OWNER -TO- OWNER www.franklinbuildingsupply.com | 208-514-2200 | 9222 W. Barnes Dr., Boise, ID 83709 AUGUST 2017
A CONV ERSAT I ON WI TH THE C EO Lean and Mean
If you want to learn about “lean” as a business concept, just move some hangers around the yard. Recently, one of our load builders pointed out that a common joist hanger was called for often, but the hangers were located across the yard from the rest of the materials in the order. That meant wasting time driving or walking over to the hanger warehouse repeatedly.
Lean is also about “clean.” Paul Akers literally wrote the book on lean (it’s titled “2 Second Lean”), and he
invites management teams to check out his company and see how they do it. There are only two rules. First, you have to bring the your management team. Second, as soon as you arrive,
So, they changed one thing: They moved the hangers closer to where they were building the loads.
your management team has to clean their bathroom. It’s about humility and understanding the systems that go into making a business truly lean. Something more applicable to Franklin Building Supply would be to have designated parking spots for each vehicle and piece of equipment. That way, if we found a fluid leak in a parking spot, we’d know exactly which vehicle has the problem. Having a process that is defined and predictable will maximize efficiency and accuracy when the pace of work starts to pick up. As you can tell, lean means little improvements that stack up to have a big impact. It’s not about cutting costs or cutting people. It’s about taking your current equipment and people and doing more with them. We don’t want to do more with less; we want to do more with what we already have. Lean will raise the value of the work we do, which in turn raises the value of our company stock. And that money circles right back into the pockets of employee-owners who automatically get shares in the company. But it will also just make your job easier, as our load- builders found out when they moved those hangers. And at the end of the day, that’s what lean is really all about.
It sounds simple, and that’s because lean is simple. They’re now saving a lot of time by not driving across the yard to get the hangers. They’re also saving on forklift wear and tear and reducing the risk of a workplace accident by reducing the time they spend operating heavy equipment. Lean is all about having a streamlined process that makes sense when you’re doing the job. It allows you to do more with the same resources, which increases your capacity and makes you more
time spent driving across the yard or having to do something two or three times before you get it right.
President and CEO Rick Lierz
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