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Enhancing the human environment

DUXTON "Going Green" with Growing Continuous Improvement (CI) Program

Lean Greenbelt Certified

Talented graduating class of Green Belts off to new challenges!

The province of Manitoba and the city of Winnipeg are very fortunate to enjoy the results of one of the strongest CME / Lean chapters in Canada. And, we’re further fortunate to enjoy the special leadership and training efforts of Ian Marshall – experienced practitioner of Continuous Improvement concepts as well as experienced trainer/educator.  Friday was the conclusion of another Green Belt course – having been carried out over a little more than 2 months with 3 dedicated weeks of training and hands on experience.  In this particular case, it had become clear that some special bonding had developed over a course of time and special talents recognized.  Ron Koslowski, president of the Manitoba Chapter launched proceedings with the comment, “Ian has referred to this as having been one of his strongest Green Belt classes.”  In fact, the quality of that group became clear in my mind in one of their week long assignments at DUXTON Windows & Doors!

One of the interesting components of these courses is the mix of people involved.  This particular group included Aynsley Dueck, DUXTON Windows & Doors; Darryl Dowd, Winnipeg Airports Authority; Diane Crozier, Manitoba Government; Edward O'Reilly, WinPak; Fred Cook, Tempef North America; Jason Egert, City of Winnipeg; Jay Pasemko, Winnipeg Airports Authority; Jay Siemens, WinPak; Jerry Schulz, MCI Coach; Megan Prydun, Manitoba Government; Princess Sarayba, New Flyer; Stephen Szczerba, Manitoba Government and Darryl Hall, DUXTON Windows & Doors.  A quick review and closer understanding would reveal that there are a number of people engaged in the process who are not “typical manufacturing or material handling operations” but rather service providers such as the Manitoba Government.

Green belt you ask?  Check the CME Manitoba site and a short description provides the following:

Develop your internal resources, ability to lead teams and facilitate groups through Kaizen events to improve your business processes. Payback on the cost of the course is typically demonstrated though the application of the tools in the workplace during the course. The participants gain confidence in facilitation and develop valuable contacts through networks. They learn how to set targets and measure results. This program builds leadership skills.

Notably, one of the weeks of training for this bright, energetic group was completed at the DUXTON Windows & Doors factory.  I have to say that was amazed by the results!  It is hard to imagine but this group with NO prior experience in a window factory were split into three groups and given specific assignments to identify opportunities for improvement and IMPLEMENT THEM during that week, which in fact was shorter due to various introductory and reporting out meetings. No matter, they literally dove into their sometimes dusty tasks with enthusiasm in each of 3 different areas – Basics, Final Assembly and Specialty.

DUXTON Windows & Doors is relatively new on the CI (I very much prefer to use the term Continuous Improvement versus Lean) journey.  Nonetheless, we have been systematically getting further engaged through training of numerous plant floor leaders as well as now two new Green Belts!  In fact, a number of specific CI projects have also been completed both by the Green Belt group below as well as now some of our internally organized efforts.  I believe it will not be easy or quick but it is led by the right person in our case, Aynsley Dueck.  Aynsley, my daughter, obviously represents ownership/management in a very direct way but also comes at it with a strong set of gifts, suited for these purposes.  Aynsley has a pretty strong commitment towards organizing activities to ensure the best possible results for the customer … and I think that’s key.

Al Dueck, President of DUXTON Windows & Doors