping up to take advantage of a TechHelp's Lean Manufacturing for Food Processors with Lean English Essentials (LEE) program that helps food processing companies implement Lean manufacturing practices on the plant floor and advance the language and cultural skills of workers.
|The LEE program is designed specifically for the food industry and is based on TechHelp’s successful approach to implementing the principles of Lean Manufacturing.
Through classroom training, hands-on food production simulations and shop-floor exercises, TechHelp Lean practitioners teach workers how to recognize and eliminate the eight types of manufacturing waste. Specially trained English language instructors work with TechHelp specialists to help non-native English speakers master Lean terminology and help native speakers address workplace cultural issues.
Great American Appetizers of Nampa, Idaho implemented the program in 2007 and is experiencing a host of benefits.
||At left, TechHelp specialists lead a group of food processing employees through a Lean for food simulation exercise. TechHelp can teach Lean in a simulated workshop setting or in the on the shop floor. The ultimate goal is to implement Lean throughout a plant and generate bottom line results.
Idaho food processing companies that have implemented Lean report:
30% productivity increase
50% improvement in floor space utilization
90% work-in-process reduction
50% quality improvement
90% lead time reduction
Improved employee morale and retention due to Lean's focus on employee empowerment
Improved customer service due to Lean's focus on creating customer value
Improved safety due to Lean's focus on "visual workplace" cues and standardized work practices
Note - Benefits reported by Idaho manufacturers
Creating a visual workplace through the discipline of 5S is a key element of a Lean transformation that can create a safe, efficient and orderly work environment. The outline of a ladder at right is a simple example of how creating a visual workplace gives workers intuitive cues that transcend language.
What’s Unique About Adopting Lean in the Food Industry?
- Many processors face cultural and language barriers to productivity improvement.
- Processors may work with perishable foods that require special handling.
- Many food processors combine continuous flow and batch systems that add complexity.
- Food safety and quality must be considered when implementing Lean.
Lean for Food LEE Program Overview
- Initial company assessment
- Selection and training of bilingual Lean Champion
- Lean English Essentials and cultural training for workforce
- Lean Manufacturing for Food Processors training and implementation
- Value Stream Mapping exercise with core team to identify areas of waste and opportunities to eliminate waste
Company Characteristics and Requirements:
- Value added processor
- Language and cultural issues in workplace
- Management commitment to Lean transformation and language/cultual training for workers
- Commit to 6+ month project time line
- Commit to development of bilingual Lean Champion
- Document ROI, training hours, and financial impact
For additional information regarding TechHelp's Lean for Food Program, contact your TechHelp Manufacturing Specialist
Other TechHelp Lean Programs include: