At TestOil, we are big fans of Six Sigma Lean principles—they affect everything we do, including our lab. Most recently, Lean strategy was a key factor in our successful navigation of the COVID-19 situation. As a designated essential business, we were able to remain fully functional during the critical March-July period. With effective IT integration, guided by Lean principles, many of our employees were able to work from home and continuously add value to our organization. Being Lean gave us the opportunity to maintain equilibrium during a period that was very disruptive to many organizations.
As we all transition to a new operational reality, Lean has helped us with scheduling, supply chain logistics and continuously incorporating new safety recommendations as they arise. Ultimately, having a strong Lean culture going into the COVID-19 situation and using Lean principles to guide us through a period of rapid change gave us a major advantage in terms of flexibility and sound decision making.
While we’re at it, we’d like to give a shout out to the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) —which has been a huge help over the years. AME promotes the exchange of knowledge in enterprise excellence. Members come together to explore Lean thinking and other enterprise improvement methods, exchange best practices and network in order to advance their careers and improve the competitiveness and overall value of their organizations.
AME’s power is in the mentoring relationships that take place among members. The association is run by volunteers from business and academia that provide their support, energy and resources from their organizations to help members prosper. Currently there are more than 4,000 members across the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia ranging from executives to senior and middle managers who wish to improve both their organization’s and their personal performance.