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BWA Lean Leadership: To Export Readiness – paves the way for success! 

Above: BWA Lean Trainers, Brad Cairns Quantum Lean & Sepp Gmeiner Lignum Consulting demonstrate key elements of successful morning meetings

Above: BWA Lean Trainers, Brad Cairns Quantum Lean & Sepp Gmeiner Lignum Consulting demonstrate key elements of successful morning meetings

Thursday, August 29th marked an exciting new phase with the first BWA Lean Leadership: To Export Readiness Training Event at EDC’s Kitchener location: EDC Export Growth Hub.

Is leadership a topic that resonates with you and your company? Do you have a struggle with getting new ideas implemented? Are you not sure what methods to employ them? Are you trying to find your footing on beginning a lean journey at your facility? These aren’t uncommon questions, many factories are learning more and more about Lean, but what is keeping them from continuing to move forward?

Foreign markets continue to be an opportunity for Canadian wood companies, particularly the USA. How can your processes be ready for increased volumes from new sales opportunities? It is proven that adopting Lean Manufacturing & Industry 4.0 helps pave the way to success. Europe is ahead of the curve and Canada needs to stay globally competitive.

This brand new training event for Lean Leadership is here to show managers and leaders what it will take to make their factories Lean and sustain a Lean culture among all of their staff. To be successful in new markets an essential element is to have efficient processes. And a key driver of that success comes from adopting lean principles to meet new volume deadlines while achieving manageable lead times for customers.

“If I hit all of these points (referring to a visual aide), I’m sending the right message, and it (the process) will get faster” – Lean Trainer Brad Cairns explains, referring to a synergistic effect of Lean Leadership principles.

The BWA Lean Leadership – To Export Readiness Training Event made sure to teach not only the role of the leader who is leading a lean transformation but also many facets of how to be useful in developing a lean culture – from: powerful morning meetings with real examples and time for Q&A; easy fast ways to create improvements and how staff can get engaged to participate; common mistakes leaders make when trying to foster a lean culture; fundamental principles and why they work to create change; with lots of time to discuss current challenges and ways to address and fix them; and much, much more.

 “It was good to get refocused. We’ve done lean training…we’ve had Brad out to do lean training in our facility, but as a refresher for (lean) leadership, I wish I would have brought the rest of my leadership team to remind them what we’re trying to do” – Steve Dennison, Dennison Homes.

If you have taken the Intro to BWA Lean Road Map – To Export Readiness or the new BWA Lean Leadership – To Export Readiness Training Event make sure you’re taking the right approach to implementing lean and helping your employees be inspired to change and succeed.

Funding is available for training through the Canada Ontario Jobs Grant (COJG) & for companies currently exporting. If you export or are considering exporting – Yves Landry Foundation can also support funding for skills training.

Missed out on this event? Contact the BWA and tell us your interest in running it again. If you’re interested in attending the next BWA Lean Leadership – To Export Readiness Training Event or any other BWA event, you can contact:

Ryan Tabone

Program Coordinator/Advisor
e: [email protected]
Alternatively, register online at www.bluewaterwoodalliance.com

Please stay up to date and check the BWA’s website often for our calendar of events & to find out more about our programs for wood companies that are saving them money, like the BWA Benefit Program

Together we’re strengthening Ontario’s wood manufacturing sector’s future.

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BWA Toyota Plant Tours Recap – Toyota Manufacturing: Success as a process in action.

Take a 3 million square ft. facility, fill it with a constantly moving stream of parts, robots, machines; factor in leadership dedicated to continuous improvement; a workforce dedicated to producing a product of first-rate quality utilizing Lean Manufacturing and what you have is a tour nothing short of memorable and inspiring to witness.

BWA members wander through Toyota Motor Manufacturing Showroom ahead of the motorized tram tour through South Weld and North Assembly two of the most visually impressive shops in Cambridge.

Following up from the BWA Lean Road Map Training Event held back on May 16th in Kitchener, the BWA hosted not one but two Plant Tour Events at the world-class manufacturing facility of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, on May 30th and June 6th.

The plant tour began with a brief seminar of Toyota’s process and system followed up with a tram tour through the entire facility. The guided tour was filled with many details and facts about Toyota’s production including automatic guided robotic vehicles delivering parts to staff; lead times for parts to assemble their cars as low as several hours; a robot 21ft tall they call ‘Godzilla’; a view of one of the largest hydraulic presses in the word. All of this in an immersive 3D work environment.

“It was definitely inspiring to see a place operate with such efficiency and control. Although we were looking from the outside in, we definitely got enough to inspire us to improve our process and plant. The timing of this was perfect because I had attended the lean manufacturing presentation a couple of weeks ago, and then I was able to actually see some of those principals in action. Very valuable time spent today.” – BWA member

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada. (TMMC for short), is located in Cambridge Ontario with its sister plant in Woodstock Ontario. Toyota proudly opens its doors to showcase how it produces the well-known Toyota Rav4 and Lexus RX350.

When asked how they are able to achieve a such a high retention rate of team members, a staff member highlighted the company’s inclusive environment where team members are encouraged to contribute to the continuing success of the company by including them in the continuous improvement process. Team members feel valued that their contributions matter.

The tour provided a unique insight into how the company utilizes Lean Manufacturing and just in time (JIT) principles. It was clearly seen that the company cares and focuses on the 5S principles, 8 deadly wastes and all the fundamentals of lean manufacturing during the tour.

Clear visual cues, cleanliness, efficiency and an effort to always improve were just some of the examples of how Toyota strives to produce the best product they can. With all of its complexity as a large manufacturer, it is fundamentally based ironically on simplicity – always in search for ways to do things better and make production easier for its team members and its systems.

BWA members standing in front of the first ever produced Toyota Corolla in Cambridge. Due to photo restrictions, photography of the tour is restricted to outside sensitive areas.

The BWA hosts plant tours throughout the year with an emphasis on Kaizen (Continuous Improvements). Tour hosts have the benefit of presenting a challenge to the tour attendees and receiving solution-oriented feedback on how to improve processes, systems and address ongoing challenges in a truly collaborative environment.

If you are a wood manufacturer and would like to host a plant tour with the BWA, or if you would like to attend a plant tour and are not a member of the BWA, please contact:

Mike Baker, BWA Executive Director
p: 226-668-5455
e: [email protected] for more information.

Check out the BWA’s events page for ongoing programs and initiatives designed for the wood manufacturing sector of Southwestern Ontario.

The BWA is Southwestern Ontario’s only industry led managed cluster of wood manufacturer facilitating the needs and challenges of wood companies. Want to be connected in the discussion and collaborations? Interested in training and skills development of your workforce? Navigate to our membership registration page here and find out how to get involved: www.bluewaterwoodalliance.com/joinnow

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BWA members movin’ full steam to Lean.

BWA Lean Road Map Training Event packed the room with manufacturers eager to learn.

On January 24th, 2019 the BWA hosted it’s Lean Road Map Training Event at Kitchener’s premier business hub EDC’s Export Growth Hub at Catalyst 137. 

It was as recent as last December the BWA held it’s Lean Training to a packed room of manufacturers. And by popular demand, the event was brought back to train an even deeper reach of manufacturers staff in all areas of their business. Lean thinking focuses on driving down waste in all areas of manufacturing; the seen waste and the unseen waste cannot hide with Lean implementation.

Throughout the event, Lean Trainers Brad Cairnes (Center of Lean Learning) and Sepp Gmeiner (Lignum Consulting), showcased to their audience an interactive presentation on the fundamentals of lean and provided examples of how it benefits their businesses. Brad Cairnes also brought video footage of top performing wood manufacturing facilities showcasing the power of lean thinking.

“This is awesome, bad @ss, whatever you want to call it!” – Staff Member introduced to Lean.

What areas of your business have you not yet considered that have waste? What areas could you tap into to drive down waste? What do you consider waste? Be ready for the next Lean Training announcements to not miss the next opportunity. Stay up to date by subscribing to our mailing list.

BWA members during the full day Lean Road Map Training Event held at EDC’s Export Growth Hub – Catalyst 137, Kitchener.

For those who want to continue the learning experience and focus deeper on their shops, the BWA has worked with Brad, Lynn & Sepp to facilitate such a request. Many companies are moving forward with the next steps of the BWA Lean Program.

To learn more about the BWA Lean Program and more details about this event, please contact Ryan Tabone at Email: [email protected]

2 Second Lean – A fun and free way to get to know the principals of Lean

Paul Akers offers an entertaining and free chance for you to learn about the principals of Lean in his book 2 Second Lean. Available in ebook and audiobook format! Before you follow the link below do you have a book on Lean Training that you’ve enjoyed? Leave the title and author in the comments below.

Click here to visit Paul Akers’s Website and download 2 Second Lean.