Essay Example on Ariens Company a Wisconsin based








Ariens Company a Wisconsin based manufacturer of lawn care and snow removal equipment has been improving their production process for the past 17 years to make the company produce better quality goods while minimizing wasted resources The approach Ariens Company has followed has also enabled the company to improve many of its manufacturing processes while simultaneously reducing waste cycle times and increasing productivity The approach Ariens Company has implemented and continuously works to improve over the years is called lean operations Lean operations consist of four building blocks that are required to achieving lean Ariens specifically focuses on personnel and organizational elements Stevenson Page 616 building block As a part of lean operations Ariens has developed a lean intern program that has been created to not only educate employees but to create leaders that will assist on instilling lean principles into every employee they directly work with The six month program is an intense commitment by the company to ingrain lean processes into their employees that are in a leadership position Of the five elements incorporated within the personnel and organization block treating workers as assets continuous improvement and leadership management are three elements largely focused on by this program This program has invested money time and effort into teaching the Arien Company employees about lean operations and how to properly integrate them into their everyday work life

By doing so Ariens seeks to have its employees be able to implement concepts to improve processes quality and overall productivity The investment Ariens has made into its employees is not without purpose It hopes that by investing in its employees it can create lasting worthy assets that contribute to the long term success of the company Going back 17 years ago Ariens Company followed a traditional system of operations When the current CEO of Ariens took control of the company he began by transitioning to a lean system Stevenson Page 629 As the CEO mentioned he followed seven balance points of lean leadership which also correlate with elements of planning a successful lean system transition When transitioning to a lean system Ariens had to ensure that all top management was fully committed to following the transition from beginning to end Without their help and support Ariens would not have been able to successfully complete the transition This idea came in the CEO s point of relentless change During the transition process Ariens had to change out some of the current leadership to guarantee that there was agreement and commitment to the ideas of following a lean system The other crucial element was getting the remainder of the employees under leadership to also cooperate 

The CEO describes this as the cultural revolution a time in which core values must be set and then built on In order for such a pivotal change to occur the culture of Ariens needed to accept new ideas and processes involved with the operations People are not always accepting of change especially when they believe what they have been doing for so long has been adequate Forcing change without changing the culture only leaves the implemented changes susceptible to ultimate failure in the business s long term operations After many years of successfully transitioning to lean operations and continuously improving the processes Ariens began to see to benefits of the lean system Stevenson Page 607 come to light As lean practitioner Art Byrne said The CEO has to be comfortable making other people uncomfortable in order to get big change This philosophy translated directly for Ariens Company and how they have changed their production processes since lean was introduced

One of the benefits of lean systems is to reduce cycle times the amount of time it takes to begin and complete a process Ariens was able to change from batch processing to production line processing which required significantly fewer resources and increased the productivity of the entire operation in a fraction of the time The CEO of Ariens forced employees to be put into an extremely uncomfortable situation when they took a one month process and transformed it into a one hour process These changes also brought along cultural change which has allowed the company to increase in flexibility of production to more accurately meet their customers requirements The company has grown substantially since the implementation of lean because of its ability to be innovative and develop new products to match market demand In conclusion the implementation and integration of lean operations have significantly improved the production process and the business model of Ariens Company The lean approach has allowed the company to reduce waste throughout the company s processes and increased productivity and the quality of their operations in the long term The once solely Wisconsin based manufacturing company has grown domestically and globally as a result of its creation of a flexible manufacturing system made possible with lean operations

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