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Zachary White on Simple Standard Work

2 minutes, 29 seconds read

Zachary White has a unique perspective of seeing how a manufacturing company operates from the bare basics, pushing a broom to deploying the most sophisticated Industry 4.0 technology. This makes him not only very valuable to his clients, but also a great pleasure to talk to. His sincere commitment to making companies successful comes through as he tells stories of past engagements. In this episode of the Lean Frontline, Zach reveals what an ideal collaborative culture looks like and why simple standard work always wins.

Zach credits much of his knowledge to the start he got at Medtronic and their commitment to operational excellence.

“The unique piece that they had that I still look back and wish I could capture in a bottle is that they live their processes every single day, and every single operator on the floor has their work instruction document in front of them while they’re tackling every single medical device that they’re building. And if there is something that could be done better, then they immediately initiate a change order. It’s part of their culture.”

It is rare to find a company where each and every operator takes full ownership of their processes. This creates a unique, collaborative culture that can’t be replicated.

One story that really shows Zach’s ability to see the big picture is how he was able to help an organization by investing in a very simple process solution, rather than investing in a new shiny technology.

“There was a conversation that I had where the company owner was actually very relieved to hear, much to the dismay of the operations manager, that they didn’t need a machine for nearly $40,000. The owner was amazed that they could accomplish all they needed but by putting tape on the floor and starting to do things a little differently.”

This highlights that investments should be made in people and processes rather than blindly investing in new technology.

Zach makes it sound simple. “It’s all about standard work, about the procedures and work instructions, and living those every day.”

As we all know, unfortunately sometimes the most simple advice is the hardest to follow and maintain. What can help is to clearly outline the processes, tasks, and goals for each day. This helps your operators keep in check with the standards and provides a baseline reference.

About Zachary White:

Zachary White is a representative for manufacturers and an advocate for Customers. He currently works with the American Machining Efficiency Consultants (AMEC) to provide added value to manufacturers by helping them complete their Industry 4.0 transformations. Through professional consultation and evaluation, he helps companies create the most profitable roadmap to a more robust process. Zach engages customers to help them implement solutions in the right order using the best practice to fit their unique process and achieve their unique goals.

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