Applying Lean Thinking at ARE Corp.

  • Safety

13 May 2019

Author: Fred Depuy, COO

ARE simplifies the process of collecting, managing and utilizing information through on-site engineering, UAS technology and software solutions for the infrastructure and environmental markets. Through customized deliverables, we provide clients with the insight and data to help manage their assets.

In my manufacturing days the word “lean” was used to describe a plant floor initiative or a variety of continuous process improvement (CPI) techniques that could be applied across an organization. This could range from an individual committing a portion of his or her time to organizing their workplace or as an organized event (kaizen) where several team members from cross-functional departments spent a day or two on a specific improvement initiative. Whichever path it took, there was ALWAYS a common denominator. Continuous process improvement or “lean thinking” was a mindset that had no end; a mindset that provided a foundation for establishing a learning environment.  It was an on-going journey toward the removal of waste, and implementation of process capability, that helped keep the work environment and its employees safe and utilizing their time as efficiently as possible. The end result was removing the non-value-added (NVA) part of our day that the customer, rightfully so, did not want to pay for.

In essence, CPI is a journey, fueled by the mindset of employers and employees dedicated to achieving a higher standard.  And in the process making the experience fun. When waste is continually reduced, the outcome that you get is the ability to replace the NVA time with something value-added. This could be training your employees, improving the quality of product deliverables, eliminating lead-time with how information is processed, offering new services, etc. In essence, working on improvement initiatives that help the company become easier to do business with (ETDBW) and that the customer values. At ARE Corporation, our team is committed to its own journey toward continuous process improvement and becoming a world-class, forward-thinking, organization. We want CPI to become an EVERYDAY part of our DNA (woven in) and what best describes our people and culture in addition to our core values. I hope you experience the road we’re on and how it affects the “Who We Are.”  Because if we’re continuously doing better, then the “Who We Are” will result in a better “What We Do.”

Cross-functional team during 5-S Kaizen Event

5-S (with a 6th S for SAFETY) is a workplace organization method as part of CPI


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