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Trusted Oil Analysis Lab Credits Success to Lean Strategy

CLEVELAND Feb. 6, 2020  TestOil, an industry leader in oil analysis, credits its rapid growth and outstanding reputation to its disciplined Lean strategy initiative.
The Lean methodology, about continuously improving work processes, purposes and people, is based on three principles:
1. Deliver value from the customers’ perspective.
2. Eliminate anything that doesn’t add value to the offering.
3. Strive for continuous improvement.

TestOil applies Lean to both business and production processes.

President Mary Messuti made the Lean initiative a priority at TestOil. “One of TestOil’s core values is continuous improvement and learning,” she said. “It has always been in our culture.”
                Jill Furgason is TestOil’s Director of Shared Services and Lean Initiatives. “People righty expect everything to be delivered immediately, accurately and at the lowest price,” she said. “So one of the processes we took a look at was how we could quickly and accurately get reports to our customers.”
                Furgason added that, as far as she knows, TestOil is the only oil analysis lab in the area that incorporates Lean.
One of TestOil’s initiatives was instituting Lean’s OEE (overall equipment effectiveness)--to ensure that machines continuously perform at a Best Practice level and that the availability of equipment is consistent with customer needs. To that end, TestOil created an OEE dashboard for six of their most frequently run tests.
                “Based on what we learned, we have been able to design experiments to identify the most frequently occurring issues that have the most impact,” Furgason said. “We wanted to make everything visible so that we could address any outliers quickly.”
                Lean encourages participants to share with one another. Because TestOil is part of a Lean consortium through AME (Association for Manufacturing Excellence), they share with the Lean community. TestOil is willing to share the intellectual concept of the OEE dashboard they developed in house with other organizations.
                “Lean has allowed us to scale easily,” Furgason said. “As we evaluate new test offerings, Lean gives us a systematic approach to investigate new methods and how to quickly get them to market. We are continuously identifying and working on the areas that will provide the most value to our customers.”
                Messuti, Furgason, and TestOil’s Lab Manager, Riley Johns are Lean/Six Sigma Certified. All three are actively working on Black Belt certification.
                “I would definitely encourage other companies to adopt a Lean strategy,” Messuti said. “It’s a daily reality check that is empowering. This drive to improve and experiment creates an energy in our culture that keeps us on the leading edge.”
                With more than 30 years of experience in the oil analysis industry, TestOil focuses exclusively on assisting industrial facilities with reducing maintenance costs and avoiding unexpected downtime through oil analysis program implementation. As industry experts in diagnosing oil-related issues in equipment such as turbines, hydraulics, gearboxes, pumps, compressors and diesel generators, TestOil provides customers with a guarantee of same-day turnaround on all routine testing. With in-house certified training professionals, TestOil offers lubrication and oil analysis training, private onsite training, certification training and exams, and educational webinars. For more information on partnering with TestOil on oil analysis programs or training opportunities visit www.testoil.com.

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