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Excel Embraces 2-Second Lean Culture

Continuous improvement is part of our company’s DNA. At our biannual meeting this past summer, Chief Operating Officer Rod Bollinger discussed implementing Lean concepts at Excel. This vision was not to propose a full-blown implementation of Lean Manufacturing. Toyota® built a global reputation for Lean by transforming automobile manufacturing in the 80s. We have introduced Lean concepts to expand our existing continuous improvement program. These ‘waste-reduction’ concepts will improve our daily operations, and reduce our costs.

The “8 Deadly Wastes” of Lean are:

  • Overproduction
  • Over-processing
  • Motion
  • Waiting
  • Transportation
  • Inventory
  • Rework of Defects
  • Unused Employee Potential

The main idea with our “2-second Lean” program is to figure out “what bugs workers” in their daily operations. With Paul Akers’ 2 Second Lean: How to Grow People and Build a Fun Lean Culture as the guiding textbook, Excel has discovered many ways to “eliminate waste” – making work more enjoyable and productive! According to our COO, “This truly is a bottom-up movement – the employees need to be engaged first in order for company leadership to jump on board. Even though I’m extremely pleased with the creative solutions and results thus far, this is only the tip of the iceberg for what our company is capable of.”

Here are a few examples of how Excel has implemented 2-second Lean:

This first video shows an improvement recognized by our 1st Shift Finishing Team. They created satellite shadow boards, which included frequently used tools. They were wasting time and motion by walking to the centrally-located shadow board to retrieve and return their tools. In many cases, the tool they needed was not available because it was being shared with the entire department – which caused unnecessary waiting.

Solution: Add Satellite stations with duplicate, frequently used, low-cost tools to reduce wasted motion and waiting.

This second video shows an improvement made to the satellite shadow boards, by our 3rd Shift Finishing Team.

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