Saturday, December 3, 2011

Focus and Leverage Part 62

As promised, here is the first part of Chapter 1, Joe Pecci’s arrival at his new job.  What Joe finds is not atypical of so many improvement initiatives found in the world today.  This is the story of a new way….a different approach, if you will, that if followed will result in significant bottom line improvement.

Bob and Bruce

CHAPTER 1 Part 1 for Epiphanized©

A book by Bob Sproull and Bruce Nelson


“I sure am glad I’m finished with my ‘check in’ through Human Resources so I can finally get to work and meet the people I’ll be working with,” thought Joe.  “I’ve been anticipating this new job for the last month, and I hope it goes better than my first half-day. 

“I mean when I checked in this morning through Human Resources,” he thought to himself, “I never imagined I would have spent most of my time just sitting and waiting to fill out my next batch of paperwork or waiting thirty minutes to have my photo taken for my badge. I certainly hope that there is a lot less waste and better flow in their manufacturing area than there is in this transactional area.”

Joe Pecci (pronounced PeeCee) had been hired as the new Manager of the Office of  Continuous Improvement (CI) at Barton Enterprises. Joe brought a wealth of experience to Barton Enterprises and, as he would soon learn, he’d need to dig deep into his experience and know-how to help turn Barton into something better than it was.

Barton Enterprises, located in Waterford, Mississippi, was a multimillion dollar producer of flexible fuel tanks for the aviation industry and had actually fared pretty well in this dreadful economy, at least compared to many other companies.  Of course any industry that was directly connected with the U. S Department of Defense had a leg up on industries that weren’t.  We all know how easily money got appropriated and distributed from the federal government, and Barton received their fare share of stimulus dollars.  Barton had been around for about fifty years, and just by driving through their manufacturing complex Joe noticed that the buildings appeared old and somewhat dilapidated.  Joe remembered from his interview that the construction of these fuel tanks was an extremely manually intensive process, and he saw very little evidence of any Lean or Six Sigma activities within the facility he toured, but he’d reserve judgment until he made more observations.

When Joe finally arrived at the building he’d be calling home, he saw that all of the parking spaces were filled, so he ended up having to park and walk a considerable distance.  Joe finally found the door he was supposed to enter and walked up two flights of stairs to a very dimly lit hallway.  There were no signs to indicate which way to turn to go to the CI office, so he guessed which direction to go and, of course, he guessed wrong.  When he finally arrived there, he found four people, his apparent co-workers, huddled together in a rather heated discussion. No one noticed Joe entering the office. He paused and listened, and discovered that the discussion was centered around how they were going to calculate and report required quarterly cost savings dollars to the federal government.  Apparently because Barton received stimulus money, there was a requirement to report dollar savings each quarter.

Joe cleared his throat to get their attention, and the discussion stopped.  A rather petite and very attractive woman asked, “Can I help you?”

In our next posting, Joe discovers one of the issues facing Barton and many other companies……their approach to continuous improvement project selection and interpretation/calculation of cost savings.

Bob and Bruce

No comments: