Episode 153 – Raymond Lean Management
In this episode, I was joined by the RLM Manager of Solutions & Support Center at The Raymond Corporation, Keith Ingels. From previous podcast discussions with Raymond representatives you may be familiar with their lean management culture which is derived from their ties to Toyota. Keith is a part of the RLM or Raymond Lean Management program and came on the show to talk about his lean journey, how to get started with lean and shares multiple stories on how lean can work for operations.
- One of the big takeaways from the discussion with Keith is that lean management is most effective when you focus on taking small steps to get to a bigger goal. The trick is to get your team and operation to focus on those small steps instead of overwhelming them with the larger overall goal. Seeing the small wins add up will get your team to keep going and in many cases, like some of the one’s Keith shares, the team will get to a larger goal than they would have ever thought possible. Keith shares some great examples of how some teams he has worked with were able to get amazing results but initially could not grasp getting to that point but got there through making small improvements.
- I always love to hear about continuous improvement stories because there is always a revelation moment for people when they see the results of the small steps mentioned above. Keith shares a few different stories throughout our discussion but my favorite is his story with a man named Rob who was struggling a bit with what to improve or maybe even the idea of whether or not it would work. As Keith discusses, he was guiding this gentleman on his continuous improvement journey and they started to look at the number of steps he was taking to certain things and the frequency of it. Through this observation, he was able to switch two things in his work area which helped reduce the number of steps he was taking a day. This was his revelation and Keith shares a great ending to the story explaining that he saw him a few years later and Rob was still improving and told Keith that moment is really when he saw the effectiveness of continuous improvement.
- A lean management program can be one that is very agile and I was interested in hearing how an operation that has this type of culture has handled the pandemic and the safety changes. Keith discusses how it has been beneficial to be a lean management-focused organization because of the agility. Since things are constantly changing and improving in this type of atmosphere, making changes due to COVID was somewhat of the normal course. It also made it easy for employees to adapt to the changes as they are used to adapting to different changes and making changes themselves.