After another year together, the Oregon Lean Consortium is now open to new members for 2019.
The Oregon Lean Consortium is a tight-knit group of companies that work together to learn Lean principles and methods, and then apply them to processes in each other’s businesses. Each company engages three people who are trained and serve on improvement events—called “kaizen”—at different sites throughout the year.
These kaizen events (highly focused, rapid improvement activities) involve direct, hands-on changes at the hosting company with a professional facilitator. The team makes rapid changes to immediately reduce waste and help create standard work for a process.
“Participating with the Oregon Lean Consortium we started to ask what would it look like if our business was the best at getting better—and what that would look like to our customers,” said Chris Lee, Eshraghi Nurseries’ Shipping and Inventory Manager. “Interactions with other Consortium members help bridge the gap between Lean concepts and tangible results.”
What is Lean?
Lean is a method for eliminating waste that results in more value to customers, delivered at a lower cost, in a shorter time, with fewer defects and less human effort. The system engages everyone in the organization to continuously improve. “Our highest gains are from the encouraging attitudes Elizabeth and Rick instill in our employees through the seminars and events,” said Lee.
Six companies participate with the Oregon Lean Consortium today: Smith Gardens Aurora, Marion Ag Service, Robinson Nursery, Eshraghi Nursery, JLPN Liners and Weyerhaeuser/Western Regeneration.
Most members leverage the program to develop Lean thinking and leadership capabilities of their staff. “The Lean Consortium has transformed the way I think and operate–not only at work, but in my personal life,” said Anya Hall, Seed Orchard Supervisor with Weyerhaeuser. “I’ve adopted a new way of thinking that strives to organize, optimize, and innovate. I no longer look at processes as a burden, but as an opportunity to eliminate waste and grow professionally. The Consortium has also taught me leadership and shown me the power of teamwork.”