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In response to requests from its clients in manufacturing and process industries, Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) has added lean implementation services to its consulting and services offerings.
A professional engineering firm with more than 30 years of experience, LCE remains at the forefront of establishing reliability excellence as the preferred approach for companies seeking to improve their performance. LCE’s “Powered by Rx” methodologies are inclusive of critical lean concepts and tools.
Bob Fei, LCE’s president, shares: “Launching a lean services group is a natural addition to our core reliability consulting practice. Lean concepts and principles have always been core to our reliability excellence implementation methodologies.”
“Over the past several years there’s been a pull from our customers to provide support and subject matter expertise for their lean implementation activities,” explains Mark Ruby, senior vice president of LCE’s Reliability Consulting Group (RCG). “In response to this demand, we’ve formalized our approach to lean by creating the LCE Lean Implementation Model and have also added additional subject matter expert resources to support the increased demand.”
The Toyota Production System recognizes that operational stability is foundational to an efficient and effective production system. “LCE’s core competencies of reliability engineering and maintenance best practices deliver that critical stability,” Ruby points out. “Another key differentiator in the LCE approach is our expertise in change management. All RCG consultants are certified change management professionals.”
The LCE Lean Implementation Model
The LCE Lean Implementation Model is based upon four associated phases. While there is no “right answer” on which concepts should be implemented first, the LCE model recognizes that operational stability is foundational to successfully creating flow and establishing pull and therefore provides a general progression of implementation steps with stability as the first priority.
Click here to see a video explaining LCE’s Lean Implementation Model.
The progression from left to right begins with observing, organizing and evaluating. This phase is critical for establishing a business case and setting clear direction. It typically begins with an educational component and some level of assessment. Strategy deployment and effective leadership follows and is supported by a robust change management plan.
Once a shared vision and a method for managing change have been established, the model progresses to the next phase of developing, implementing and improving. This phase begins with a value stream mapping exercise that helps focus problem solving while establishing which key lean concepts are critical for developing a path forward. Implementation activities are both system and process-based and can deliver immediate bottom-line results. As operational stability improves the stage is set for progression through the following phases of connecting supply and connecting demand. These stages focus on material flow, JIT and production-leveling concepts.
Throughout the process the model focuses on developing effective leaders with a clear vision who create, engage and lead a highly motivated and involved workforce through the transformation. Over time, a culture of continuous improvement evolves, producing sustainability.
About Life Cycle Engineering
Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) provides consulting, engineering, applied technology and education solutions that deliver lasting results for private industry, the Department of Defense and other government organizations. Founded in 1976, LCE is headquartered in Charleston, S.C., with offices across North America and experience around the globe. www.LCE.com