Lean Process Improvement with Noah Goellner

Episode 171 | Challenges: Process

Guests: Noah Goellner


On this week’s episode of MakingChips, guest Noah Goellner talks about lean process improvement for manufacturers. Noah is the Vice President of Continuous Improvement for Hennig Inc. He is also a lean expert with who presents lean practices in his role at Hennig and as a member of the board of directors of QRM. During this conversation with Jim and Jason, Noah shares why focusing on lean process improvement is important for manufacturers and how it can help transform their companies.

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Why do manufacturers need to focus on lean process improvement

Manufactures should devote time to integrating lean into their companies for many reasons. There are cost saving benefits, improvement of throughput, better problem-solving skills and employee development and much more. Failure to have a lean process can put you behind the competition Noah says, “You can’t improve without changing and you can’t change without improving unless you are going the wrong way.” Listen as Noah explains the benefits of lean process improvement during this podcast.


How lean flows value to the customer

Success doesn’t begin on the shop floor. Most of what determines success happens upstream before the work ever reaches a machine. Quality engineering, supply chain, and employee development all determine whether or not your company can serve your customers well. Lean process improvement is all about flowing value to the customer by eliminating waste or white space, increasing efficiency and consistently improving in all areas of the business. Listen as Noah Goellner shares more ways that lean flows value to the customer.


How can you start implementing lean into your company?

As with any new process implementation, the key is to take the first step. You don’t have to wait until you have everything figured out. And you don’t have to do everything at once. Consider your pain points and areas of inefficiency and start with one challenge. Noah Goellner talks about taking a Kata approach to solving problems. He encourages manufacturing leaders to avoid the shotgun approach and instead take a focused approach to implement lean.


Lean process improvement over the natural approach

Manufacturing leaders can fall into the habit of operating their companies under natural or organic processes and expectations. However, growth and improvement must be intentional. Noah explains that taking the natural approach allows you to work in your areas of strength while your weaknesses remain unaddressed. Lean process improvement can be an effective agent of change, especially in the areas of weakness. As you identify the challenges within the business, you can then start to implement strategies to change for the benefit of the company and the customers you serve. Hear all about that and more on this episode of MakingChips.


Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • Manufacturing News: Manufacturing’s mixed messages aren’t helping to close the skills gap.
  • Why do small machine shop owners need to devote time to implementing lean into their businesses?
  • How Noah Goellner defines lean and how it helps companies provide value to the customer.
  • Real-world practices for implementing lean into your manufacturing business.
  • How to work backward through the manufacturing process to set expectations and evaluate process to achieve those requirements.
  • What is Kata and how does it help with problem-solving?
  • Noah Goellner shares some stories of success for companies have implemented lean processes.
  • What is the best reason for implementing a process rather than allowing it to happen naturally?


Tools & Takeaways

This Week’s Superstar Guest

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