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Continuous Improvement Newswire Stories

Gilcrest/Jewett Finds Success in Bringing Lean to Lumber

A 165-year-old Des Moines lumber company has gained new efficiencies, better customer service, and a tangible reduction in injuries after its employees embraced continuous improvement. Rick Kyser, operations manager at Gilcrest/Jewett Lumber Company, said company leaders have seen a massive cultural shift since the lumberyard took its first steps toward Lean management at the end … Continue reading Gilcrest/Jewett Finds Success in Bringing Lean to Lumber

Thank You for Renewing your ILC Membership

The Iowa Lean Consortium would thank all of our members who have renewed for 2021. We’re extremely grateful for your support and for recognizing the value we provide.

Act Now: Last Chance to Renew your ILC Membership!

Iowa Lean Consortium members need to act before January 15 to renew their memberships for 2021. After that date, membership benefits will begin to be removed for anyone who hasn’t yet renewed.

There’s Still Time to Renew your ILC Membership (or Join Today)!

Membership in the Iowa Lean Consortium is a gift that keeps on giving, with year-round training opportunities in continuous improvement — and now, more choice in how you use your membership. Join today!

ILC Virtual Annual Conference Builds Lean Leaders

Good leadership should be purposely developed in yourself and others by building strong relationships with those on your team, an Iowa-born Army colonel told more than 200 Iowa business leaders in October.

Col. Candice Frost was the keynote speaker for this fall’s first-ever Annual Virtual Conference by the Iowa Lean Consortium. The event, customarily the largest single educational event put on by the ILC, was held online in 2020 for the first time due to COVID-19.

Mary Greeley Medical Center Uses Lean as Bridge to Baldrige

Mary Greeley Medical Center capped a 10-year journey in 2019 when the hospital became Iowa’s first-ever organization to receive the Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award.

It happened, in part, because Mary Greeley used Lean techniques to trim waste from hospital activities and create a more efficient, more patient-centered environment.

Reminder: It’s Time to Renew your ILC Membership!

The Iowa Lean Consortium announced changes to its membership model in mid-September. The new model is intended to give your organization more choice when it comes to your ILC membership. All the details were explained in an email that was sent around September 18 to the contacts we have listed for ILC organizational members. If you missed that email, you can read the contents here.

Current members need to review the new model and complete a new application for 2021.  You can choose to pay via invoice or credit card during the application process. Renewals are due by January 15, but we request that you renew now so that we can effectively onboard everyone before the new year begins.

Gemba Goes Virtual as Stellar Response to COVID-19

A Garner-based maker of hydraulic truck equipment has found an unexpected benefit to pandemic-imposed limitations on its factories – by taking a valuable Lean management tool online. Brad Tiedemann, manufacturing engineer manager at Stellar Industries, said the company discovered more efficiency and smoother problem solving after COVID-19 restrictions forced Stellar to create an alternative to … Continue reading Gemba Goes Virtual as Stellar Response to COVID-19

Register now for ILC Virtual Annual Conference

Attention continuous improvement practitioners!

Get ready to take advantage of another quality, daylong learning and networking opportunity, this time without leaving your desk.

Registration is now open for the Iowa Lean Consortium’s Annual Virtual Conference – the ILC’s first attempt at taking its popular yearly educational conference and reformatting it for cyberspace.

Sponsorships Now Available for ILC Virtual Annual Conference

Notice: Here is a perfect opportunity to get your organization’s name and logo in front of hundreds of Lean practitioners.

The Iowa Lean Consortium is searching for companies to sponsor this fall’s Virtual Annual Conference. This is a great opportunity to place your brand in front of continuous improvement professionals who are dedicated to building Lean cultures in their organizations.

ILC Moving to a Virtual Annual Conference this Fall

This is a complicated world we’re living in, but Lean practices require us to say it simply:

The ILC Annual Conference that was scheduled to take place October 27-29 in Des Moines has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, we will deliver a Virtual Annual Conference online on October 28.

ILC Virtual Lean Government Exchange is June 2

The Iowa Lean Consortium’s annual event focusing on continuous improvement in government is moving online.

Lean management techniques have the power to transform a variety of industries, but the process can face different obstacles depending on the industry involved. Government and nonprofit entities face unique challenges within their Lean journeys. The ILC created this event several years ago as a way to help you overcome them.

Pandemic Places Lean Coffees Online

It’s the same Lean Coffee conversation you’re used to, only a lot closer to your kitchen.

Last month, as part of the CIRAS response to COVID-19, the Iowa Lean Consortium was forced to cancel all in-person Lean Coffee events through the end of July. Instead, we’ve moved the discussions online to offer a robust virtual forum for anyone interested in sharing ideas and personal experiences with Lean.

ILC Seeking Presenters for Annual Conference

We’re looking for a few good Lean stories.

The CIRAS Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC) is pleased to issue a call for presentations for our 2020 Annual Conference to be held October 27-29 in Des Moines. This conference is the ILC’s largest annual gathering, and we’re pleased to hold it once again as part of our continuing effort to promote the exchange of information and resources among continuous improvement professionals.

ILC Mentors Help Put Lean Training into Practice

John Magnussen, continuous improvement manager for Pella Corporation, likes to compare Lean management techniques to riding a bicycle: getting trained is great; but at some point, you just have to grab the handlebars and go.

“You didn’t learn to ride a bike by reading a book,” Magnussen said. “You went out, and you rode a bike! You can read and train all you want, but until you go and actually practice it, you’re not going to know.”

ILC to Tour Kentucky Toyota in May

Sometimes, you just want to see for yourself.

If you’ve ever had a moment of curiosity about how Lean is practiced at the company that helped create it, then CIRAS has a trip that should fan the flames of your interest.

Avoid the Rush! Renew your ILC Membership!

Now that our Annual Conference has ended, it’s time to being planning for next year:   It’s almost time to renew your Iowa Lean Consortium Membership! 

Cambridge Investment Group Saves Money via Continuous Improvement

A Fairfield financial solutions firm estimates that the company saved more than $1 million in 2018 by using continuous improvement techniques to shave time and lost effort off its work.

Cambridge Investment Group Inc. is a privately controlled financial solutions firm that provides a broad range of choices regarding financial solutions to more than 3,000 independent financial advisors around the country, as well as their hundreds of thousands of clients.

ILC Mentors Help Put Lean Training into Practice

John Magnussen, continuous improvement manager for Pella Corporation, likes to compare Lean management techniques to riding a bicycle: getting trained is great; but at some point, you just have to grab the handlebars and go.
“You didn’t learn to ride a bike by reading a book,” Magnussen said. “You went out, and you rode a bike! You can read and train all you want, but until you go and actually practice it, you’re not going to know.”
But wouldn’t be nice to have someone running beside you as you learned?

ILC’s 2019 Annual Conference is October 29-31

Are you anxious for inspiration? Excited to learn more about techniques that will help your company continuously improve and grow? Then you need to make plans to be in West Des Moines at the end of October.

HNI Helps Improve Muscatine Government, Hospital by Spreading Lean

America’s health care industry was running wild in 2008. Costs were out of control, and Trinity Hospital in Muscatine was struggling to keep up. The small institution lost $6.8 million that year, and it ultimately sought financial stability in a merger with the Iowa Health System.

Trinity’s new corporate parent (now known as UnityPoint Health) spent the next few years finding a myriad of new back-office efficiencies to save money, said Angela Johnson, current executive director of the hospital’s Muscatine campus. But by 2012, it nevertheless had become clear that broader change was still needed in Muscatine.

Genesis Safety Group sees Benefits of Lean Safety

A Davenport maker of robotic systems is rethinking how material flows through its factory after participants in a spring Lean Safety event outlined a list of ways that the company could improve.

ILC’s Lean Healthcare Exchange – a Cavalcade of Continuous Improvement

America’s healthcare industry is a challenging, complicated, and fascinating laboratory where talented people are making regular gains through the benefits of continuous improvement. Want to learn more about it?

The Iowa Lean Consortium hopes to share some of the stories behind those gains next month when it hosts the ILC’s 2nd Annual Lean Healthcare Exchange on August 29 in Coralville.

It All Started Almost a Year Ago…

Happy Birthday to us!

The end of June will mark the Iowa Lean Consortium’s first full year as a part of CIRAS, and we just wanted to give you plenty of warning so you can commemorate that anniversary properly. {Perhaps by attending one of the many Lean Coffee events across Iowa?)

Learn with Us: How to Develop and Coach Problem Solvers

Back by popular demand, author and Lean expert Jamie V. Parker is coming to Iowa in June for two events designed to help Iowa businesses take continuous improvement to the next level.

Lean Coffees – Conversations for Learning and Creativity

Spring is a time of new beginnings – both for you and for your business.

Are you looking for new ideas or a new way to get excited about continuously improving your company? Would you like to take part in regular conversations and share ideas with others about the benefits of Lean?

Learning Opportunities Abound at ILC Events

The nice thing about Iowa Lean Consortium events, according to Sara Richards, is that the useful tips are all around you.

Richards, a continuous improvement manager at Vermeer in Pella, attended two ILC events last year, including a May workshop in Omaha where facilitators Tracey and Ernie Richardson helped participants simulate a “real-life, hands-on” approach to continuous improvement.

Cleaning Cobot is Coming to Miracle Tool America

Dozens of times each day, the skilled workers at Miracle Tools America in Davenport must stop what they’re doing and clean. Making drill bits can be a dirty business, and the tiny water channels that are used to keep tools cool have a tendency to get clogged.

Hence, the company decided to begin experimenting with a new type of employee – one that wouldn’t mind the monotony.

One who is made of metal.

Because You Know We’re Worth It: ILC Memberships are due

Attention: Iowa Lean Consortium members! The renewal process for ILC memberships will operate differently this year. 

Good Managers Solve Problems for People, Speaker tells CEOs at ILC Power Breakfast

Maintaining competitive advantage in a growing business is a lot like finding yourself in a leaky rowboat 10 miles from shore, Jim Lancaster told members and guests of the Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC).

Business leaders tend to focus most of their energy on putting out the daily fires, Lancaster said. But a company can easily stagnate if no one works to push the operation toward a distant goal.

Iowa Lean Consortium 2018 Fall Conference – Oct. 23-25

Are you anxious for inspiration? Excited to learn more about techniques that will help your company continuously improve and grow?

CIRAS suggests you make plans to attend the 2018 Fall Conference of the Iowa Lean Consortium. More than 375 Lean and learning-minded professionals are expected to wend their way to a West Des Moines hotel next month for a chance to tour successful companies, learn from innovative speakers, and network with their counterparts from around the state.