Wausau Equipment Company Case Study

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Wausau Equipment Company Case study

Wausau Equipment Company has improved their operating profit a lot by introducing lean strategy. The management’s next step should be in making further Lean improvements. As we know, “SIMPA” is widely used in Lean process. “SIMPA” stands for Specify Value, Identify Value Stream, Make it Flow, Pull and Always Improving. These phases draw a big and long-term picture to lead a team logically from detecting the problems to solving the problems and make sure that the team can sustain the achievement and keep improving. In this case, the lean project was planned to last 39 weeks, which was divided into three complete equipment-improvement-process cycles. The first cycle focused on getting tangible improvement results while the last two cycles focused on sustainability and improvement. We can see from this plan that keeps improving bulks large in Lean Process. Someone may ask why the team still needs to make further lean improvement since they’ve already finished the cycles and achieved the goal. The answer is that there is always room for improvement. In my opinion, Wausau Equipment has at least three aspects need to be improved. Firstly, Wausau Equipment needs to make more changes to its culture. As it is known to all, enterprise’s culture is the basic impetus of development of enterprise. In some aspects, culture and management are more important than the actual tools and methodologies of production itself. Only if the culture absorbs the philosophy of lean, the achievement of Lean Project can sustain. Stephen Shortell (Professor of Health Services Management and Organization Behavior- Berkeley University, California) states that “For improvement to flourish it must be carefully cultivated in a rich soil bed (a receptive organization), given constant attention (sustained leadership), assured the right amounts of light (training and support) and water (measurement and data) and protected from damaging." However, in this case,...
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