Having learned the principles of lean manufacturing through his job at Thomson Reuters Eagan manufacturing, distribution and engineering (MD&E) plant, employee Scott Tierney applied the concepts to how he mows his 3-acre lawn, reducing the time it takes to complete the job from three hours to roughly two hours.

And Tierney, who works in the short run bindery, isn’t the only Thomson Reuters MD&E employee who’s taken ‘lean’, as it’s called, with its six S’s (safety, sort, straighten, shine, standardize, sustain),  home. Press operator Matt Glidden redesigned his garage for increased organization and efficiency, and jokes that he may do the same with his house, if his wife will let him.

The impressively high level of enthusiasm for lean principles shown by Tierney, Glidden and many of their colleagues began with plant-wide lean initiatives and continuous improvement projects, implemented over the last several years, that have sought to transform the Thomson Reuters MD&E operation, which produces 54 million products annually, into an industry best practice.

And it was these initiatives, along with Thomson Reuters commitment to sharing its lean knowledge and experience with other area manufacturers that led to its recent selection as the Manufacturer of the Year, in the large company category, by the Manufacturer’s Alliance. The results are striking: One particular area of the plant has seen an 80 percent drop in the amount of waste per changeover. Make-ready time in the short run bindery has been reduced by 75 percent.

“Without a doubt, we could not have implemented lean manufacturing principles with the tremendous degree of success that we’ve had over the last several years without the commitment and hard work of each manufacturing employee. Scott and Matt are just two examples of the remarkable level of engagement, excitement and enthusiasm that our employees bring to their work,” says Marty Kennedy, vice president, Manufacturing, Distribution and Engineering, Thomson Reuters. “Our people are central to our plant’s continued improvement and success. And they were an absolutely critical part of our winning Manufacturer of the Year.”

Watch the video below to see MD&E employees talk about their lean journey:

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