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I'm honored to be a component of Chapter Four where Ron shares his experience in creating a world class drumstick and his efforts to bring it to market. I understand it's become a highlight. --Much success my friend!
I have worked with Ron on projects and his book captures the process perfectly. Easy to read and a lot of good examples. I have seen him convert non-believer to believers to enthusiast supporters in just a matter of a few days. If you need to improve your equipment or business processes this is a must read.
Reduced Effort Changeover provides an excellent framework for tackling process improvement within the Lean disciplines. Not only that but it answers an important question sure to be asked by those most impacted by the changes: "Why?". There is an important "Why" here that employees can get behind, buy into, and be successful. The idea of employee empowerment and the value of buy-in by those individuals cannot be understated and the principals Ron promotes will lead to both of those.
In my role as Service Director, the principals found in this book will help our process improvement for delivering services, and as a manufacturing company we will be able to implement directly much of the guidance found here. I am excited to be able to study Reduced Effort Changeover and bring these solutions to our manufacturing management team.
Jeff duPont, Director of Health Physics Services, Mirion Technologies Inc.
Empowerment is a management practice it is not something that managers bestow on people. In this book Ron provides a powerful framework for managers to truly practice organizational empowerment. He starts the book off with a quick solid grounding in defining Lean as a people centric management approach that strives to respect and unleash the full potential of each individual. The majority of the book is a clear how-to guide to not only improve changeovers but dramatically improve the engagement and creativity of people in a very tangible way toward business goals. I've personally worked with Ron and seen the impact his approach has. Many of the examples in this book I've seen first hand. Ron generously gave me a copy of his book to read. He has done an outstanding job of not only describing the process but has captured it exactly as I have witnessed it being effectively used. If you follow the content of this book you will be astounded by the results in changeovers but more astonishing is the engagement of operators in achieving things not thought possible.
Ron Heiskell’s ReducedEffort Changeover (REC) offers an alternative approach to SMED (Single-Minute Exchange of Dies) to realize greater gains in reducing changeover time by focusing on empowering teams to generate changeover improvement ideas focused on the reduction of their changeover effort in a one-week Kaizen approach. Ron shares he has led/coached 100+ events and in one actual results table of 20 such events he shares with the readers we see an average changeover downtime reduction of 59% (ranging from 26% - 86%) vs. the benchmark time (based on best practice). The key principle in the REC process developed by the author is focusing on the reduction of individual effort above the reduction of time. The author has proven through his multiple events that when focusing improvements on reducing effort, changeover time is reduced significantly.
Ron reinforces the principles of Lean methodologies as a key success factor at the start and end of the book while the core of the book provides the practitioner a step by step guide on how to effectively lead a REC event complete with example documentation and photos at each stage. As an added bonus Ron offers a helpful quick-change device reference guide (quick disconnect, quick setting, no tool fasteners, etc.) as an appendix. A rundown of success factors to realize the dramatic changeover gains that Ron directly and indirectly shares throughout the book includes; empower operators to suggest and make improvements (initial parameter of reversible), address/push past paradigms that limit potential, use the power of teamwork to create and complete changes, solve the problem quickly (e.g. Kaizen approach), recognize/reward appropriately, and assure leadership participation/engagement/active listening. Ron effectively intersperses personal stories and related quotes throughout the book. This approach helps to engage and provoke thought from the reader relative to the principles and success factors Ron is trying to share/impart on the reader.
Although Ron does offer sound advice on sustainability elements post-REC I advise the audience (from personal experience) that seeks to implement this methodology to assure KPI’s are in place and regularly reviewed to help identify drift from the new processes developed. Standard KPI’s should not only quantify Changeover time by line and changeover complexity (ex. Container size change, ingredient/flush change, etc.) vs. target(s) but also measure changeover effectiveness (e.g. startup curve) vs. targets. Automated OEE/Efficiency data collection systems help to gather KPI’s with accuracy and ease and offer real time visibility.
This book is advised for manufacturing operations leaders faced with high changeover downtime and with a desire to reduce this non-value added effort. They will not benefit from only reading this book but by taking action to use the method developed and wisdom shared by Ron. As shared earlier Ron provides great detail in how to hold a REC event but the reader is advised to seek experience in starting this process for the first time. This advice is supported from professional experiences I’ve had in coaching/training in performance metrics and manufacturing standard work processes in over 50 manufacturing plants throughout my career. It is critical to not use a trial and error approach but to deliver a right first-time methodology when embarking on a process that is very change management dependent as Ron emphasizes.
I’m appreciative to have received a pre-release copy of this insightful and practical book and hopeful my review will help convince others to read this book and take action to implement REC in their operations. Mark Dych, Mfg. Solutions Engineer/Architect and Advisor/Trainer, Epicor Software Corp.
Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2018
Ron Heiskell’s book was an easy read, and I especially appreciated that it has not been puffed up with unnecessary material just to make it look more substantial (something I have encountered in many improvement books). This book related each point clearly and concisely – itself the very embodiment of his philosophy.
The simplicity of the ReducedEffort system is clearly the key to its success and easy adoption. There are no inconvenient hoops to jump through or organizational hurdles to surmount, as everything in this approach will make immediate and intuitive sense to managers and workers alike. A simple yet critical change in mindset is all it takes to go from the status quo of accepting and never questioning existing procedures, to always seeking out ways to make significant, measurable improvements in changeover times and manufacturing procedures.
Even though the ReducedEffort system may be easy to adopt, it is clear that it has been thoughtfully developed through Mr. Heiskell’s many years of consulting with manufacturers to streamline their operations, and from his careful observation of what really works and doesn’t work. No system can succeed unless it brings production line workers onboard —something Ron’s system accomplishes by empowering them to take ownership of their work and by inspiring them to see how they can make significant changes that will make their jobs easier, with reduced tedium and more time for more fulfilling higher-level work.
Even as a micro manufacturer, I found the book inspiring me to always seek out ways to improve efficiency. ReducedEffort also got me thinking more about the big picture, such as how various discrete processes might be reconfigured to more seamlessly flow from one to the next.
No matter how large or small, I believe that businesses of any size will be able to reap considerable benefits from the ReducedEffort system by integrating it into their processes – the sooner the better!
I'm a mechanical engineer and I've worked in manufacturing for nearly 30 years and had the privilege of working with Ron (the author) for almost 10 years. I've sat through many SMED and other similar "downtime improvement events" and many have been painful at best. Why were they painful? They were painful because if I put on my "operator hat".....I'd think "what's in this for me?....I'm going to have to work harder/faster....we're going to reduce the time to do a changeover....and then mgmt will eliminate people from the shift or eliminate an entire shift altogether....how does that benefit me?...I'm digging my own grave." I'm certain that more than one operator sitting in those same SMED classes has had the exact same thoughts.
The unfortunate reality in any manufacturing environment is that if you are not continually improving or becoming more efficient....there is another company or contract packer out there that is.....so you need to improve to just survive. The beauty of the REC process is that it's a win-win for both management AND the plant operators. The effort for the operators is reduced, they feel heard and empowered...AND the company saves money/increases flexibility. That's the magic...what's not to love? I share Ron's passion for empowering the plant-level folks that work their butts off, are extremely knowledgeable, and their ideas/input are often overlooked because they don't have a college degree. That's just sad and ignorant.
The book has great real-life examples, funny quotes from short-sighted executives, and goes into painstaking detail on how you can do a "REC Event" (Reduced Effort Changeover) on your own. Hmmm....spend $17 on a book or spend thousands on a consultant....that won't even pay for their lunch...your choice. Lastly, it was funny to read through many of the exact same stories that Ron had shared with me over many lunches together years ago....his synthetic-drumstick-who-is-the-customer story has stuck in my mind for almost 20 years and changed how I think/execute my own projects. Thanks Ron for finally sharing your wisdom and knowledge with the world...and thanks for the free digital copy to review!
I can say the author, Ron Heiskell took considerable time, effort, and thought into his method to develop a way to change your views and reset your train of thinking for the better. This book is geared toward increasing efficiency and overall productivity in a factory or manufacturing setting. It achieves this, and much more. By focusing on " how we do things" It opens up a world of possibilities. I'm talking about breaking the habits we tend to form. Ron's use of paradigms brilliantly expose the rut we all fall into at some point. We just go about our jobs day in and day out and get use to "how things are." This type of thinking can be improved. Its behaviors like this that we stop learning and stop developing better solutions. By streamlining your work you can become a master of your instrument. By constantly thinking about "how it's done" you can create improvements in performance. As a Machinist/Production Manager, I was shocked to realize how much time I waste by just walking around looking for tools. Organization, planning, orchestration,and mechanical advantages. (i.e. quick change devices) are the refinements that improve productivity. This method and it's system of streamlining or "lean principals" as is coined in the book, goes so much further than "saving time". In an assembly line type of setting down time is dead time and can result in financial loss. By deeply analyzing your tasks, things that seemed trivial can really add up to wasted time. An example of this... when I walk 5 steps to pick up a hammer from the work bench. When added up, the amount of steps I am taking ends up to about 24.62 miles per year.
10 steps to hammer and back to beach. 30" average human step 20 trips per day 260 working days per year 5,280 feet per mile
So a little math: 10stepsx20 trips=200 steps per day 200steps x 30"=6,000"/12"=500feet per day traveled 500feetx260 working days=130,000 feet traveled 130,000/5,280feet per mile=
24.62 miles per year +/- just to get the hammer!!!
The common sense thing to do would be to move the hammer right next to the machine. RIGHT?!?!
This is an exaggerated example no doubt, but troublesome little things creep into our work environment all the time. With years of preforming the same tasks these things become ingrained in the job. Reduced Effort Changeover is a system designed to make your job easier and by doing so saves time. After reading Ron Heiskell's book, I am now much more aware and seeking out more ways in which I can reduce efforts. THANK YOU RON!! for a different way of thinking and stimulating a creative approach to LEAN principals.
I count it a privilege to be asked by Ron to read and submit my review of his book Reduced Effort Changeover. I would like to offer a review that may be slightly different for those already submitted. I have known Ron for over 30 years. I’ve watched and learned much from him covering many more areas of life than manufacturing improvement. We are both Eagle Scouts from the 1960’s, and fathers of our own sons becoming Eagle Scouts. As Scoutmasters for over 40 years, we had the honor of mentoring hundreds of other “adopted sons” as they also earned the rank of Eagle Scout. I watched Ron teach and model to other young men and their fathers the character and life secrets that would empower them for the remainder of their lives to succeed in all areas of life. Hundreds of these young men are now leaders in business, military, homes and churches. They learned the secrets and power of creating teams, to empower others to think out of the box, to solve problems and excel beyond their peers. Through all these years I listened to Ron’s work and manufacturing experience and his dreams of implementing these life success secrets also in the business world. I’ve watched as his skill to communicate and implement these “revolutionary” manufacturing techniques empowered companies and manufacturing individuals to own their own business success and produce results that exceeded management expectations. This book now finally puts in print how any manufacturing process can be greatly enhanced and result in even greater business and employee success.
I was excited to see in the first half of Ron’s book so many excellent principles that hold true in all areas of business. I worked for the largest nuclear instrumentation company for over 40 years, many of those as the National Service Manager. I found these same principles to be the key to developing the team that succeed in becoming known as the best service team in the industry.