Lean Manufacturing: The Path to Success with Paul Akers (Pt. 2)
Fastcap, part two we've had so much amazing content, with poly acres that we want to continue sharing some of the principles, ideas, theories. That will change, your life will, change your business it'll blow your mind away. Can. You really change a business two. Seconds, a day well, if you're shaving a couple seconds on a 50 or 60 processes, a day you've. Got one hell of a company going on right and that's what we got going on here if, the leader thinks, it's all about him and he's always got to come up with a great ideas, that's. Gonna kill everything for sure and when we make it about that team environment that's, when you really win the. Minute you say no it's as we than you've lost you've lost the lean game if, you come up with a better way I wanna know about it we're gonna implement it so never. Stop looking for lean, improvements. And never never never resist. Somebody who wants, to make an improvement and, more importantly you better learn lean quick because if you don't the Chinese are going to eat you alive and spit you out I even know what hit you not. Awareness. Of what the competition, is mm-hmm, and how, that competition is potentially, gonna affect us is very important. And I, think that, is something that makes. Us stronger here we've, been in business for 21, years you don't we price increases, we've had in 21 years how many. Great. We're. A huge company doing tens of millions of dollars and 40 countries this company's rockin it man. So. I think another, really interesting thing, is you look at a company that again, we're in 40 countries tens, of millions of dollars with a business all over the world three. Or four thousand, distributors worldwide and the. Entire, brainchild. The, entire brain of the company is in this little office with only six people six. People, manage. This, entire company, it's, hard to even get your head around that there's, no marketing department no sales department, no HR department no. Maintenance, department. There's nothing and we have just a very few people, managing. The complexity. Of this company and I mean making, six seven hundred products. Wow. What. Is the most common thing that most companies do every year they give a price increase right. The, cost, of fuels going, up. Cost of natural gas is going up everything's, going up taxes, are going up everything we've. Been in business for 21, years you, know any price increases, we've had in 21 years how many. Three. In how, many years 21. Years. That's. One, increase for seven years that's unbelievable it's, I've never heard of any company ever doing that that's amazed cost keep going down because we keep we're, more efficient so, instead, well how loyal are, our customers, to us I would say super low like incredible. Could you imagine gonna woods copy and the price never going up they, still paying the price of a cup of coffee at 7 years ago you just got go this companies rocking it man so and because of that we have no marketing, department, we have no sales department, we have no HR, department we, have no financial, department we're, a huge company doing tens of millions of dollars in 40 countries we should have all that level. Of bureaucracy and. Overhead, but. We look at all that we say that's always why. Do we need all that. So. We've eliminated all that nonsense. What. Are the common, pitfalls. That, accompany. A person, experiences. In implementing, lean manufacturing. Whether, in business or in life name. Two or three the biggest one that comes to mind immediately is. Ego, you know if the leader thinks, it's all about him and he's always got to come up with a great ideas, that's. Gonna kill everything, for sure if, you focus on money it's gonna kill it if you focus on always getting, the accolade, for, yourself you're, gonna kill it now the smart, leaders don't make it about money they make it about improving the quality of their people's work the, smart leaders, every. Time their people come up with a great new idea they're, always saying that's amazing, I never thought about that that's, cool and then immediately the, people think well I've got a cool boss I mean he actually is recognizing. Me he actually feels that I have value, mm-hmm, so, ego. Is a big deal and, if you can check your ego and you can create a culture where one checks your ego where nobody's, making, it about whether or not it's their idea they make it about whether or not it's a good idea and will benefit the customer, and the organization. And when we make it about that team environment that's, when you really win. Well. Tell us about how long it took you to change, the culture of fast gap to a fun lean, culture I mean what were the biggest hurdles mm-hmm and then what were the greatest benefits, that you've experienced.
Well The, took. About a year the. First year was very painful because we didn't know what we were doing we were just kind of wandering in the woods but, after a year we started to see things we're really starting to go well and people started to be very engaged in what we were trying to accomplish because they knew we were serious, about it because, we didn't just it wasn't the flavor of the month we didn't do it for one or two months then kind of give up and go back to her old ways but. We absolutely. Persisted. And then, they realize we're serious and this was not the flavor of the month so after one year we started to see the benefits, and the, benefits were engagement, of our people our people were solving, the problems, that were, habitually. Haunting. Us prior. To that so, you know you have problems in an organization. And that, one year it's the same as the next year that nothing, really changes, so, those habitual problems. Started, to go away and the, problems we started encountering were different, problems, but they weren't nearly as consequential. Because we were solving problems, instead of ignoring, them, or pushing, them or sweeping, them out of the carpet, so, our problems, came to the surface we solved them and that, made work a lot more enjoyable and obviously it's going to be more fun and. People are going to be happier tell us what it's like to work at. Fastcap, it's fun can. You elaborate yes. It's, fun because every day is different and you always get to do something different that involves using your brain so, most companies you come into work and your. First weeks kind of exciting, because you're learning all the new stuff to go with the new company then, after that every week gets progressively duller. And duller and your brain kind of checks right here. Every, day when you come in you're asked to use your brain and not just do, what you were told but think of how to do it better and when you think of how to do it better you actually get to go implement.
That And you might learn something new too when you're doing it how to build something how to our machine use a tool etc, and so every day when you're doing things it's not just do, what you were told it's, think. That, makes it fun. So. I think that most people don't realize how important, it is to develop their, people because really. The asset, of the company is the people we think it's the money in the bank and everything like that but when, people are thinking. They're. Driving, costs, down and quality, up and this, makes a huge, difference in the way an organization. Works. And how effective, it is but even more important, than that is when, an individual, goes outside of work because of this notion. Of growing people and it changes the way they work outside, of work and that's, really important so don't like take Lyle, for instance Lyle yeah so how. Has, what. You've learned at fastcap. Affected. What you do outside of ASCAP yeah so the, stuff that affects me at fastcap is thinking, of processes. How I'm doing things I'm, always thinking of how I'm training people interacting. With people and, so. When. Going outside of, work it. Affects, my, interactions, with people of how, am i efficiently, having a conversation with somebody or in my directing. Them in the right way so as a youth group leader I'm, thinking, are all my papers in a row do I have everything, in order for my kids and my wasting, their time am, I actually having, processes. In my preparation, for, things. So that I'm set up for success so that I can also mentally help my kids grow so to me it sounds like you have a higher respect, for people mm-hmm, and a, higher respect, for the resources, that have been granted you and you don't just take those lightly. You're thinking about that well it starts, with the principle, of when you're responsible. More for, more things you, get responsible, for more people and more things and more things and more people so if you start with the more things that you have in your, handle, right it affects your relationships, with the people. So. We originally were, using this, machine to print and cuts all of our custom cruising camcorders well, we realized that it was taking a lot of time to, do so so we added this new machine so. Now all we have to do is print on this machine. Take. The rest of the printed material, this. Machine load it up send it over and it cuts beautifully, and we just broke this record we have a 502 treat order that would take us about two weeks and we can get it done in about three days. Can. You really change a business to, seconds, a day and how. Give. Us no, real. Let's. Take for instance let's take a 60 second process, making a cup of coffee okay and. If, every day you say to the barista, you say all I want, you to do is not save two seconds save a half, a second or a tenth, of a second and every, day they come in and they evaluate where, the cups are where the lids are how, much water they used to rinse something out and how, many steps they take and every, day they just take maybe a second, out of every process at the end of 60 days there's not much left right you're doing the whole process much more quickly so. And then that's only one process, so, a lean thinker understands. That, all these processes, that we do every day are just terrible, processes. And they, are not satisfied and they say how, can I just shave a couple second, well if you're shaving a couple seconds, I have a 50 or 60 processes, a day you've. Got one hell of a company going on right and that's what we got going on here millions. Of improvements, being made non-stop, my favorite improvement, is this roller system that we added to our shipping table we. Used. To struggle a lot so it would smack. Go anywhere so we added those little rollers so, when I'm done sipping my box I can just give it a push. And. The big one push the little ones. Is. Here in the graphic section where we print all of our labels so, when we come up to our printing, station we, used to have to type in so here's our Kanban. For this Oh web type con, bon, oh well look at that there's a several jobs. That Kanban in it so we decided to do a barcode to, make it so much easier that you didn't have to search and. There. It is that's the job that I have to print we, went a little bit further so you didn't have to write in all these little labels. Or information, we made a printed. Version so, we just have to type it in and print it and it's ready to go if you guys watch this episode and you, don't implement, one. Thing watch it again it'll. Change your life it'll change your business it's.
Paul's A living, example of that and it's so much fun that's the thing that most people it's like. Tell. Us how working. For Paul has changed, your life when, I started, at fastcap I was very shy very, reserved. Had really, low self esteem and confidence and. So, after working here and having my. Own, say. An opinion, value, it. Gave me a lot more confidence. To just vocalize my own views and opinions, and and feel, like they were heard and I can make changes and it's, there's a lot of freedom here, to. Make, improvements and change things so I've changed a lot in in a lot of really great ways that's, pretty cool yeah I guess the number one thing I would have Paul change, is that, he and it's a good thing so I don't know if I'd change it completely but. He's always trying to push what's, the newest best way to do something right and a lot of times that results, in something, where we're, kind of stuck with six ways to do it and we don't actually have a standard, and it's all in aims of finding the best way to do it like when I communicate with, Paul I have to check whatsapp. Voxer. Text. Messages, and WeChat. Okay I have to check them all five times a day because he can't decide which one's the best, someday we'll decide and we'll have the very best one but, I think we create a lot of confusion trying. To get there that's awesome because this is perfect example of figuring, out how, to avoid, waste and yeah I mean so yeah thank. You yeah. He. Loves email like most people and I'm kind of prying, about, of the whole email thing. Customers. Not paying they, don't want to pay for an executive salary. They don't want to pay me to sit at my desk they. Want to pay for. Skylar. To make injection, molded parts that they can put in the tools that he's making that's what the value is that Skylar, is adding value I'm not adding value so. I realized. That the real value is on the shop floor and, so I should spend all my time in the shop floor helping my people do their work more effectively, and solving, problems with them that's not typical, leadership, leadership is, get a nice big desk in a nice office get a window so, people, do. Not disturb sign you're talking on the phone sit in a nice leather chair all, the BS right well I don't have any of that you didn't see any that I'm oh wait when, you walked in the door today where was I you were, with your boys with my boys on the shop floor right, engaging and, you had to come get me away from them to do the interview right in the only office I saw was your your car yeah I know so that's the whole point, so leaders, don't realize what leadership really looks like it happens on the gemba and on the shop. Couple. More questions as far as how lean manufacturing could. Translate to a lean personal, life tell us about that everything's. A process, how you take, care of your your. Home how you take care of your health how, you take care of your car how you take care of your finances everything, is, subjected. To being analyzed. And saying could, there be a process improvement in. The way I do that so the. Most obvious one for me is I wrote a book called lean health and I. Was 243. Pounds and today I'm 175. And that's. A big pretty, dramatic, shift and, basically what I did is I looked at the way I was, nourishing, myself, every day and I, valued, I identified. The value, and the non value, so it was of no value for me to be any processed, food every time I opened up a package, and it had more than two ingredients, on the back it. Was probably not good quality so, that was a bad, process, so. I said I'm gonna quit opening packages, and imma start eating fruits and vegetables, and real. Food and fish. And not. Open, packages, I quit drinking bad drinks, and all the other stuff right motors, and it is stuff and lo. And behold every. Every. Week I kept losing one pound one pound one pound and I made this dramatic. Decrease, to where I'm, 59. Years old my did to Iron Man which, is that's, incredible, yeah. I. Think.
Most Of us are looking forward to get in person a little bit and get. To know you on that end, are, you still climbing 14, hours well, I haven't climbed one in a couple years but you know I did Mount Kilimanjaro which, is 19,000. And Everest base camp, 17700. And, I, just, haven't had time to do that but I'm skiing like crazy so you know I go up and down 12,000. Foot mountains ten times in a, day and your ski run and you know do all that stuff but no I haven't 1914 lately, you're staying pretty busy I'm not afraid to do them that would be easy for me yeah, I think you've done a lot more than to be scared by a 14,000. Yeah foot mountain tell. Us about some of the lean philosophy, that you've implemented. In, trekking. And summiting some of these mountains. Well. Less is more, so. Travel. Light and be, very grateful so number one is I don't want to take a lot of stuff with me you, know and most, people try, to take so much stuff with them they have enough. Gear for every, possible, eventualities. Every. Possible, problem and I don't think that way I think less. Is more, so. I try to lean out equipment, wise when I travel I drop them all over the world and we take one suitcase in a backpack it doesn't matter where I go that's what I take if I'm going skiing I take one suitcase in a backpack I just reduce, everything, down to the very minimum carry-on, or check-in I'll always carry on second, that would be insane because that's just waste I'm sitting there waiting 20 minutes for the luggage to come out but, most people don't understand that and I want to have control of my suitcase. Because if it gets lost that I'm really screwed right so, no always always. Carry that's the challenge I have fall every time we travel like trying to convince my wife how we can do it right I. Think. To have all the nations I just have all the gear to and now I do all, my filming, everything on my phone I used to take drones with me I should take Sony cameras, I used take everything I do everything right here it's just silly you know I got one charging cable and this and I'm set. Out. Of all your outdoor interests. What's one that you absolutely, can't live without. Well. I love, to ski a. Lot. Because. I love the athleticism, involved. In it but I also love, to ride motorcycles and, see. A country, on the back of a motorcycle because. You, there's something about experiencing. The. Wind in your face and, not having a windshield in front of you so, I did, 15, countries, last year on a motorcycle Lithuania. Latvia. Sweden. Norway Finland. Finland, Croatia. Bosnia. Thailand. Japan. I, could just go on and on so, every time I go into a country I try to run a motorcycle, and just ride that's, better that is an amazing experience does that somehow, contribute. Back to your business and I mean they must have more recently, it, doesn't it doesn't help it doesn't hurt, to, have. An. Aware, CEO. It, doesn't hurt to have a CEO, that, has seen. And experienced, what's going on all over the world I mean that, that's gotta be some some. Benefit, to have that global, perspective on. The world yeah that's another point you mentioned CEOs can either sit in the office yeah well, they can travel the world all over the world and I'm bringing them back you know I've been in plants in Guatemala. I've been in plants in Australia, I've been in plant in Thailand. I've been in plants in Bhutan. I've been in manufacturing plants, everywhere all over the world in Kazakhstan. So, not, awareness. Of what the competition, is and. How, that competition, is potentially, gonna affect us is very important. And I, think that is something that makes. Us stronger here all, right so for this best fence part it. Has four nuts that go in here. It can be kind. Of cumbersome, to have to sit there and press them all in so came, up with this thing and you just take these nuts right here and. They fit in, that little pocket and then you put two up. On top as well. And. You put this piece in. And. It does all four. So. Well you've traveled all over the world 100. Countries 105. What are the what's, one place that you travel to that made the biggest impact, in your life that. Might be a tough question. Without. Unequivocally. China, unequivocally. I've been there 50 times so. It's the number one place that people need to be aware of what's going on so the Chinese are, incredibly.
Intelligent And, they. Have a work ethic like none other and. They're. Making us look like we, don't know what we're doing the United States, they've. Surpassed us, it seems like in almost every, regard, their. Manufacturing. Prowess, is over-the-top, they've. Created. More, high-speed trains, than the entire world put, together just in the last 10 years they've. Interconnected. Over 50, major cities, by high-speed trains of over 250, miles an hour they. Can build a high-rise in, a, year. Without something, that would take us 10 years, their. Freeway. Systems, their infrastructure, systems. Everything. They do is that such a high level it's almost hard to even get your head around yeah, and so the reason, why that's impacted, me as I realize, that if. Americans. Don't recognize. The competition. That's really out there, it's. Over we. Haven't got much time, we got to wake up we got to wake up if. You guys want to improve the, bottom line of your business and learn something great go, to China yeah and, more, importantly you better learn lean quick because if you don't the Chinese are gonna eat you alive and spit you out and you want you to know it hit you. So. You take for instance these are our picking carts we make it all this is all of our product, this is called fast bike we make we, make everything. So. Just simple carts made out of pipe that, are flexible, if, we decide we don't want it we take it apart we use the fittings we use the pipes we. Didn't go to rubbermaid and buy carts we made it all right, and we made this in our woodshop we made the little boards and our woodshop everything. Is customized. To the needs of, our work, everything, is a part of a process and how, we improve it so here's, a great big company called Milwaukee they make this fantastic vacuum. Cleaner right but, we made the stand because, we had to be efficient, we had to be able to walk into it right. We, may Center it and we make the holder, there so look how cool this is when you want to run the backpack you just go like this boom and you're, done and you're working in your vacuum right but, no Milwaukee. Doesn't have a stand like that so what do you do a struggle, you have a struggler the door thing why, wouldn't be struggle so we made this really cool back vacuum. Stand and now, people are buying this thing go wow look at that cool - charger, everything's set up everything's, a process, so, you need a new battery boom it goes in everything set. I'm. Just trying to think of how to make this more lean, sure, this away because it's it's you, know twisting what is it well I'm probably 60 seconds 30 seconds to replace, I'm. Sure there is a way and. You can't, be resistant, to that because the, minute you say no it says Liat than you've lost you've lost the lean game if you, come up with a better way I want to know about it we're gonna implement it so never, stop looking for lean, improvements. And never never and never resist, somebody who wants, to make an improvement that's an important thing you know the leaders, job is to, do, everything they, can to facilitate the, concept, of continuous. Improvement and, the best way to kill it is to say oh we already tried that it won't work does. Good us against no we and we say, run. The experiment, try it let's, see what happens I've learned a lot okay Paul thank you Paul thank you let me show you absolutely. You, guys like what you hear comment.
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