As 2 Hounds Design began to focus more on lean manufacturing, it became clear that this principle wasn’t just a way to run a company. The core value of lean manufacturing is continuous improvement, which can’t be implemented just once – instead, it must become a way of life and inform how leaders and employees consistently view their company.
By embracing this principle, Alisha Navarro (the founder of 2 Hounds Design) and her leadership team were able to make substantial improvements to their production process. Many of these wins, like reducing shipping time from 4-5 weeks to just 1-3 days, resulted in a huge efficiencies that positively affected the team and their customers.
Teaching a New Dog and Old Trick
To give employees more ownership over their work, improve job satisfaction, and create more efficiencies, Alisha partnered with the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership to launch Training Within Industry (TWI). The program, which started in World War II as a way to train women to do factory jobs, helps manufacturing employees learn their jobs quickly and efficiently. At 2 Hounds Design, Alisha and her leadership team went through the TWI training program so they could implement it internally. TWI became not only a way to support new employees, but also a way to recognize rising leaders.
2 Hounds Design’s leadership team identified natural leaders on the floor who would be well-suited to train new employees using the TWI program. These participants were given the responsibility to write job instructions for each step of the manufacturing process, which ensured every job was done correctly and consistently. After creating these instructions, TWI participants used them to train new employees one-on-one. This method of training prepared employees to work the line in as little as 6 hours.
The first class of TWI graduates returned to the floor with more confidence in themselves and their leadership abilities. Since their graduation in May 2019, they’ve been integral in 2 Hounds Design’s process of incremental improvements – and they’re far from finished.
Check back soon to follow 2 Hounds Design on the next step of their journey.