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On 23 October, Caterpillar Burnie played host to seventeen participants, all of whom were keen to learn more about lean production systems.

The tour was spread over both the Wivenhoe and South Burnie sites and provided opportunities for: real world learning, knowledge sharing, relationship building and questioning.

Congratulations to Lean Management student Thomas Snare, who has been awarded the very prestigious Nuffield Scholarship.

Paul Sturzaker is one of sixteen students undertaking Lean Management at Graduate Certificate level through the University of Tasmania (UTAS). Units forming the certificate are: Lean Thinking and Practice; Leading Value Stream Transformation and Change; Process Engineering, Improvement and Innovations; and Workplace Project.

The certificate has been developed in response to Mapping the Connections research, jointly undertaken on the North West Coast of Tasmania by Enterprise Connect and UTAS, during 2012/2013. In the research workplaces identified that future growth necessitated: skill development and training; greater collaboration; and process improvement.

Productivity Improvers Directors, Clynton Jaffray and Michael Bonney are part of the lecturing team delivering these units. Paul is the Manager of Downstream Processing at Grange Resources, Port Latta and we thank him for sharing his thoughts with Alana Jaffray, Business Development Manager at Productivity Improvers.

Coastal business leaders claim change is key to a brighter future

Productivity Improvers are lecturing at the University of Tasmania in the new Lean Management Program.

Explore lean and continuous improvement concepts to learn how to increase productivity, reduce waste and improve workplace culture through these new flexibly delivered postgraduate business units.

Workers across the Cradle Coast region will have access to 115 new training places in a Competitive Systems and Practices program, also known as lean systems, starting in March

The boost to industry skills was made possible via the Skills Tasmania Skills Fund aimed at existing workers in industry associations, regional groups or small businesses.  More than $424 000 in training was secured by the Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania in partnership with the Cradle Coast Authority.

The Skills Fund program covers up to 90% of employee training costs, with employer contributions making up the remainder.

Lee Whiteley, Managing Director of Southern Prospect is planning to include his staff in the training program as part of a broader supply-chain improvement project.

“As a north-west based manufacturer we are sold on the need for an intentional continuous improvement program.  Competitive Systems and Practices is an ideal accredited program delivered by local practitioners in the field of lean and Six Sigma,” Mr Whiteley said.

The application to increase skills in the region stemmed from a study conducted by the University of Tasmania and Enterprise Connect of 46 local businesses, in which 91% expressed an interest in implementing lean principles.

UTAS Pro Vice-Chancellor (Regional Development) Professor Janelle Allison said the study highlighted the importance of providing lean training to support the needs of the local business sector.

“It was clear from our study that local businesses are looking for opportunities to gain access to lean training.  The Skills Fund training program is an important catalyst, providing the local workforce with skills that are vital for businesses to remain internationally competitive,” Professor Allison explained.

Certificate III and IV courses in Competitive Systems and Practices will be offered over a 6 to 12 month period by local training provider Productivity Improvers, and will cover topics including efficiency gains, waste reduction, customer service, employee morale and costs.  The program also extends beyond Certificate IV, with UTAS currently developing postgraduate units aimed at managers wanting to implement lean practices into their business.

Good quality Lean skills are like anything else, the more we practice the better we become. It is that age old adage Learning by Doing. The best Lean practitioners will all tell you the best way to learn Lean is on job training with an experienced Lean coach.

Productivity Improvers (PI) have made a slow start in to communicating with its clients, friends, family and potential clients on progress made so far.  We would appreciate if you could pass the message amongst your friends and family about the new business that is up and running and like us on face book. PI are hopeful of having some exciting news in the coming weeks in regards to some potential new clients and initiatives that are currently being developed. 

Productivity Improvers has been working closely with Maltec Engineering to assist taking them on their Lean journey. The success of the business saw significant growth over a short period of time. This created workflow inefficiencies which were not being addressed. Productivity Improvers has impleneted some simple Lean tools that have helped to address these issues. The company has since seen vast improvement in efficiencies which has permitted further growth without major capital investment.