Keynote speakers at the ‘Lean in Business’ seminar (from left): Alan Keogh, plant manager, Molex Ireland; Gene Leonard, managing director, LBS Partners; Richard Keegan, manager, competitiveness department, Enterprise Ireland; Peter Willmott, Willmott Solutions Ltd; Helen Downes, chief executive, Shannon Chamber; Breda O’Toole, head of departments, business development and client networking, IDA; Elaine Daly, partner and head of business consulting, Grant Thornton; Oliver McCarthy, operations manager, Tekelek Europe Ltd; and Neil Enright, lean six sigma black belt at Molex Ireland.
Attendees at a recent LEAN seminar organised by Shannon Chamber Skillnet in association with Enterprise Ireland and LBS Partners, and hosted by Molex Ireland, heard that LEAN in business, which improves the flow of value through processes; identifies and eliminates non value-added steps in each process, is not one quick fix; it’s a long, continuous process that requires involvement from all team members.
Plant manager at Molex, Alan Keogh, advised anyone seeking to introduce lean to be clear about the overall goal and get everyone to understand it.
“You should be certain of the outcome before you start on the process but don’t try to figure out how to sustain it for the long term,” he warned.
His colleague Neil Enright, lean six sigma black belt with the company, added: “Lean has helped us to identify and eliminate waste in each of our processes – manufacturing and transitional, and six sigma enables us to identify and react to variances within our processes. Through defining, measuring, analysing, improving and controlling (DMAIC) we adopt a structured approach to our problem solving, and through total productive maintenance (TPM) we get reliability back into our assets.”
Keynote speakers at the seminar also included: Gene Leonard, managing director, LBS Partners; Richard Keegan, manager, competitiveness department, Enterprise Ireland; Peter Willmott, Willmott Solutions Ltd; Breda O’Toole, head of departments, business development and client networking, IDA; Elaine Daly, partner and head of business consulting, Grant Thornton; and Oliver McCarthy, operations manager, Tekelek Europe.
Shannon-based Tekelek Europe has already achieved a saving of €50,000 on one sizable project through adopting lean principles and has succeeded in increasing its efficiency factors through reducing unplanned activity.
IDA and Enterprise Ireland have combined their resources to deliver the State’s partnership approach on LEAN/Green thinking in three ways, through The Lean Start/Plus and Transform programmes, the Competitive Benchmark programme and through the establishment of a world-class National Centre for Advanced Manufacturing to ensure that Ireland has the skills and capacity to lead in global manufacturing. These Lean business offers are applicable to a company’s entire operations, not just manufacturing.
“Lean is for the back office too,” said Grant Thornton’s Elaine Daly. “What is measured, gets done,” she added, urging companies to define, measure, analyse, improve and control every appropriate process.
The half-day seminar was supported by Shannon Chamber Skillnet. Network manager Cillian Griffey said: “We were delighted to organise our first half-day seminar since our launch last September. The feedback following the event has been very encouraging with many attendees now intent on initiating a Lean programme for their organisation.
“Lean is applicable everywhere and that was underlined in the content of the event, and was also evident from the fact that attendees were drawn from different industries. To see how other businesses manage lean projects and day-to-day operations, using visual work management, was hugely beneficial as it is something that a lot of companies in Shannon are working on.”
Shannon Chamber Skillnet is funded by member companies and the Training Networks Programme, an initiative of Skillnets funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills.
Presentations can be downloaded below: