John Crossan | Manufacturing Ownership Blog

Manufacturing Ownership is the Key to Sustaining Improvement

There are always production lines, or departments, or entire plants that really need productivity improvement, and there are a multitude of "silver bullet" approaches that give temporary results. But, what's the fastest way that actually has lasting results?

It can only be done, and is always successfully done, by establishing or reestablishing solidly, the basic processes that are essential to any manufacturing operation.

"Lean" improvement processes focus on firmly establishing basics.


"Put the processes in place, and the results will come".

The Essential Basic Processes are:

  • Safety Standards and Procedures
  • Housekeeping Standards and Procedures
  • Product Quality Standards and Procedures
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Equipment Care Procedures involving Everyone
  • A Routine Everyday Process to Identify and Permanently Resolve Issues and make Improvements.

Focusing on new improvement initiatives, without the basics solidly in place, may deliver some short-term results, but will always fail over any extended time period.

The people who work in the plant are the only ones to develop and own these processes, and they will do it gladly, if they have confidence that the processes will really be supported and implemented ongoing.

Their ownership is the key to sustaining improvement.


Typically these processes are already in place, to some level, in most plants. And, most people actually, really do believe in them already. They are just lacking in emphasis, understanding and especially ownership.
So this doesn't have to be a long, drawn out exercise.

This is not, yet another, new, different, initiative. This is just work. Putting in place the basic processes that any successful manufacturing organization needs to have. But if done properly, with widespread involvement, the improvement is dramatic and exciting.

This is the true essence of Lean Manufacturing. People who actually work in plants routinely identifying wasteful activities, and just going ahead and doing something about it.

Our expertise is actually working with groups of people in plants, making this happen.