The Status of Lean at Ingersoll Rand

At Ingersoll Rand, the lean transformation underway there will touch every division around the world.

They are only 40 percent complete after four years into it because they are strict about defining value streams from order to ship. And they evolve internally, too, now talking about the value stream in the terms “from quote to cash.”

At the core of everything is building competency in the workforce from strategic analytics to innovation and sales. But first, they must teach the business leaders what happens at every point in the value lifecycle. Following the servant leadership mentality, Ingersoll Rand executives are required to spend time where the work happens. They are taught to define the standards and understand what “normal” looks like in order to know when “abnormal” shows up.

“Our job is to expose problems and be with the team to help fix and resolve them,” says Todd Wyman, senior vice president of global operations and integrated supply chain for Ingersoll Rand.

To that end, and in an effort to create a winning culture—one of the company’s key strategies—Ingersoll Rand has been conducting an employee engagement survey over the past few years. In 2013, engagement scores were up 8 points. “People are seeing consistency in strategy, they are seen as being valued, and they are realizing that when they are coming with a problem that the leadership is listening and acting,” Wyman says.

In the area of operational excellence, the company’s performance metrics are closing in on its competitors, and shareholder return is now in the top quartile when benchmarked against other diversified industrial manufacturers. As for growth excellence, it’s hard to quantify across the board, especially since the company is still learning its lean lessons, but they will eventually tie their strategies back to revenue.

>> Read Automation World's complete coverage: Is Lean Good Enough?

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