Becoming a LEAN organization is now at the forefront of every CMO’s agenda. While there may be challenges in implementing a LEAN strategy, the long-term benefits will far outweigh any short-term frustration.

As Sharp Packaging Solutions looks to continue to grow and evolve as a LEAN organization, we decided to utilize the Hoshin Kanri planning process to align the organization and focus on key continuous improvement objectives.

Hoshin Kanri – or policy deployment – is a methodology for cascading strategic goals to ensure organization alignment to drive progress and action at every level of the organization.  The objective of the Hoshin planning process it to align strategy (senior management) with tactics (middle management) and the work performed (employees).

To implement this program, training days were held for senior leadership, key managers and project leaders to identify priority action items and develop project charters, in line with the Hoshin Planning cycle. These will improve operational performance and improve customer experience. In all, approximately 250 projects were identified and from these, many projects have been initiated on topics ranging from cycle time, right first time, changeovers, to customer engagement.

In the end, Hoshin Kanri is just a tool to create organizational alignment.  The real benefit comes from the cultural change that it drives when it is done right.  It is just the start of a journey to create employee engagement and empowerment as we continue to grow and evolve as a LEAN organization.

Cathy Senick, Customer Service Manager, described what Hoshin Kanri means in her role in Sharp:

Knowing that we are implementing a structured process that will help provide clarity and alignment to our organizational strategies is encouraging as a leader at Sharp. It’s all about breaking away from our silos, opening lines of communication, building consensus around how we’ll achieve objectives and focusing on that constant pursuit of perfection. I am proud of our efforts in this area and look forward to our work and progress to achieve our organizational objectives.

Jonathan Young, Sr Director of Operation Excellence, is leading the drive to transform Sharp into a LEAN organization. He has committed to embedding the LEAN philosophy and methodology throughout the organization, in order to empower Sharp employees to recognize value and deliver organizational change.