Birk Manufacturing’s vision is quite clear; to become the world leader in flexible thermal solutions by supplying our customers with the highest quality design support, manufacturing capability and customer service while continuing to improve operations to lower prices and sustain competitive advantage. One of the key objectives to fulfill this lofty goal is the company-wide implementation of “lean” improvement methodologies. Lean is a set of “tools” that assist in the identification and steady elimination of waste within a process. As waste is identified and eliminated, production time and costs are reduced. Lower costs, shorter lead times, unsurpassed quality, and exceeding customer expectations are Birk Manufacturing’s keys to remaining competitive and increasing our presence within the marketplace.
Since the beginning of 2010, Birk Manufacturing has made huge strides in the application of lean tools and techniques such as 6S, standardization, visual management, improved process flow, batching, poka-yoke, supermarkets, Kanban and more. However, the “lean journey” is a pursuit of perfection, and because perfection does not exist, the pursuit is never ending. There are endless opportunities for continuous improvement and in order to apply lean methodology consistently and remain committed to operation excellence Birk Manufacturing has dedicated a department solely responsible for this task.
The newly developed “Birk Academy of Leadership and Lean” department will be a central entity responsible for the planning, implementing and sustaining lean, kaizen and 6S events, training of new hires and veteran employees on Birk products and processes, developing and coaching emerging leaders within the company, and fostering a culture and atmosphere of continuous improvement. This will be a group effort and will involve every employee, and together as a team Birk Manufacturing will stay devoted to operational excellence and will continue pursuing perfection.
By Carleton Birk
Birk Quality Manager