Volume 11 Number 11 - November 5, 2013


The Finish Strong® monthly e-newsletter is for business leaders who recognize Operations as a strategic function that creates competitive advantage, profitability and brand loyalty to the marketplace.

These brief articles, list of events, and amended quote will make you think.
Go ahead: test us


Missing fingers, deaths, severe cuts and head injuries. Some of the more significant injuries that occur all too often in manufacturing, these horrific experiences result primarily from (1) lack of a safety culture, and (2) belief of a well-intentioned employee that a shortcut can be done quickly enough violating safety constraints to be done safely. The second cause rarely happens when a true culture of safety exists.

Meeting OSHA requirements, requiring monthly safety training, and having a safety committee are certainly good things, but insufficient to create and maintain a culture of safety.

I hear "we are a family here." If that's true, you will ensure that every employee gets home in the same condition they were in when they left for work. Is everyone in your building looking out for the safety of others? If an individual contributor sees a manager talking on the cell phone while walking through equipment, will s/he stop them? If any employee sees another beginning to do something that is at all unsafe, will they remind them that we are family and we don't want them to get hurt?

I've seen many operations with above industry average safety records, but very few with a TRUE culture of safety. If we pay attention to safety like every person is our family, and constantly reinforce that message at every opportunity, good things seemingly unrelated to safety will happen. Trust. Focus on operating procedures. Customer service.

It's impossible to build supremacy in those desirable attributes without the shared experience of a culture of safety. Do more than the minimum. Be your brother's keeper. And get home safely.


The 5S concept is considered one of the most basic tools of Lean Manufacturing. 5S is an abbreviation for the Americanized translation of Japanese terms. The S's are: Sort (get the stuff we don't need out of here), Set in Order (make things easy to find and easy to put away), Shine (make the appearance obvious), Standardize (so we can repeat and improve) and Sustain (keep this as part of how we operate over time).

While the shop floor and office space are important and practical applications of 5S, the concept brings value much broader than that.

Do you have an ingrained 5S process for your markets and customers? For your suppliers? For your processes? For your priorities? For your offerings?

Over time, all aspects of a business can become cluttered. While you schedule 5S audits for the production arena, be sure to develop and audit 5S processes for the critical aspects of business success as well. Leverage this seemingly simple concept for organizational success.


The Starting Pistol
Eugene Delacroix:
“What moves men of genius, or rather their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.”

The Tape
Rebecca Morgan:
"Learn to see what is missing. Then create it."

If you know a company — customer, supplier, friend, or your own — that could benefit
from improved operations, let us know.

Your best interest is our best interest.


Connect with me on Facebook Follow me on LinkedIn Follow me on Twitter
Copyright 2003-2014 Fulcrum ConsultingWorks, Inc. All rights reserved.
For reprint permission, just give Rebecca a call at 216-486-9570
or e-mail her at [email protected]