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FLEXO Magazine : June 2008
PLANTS & PROCESSES Culture, Leadership & Value Drive Continuous Improvement "We're in the Make-Ready Business" C ulture shock-it's spreading through the printing industry at breakneck speed. Ripples are being felt everywhere. "Generational Change is upon us. The era of the craftsman is end- ing. Printing is seen as a manufacturing process, not as the complex, career-based, visual trade that it once was." Sentiments, like these, expressed by Gary Fisher of Goss International, set the stage for the 18th Annual Continuous Improvement Conference and three intense days of self appraisal and evaluation. Foundation of Flexographic Technical Association (FFTA) joined with Printing Industries of America (PIA)/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF) and the Association for Graphic Arts Training (AGAT) to sponsor the April 13-16 event, staged in San Antonio, TX. Its mission: "Assist the graphic arts industry in striving for reduced costs and increased excellence in manufacturing and customer satisfac- tion through the use of quality concepts, philosophies and tools." On tap at the St. Anthony Hotel, 26 speakers, seven major presentations/ general sessions, 16 case studies, two customized roundtable networking experi- ences; plus, both a book and movie review/ - JUNE 2008 FLEXO By Robert Moran discussion. The book: John Compton's Strength Finders 2.0, a guide to identify- ing and productively applying key talents. The film: The Dashboard, a how-to short on gathering and distributing information relative to the health of an organization. The event drew approximately 175 at- tendees. It embraced a dual theme-Lead- ership and Culture-and focused on real, quantifiable results. Instruction was of- fered on becoming a world class training organization and improving the education process in your plant. Questions dotted the agenda. Among them: "Is the printing industry ready for cellular manufactur- ing?," and "Does your corporate culture support peak performance?" Intimate discussions, limited to 12 participants, were held on Value Stream Mapping, Six Sigma, Kaizen, Kanban, Lean Manufacturing, Leadership, Statistical Process Control, Training, Color Management, Job Definition Format, Pareto Analysis, Presenting Meaningful Data and the 5 Ss-sort, simplify, sweep, standardize and sustain. Buzzwords echoing throughout the corridors included CTQ (critical to qual- ity), SME (subject matter expert), ERP (en- terprise resource planning), PDCA (plan, www.flexography.org do, check, act), Poka Yoke, TPM (Total Productive Maintenance), TQM (Total Quality Management) and WIC (work in progress). EVERYONE'S BUSINESS "Leadership is everyone's business," according to Keynote Speaker Craig Haptonstall of Leadership Mechanics. "Leadership is not a position, it's a be- havior set. It's measurable, learnable and teachable. Leading is an active, dynamic process. It requires that you get beyond compliance and win commitment." Haptonstall reported that thousands and thousands of people, asked to list spe- cific characteristics of an admired leader, did so quickly and decisively. Eighty-eight percent of those surveyed gave honesty top billing. It was followed in succession by forward-looking at 71 percent, com- petent at 66 percent and inspiring at 65 percent. With that, it was noted that re- search confirms that on average a person has the opportunity to lead once every six minutes. Five practices, when employed by a leader, are designed to get any organi- zation to its future place, according to Haptonstall. The steps suggested: model