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Iowa Lean Consortium Services for Iowa businesses

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. 

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 advisers around the country, as well as their hundreds of thousands of clients.

Fort Dodge Finds Efficiency, Better Service Through Lean

David Fierke still remembers the 30-year public works employee who looked him in the eye at one of the city of Fort Dodge’s first Lean events in 2009 and asked what Fierke, the then-relatively new city manager, really thought he was going to teach a veteran about filling potholes.

Probably not much, Fierke acknowledged. But after Fort Dodge employees spent several hours that day looking for waste in the city’s pothole-filling process, they nevertheless managed to make it better.

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.

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.

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.

How Lean Works in the Iowa Prison System

So, you think Lean won’t work for you?

What if we showed you how it works behind bars?

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.

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.

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.

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?)

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?

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.

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.

Start your New Year with a Lean Coffee™

A new year means it’s time for a new beginning and new resolutions about how we’d like to improve. Would you like to talk about that? Are you looking to connect with other Lean practitioners and share ideas about continuous improvement? 

If so, we think you should put “attend an ILC Lean coffee” on the top of your 2019 resolutions list. 

Still Time to Renew Your ILC Membership

New years are a time for new beginnings and new resolutions. Perhaps you should take a few moments this holiday season and renew your membership in the Iowa Lean Consortium?

Why Existing Workers Are the Real Answer to Iowa’s Workforce Problem

Iowa is out of people.

Almost every company I talk to, regardless of size, industry, or location, says that finding good people is their number one issue. The few exceptions are expert Lean practitioners—such as members of the Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC)—who tend to look at the issue differently: If every single person in our business was better at seeing, communicating, and solving problems, they ask, wouldn’t it help our workforce needs?

 Leaning Together: Why ILC is Now Part of CIRAS

It’s the dawning of a new era for the Iowa Lean Consortium, and Teresa Hay McMahon is focused on a new world of service.

McMahon, executive director of the ILC since 2015, just finished leading the consortium through a new phase of its evolution. On July 1, the ILC formally moved under the CIRAS umbrella as part of a merger that’s intended to give both entities more resources to achieve their goals.

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