Blog Post Borrowing with Pride

Borrowing with Pride



Borrowing with Pride

One of the written/unwritten tenants of Lean is to “Borrow with Pride” and its sister to “Share with Pride”. every now and again will do a photo essay on a bike factory they have visited. This time they were visiting Full Speed Ahead Bicycle Components | FSA . Looking through the pictures I saw a couple of examples of good Lean practices and a new idea I had not seen before. The new idea is to share the cost of major equipment with employees: 1 Comment from site Company co-owner Douglas Chiang likes to remind employees how much especially expensive pieces of equipment cost to buy. It’s a subtle reminder that the stuff isn’t free, and should be properly cared for.

So why do this? There are a number of good reasons:

  • Why wouldn’t you? By being open about how much equipment costs you are sharing with staff and opening up the window for them to share with you. Relating to staff who would have thought that was a good idea.
  • People will guess, so why risk them being wrong
  • It shows investment costs and in turn shows how much investment the company is committed to. This increases the feeling of Certainty (and so less uncertainty) that employees will feel and this is typically a good thing to do.
  • Pride – What would be the difference in your personal “Status” (self-thought) between operating a piece of equipment that is worth $160k and one you have no idea the cost of And why wouldn’t you? Just one reason comes to mind:
  • Fairness, how would you feel if you were the operator of the old $10k machine compared to the new $’s one?
This last point I think is likely to be a problem for companies that have a history of favoritism.  If the information is introduced in an open and honest way I would not expect this change to carry any negative connotations. Another example of sharing investment cost: 2   At current exchange rates, this price tag indicates that FSA’s X-Ray machine cost the company about US$160,000 Here is a good example of 5s, work flow and visual management implementation.  If you look closely on the side of the machines you can see what looks like work instructions and product or equipment instructions. 3   The building is chock-full of CNC machines and lathes. We lost count of how many were on the factory floor – and keep in mind that this is but one row, in one section of the building Below is a detail from one of the machines.  Part of 5S Standardization and Sustain. 4   Every machine bears the photo of its operator. It fosters a sense of ownership and also makes the process somehow seem more human It’s also interesting to read the article writers surprise in his comments that a company would want its employers to be engaged and treat them as humans.  This I think reflects the often North American ideas around production that date back to Taylorism and factories being viewed as dirty exploitative places.  But that is another discussion for another day. All Photo: © James Huang / Immediate Media, original article is here

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