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Organization and "lean" tips

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  • Organization and "lean" tips

    RS posted a request to the Cabinet Makers Association’s members-only online discussion forum to suggest creating a permanent post on the forum for sharing ideas, photos and success stories related to organization and “Lean” practices.

    “Since this is a group of people who share a common occupation, I'm sure there are thousands of ideas among all of us here that could be beneficial to share,” he wrote.

    Quite a few members posted their support for the idea, and in the end, there was agreement that Instagram is a great, easily accessible way to share both photos and text; those who want to share ideas can post using the hashtag #CMAlean, and those interested in finding ideas can search for posts with that hashtag. (Note: If you have an idea that relates to organization but isn’t technically a “Lean” practice, you can still use this hashtag.

    In addition to leading to a way to share ideas in the future, this post also inspired some members to share a few organizational tips. We’re sharing a condensed round-up of those tips, edited for length and clarity.

    JT (Colorado Springs, CO)

    After almost a year of talking about it, we’re finally starting to implement Lean practices in our shop.

    When I looked through some of the Instagram accounts suggested here, I saw more “shop organization porn” than actual Lean examples. Having every single Woodpeckers square in perfect place in one drawer looks great, but probably isn’t Lean. I can’t imagine that one workstation is where you need all your squares.

    I love the little magnetic squares from Fastcap; they are cheap enough that you can keep one stuck to each tool where you need it – just big enough to square up a table saw blade jointer fence.

    BD (Gallatin, MO)

    One of the biggest issues I'm facing is whether to put all tools needed in a specific station and strictly enforce that the tools stay there, or whether to have all tools that a particular employee needs in a rolling toolbox dedicated to that employee and strictly enforce a “no borrowing” policy.

    I can't get anywhere unless I'm extremely strict about tools staying where they belong 100 percent of the time; I’ve figured that much out. Everyone always has an exception situation, and getting people on board with tools always staying put can be a challenge.

    My current approach is to outfit each station with the tools needed at that station. But the tools still seem to travel, and I spend too much time nailing down who did what, because I don't figure out that we have a problem until later. However, I haven’t totally color-coded every tool to match its workstation either (each work station does have a color code). Maybe painting every tool so it's very clear what goes where would help solve that problem?

    Or maybe tools in rolling toolboxes, color-coded to the employee, would help create a sense of ownership/responsibility?

    I'm planning on bringing another person on after the 1st of the year and want to get something better going before he starts. Maybe some of you with more employees can help me get started on the right foot with this?
    Last edited by Amanda Conger; 02-18-2019, 08:52 AM.

  • #2
    Interested in learning more or contributing to the conversation, then you should join the CMA for full access to our members-only forums.
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