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targeting various aspects of manufac-
turing for several years. The company
accelerated its lean commitment about
three years ago, according to Single-
tary, vice president of manufacturing.
Now responsible for supply chain,
distribution, technical services and lean
deployment across all five company
plants, he recently served as the Atlanta
“We had our first introduction to lean
in 2006 during a lean trip to Japan,
after the company was acquired by
J.W. Childs Associates. But we initially
missed the mark on application, even
though we had hired resources for each
plant,” said Dan Sileo, former vice pres-
ident of manufacturing during the tran-
sition to more intensive lean operations
and now plant manager at Sugar Creek
Packing Company, Cambridge City,
Indiana. We were having kaizen events
versus truly doing lean in support of a
strategy, for a few years.”
Several years into lean event promotion,
the company received feedback from
a sensei that a more consistent lean
commitment was needed.
“We started applying events to a strate-
gy, not just discrete events,” said Sileo.
Re-energized lean initiatives included
an aggressive focus on improving
changeovers, netting the equivalent of
23 days of time back in the system.
“We used some of that time to increase
the number of changeovers, enabling
more standard processes and $500,000
in scrap reduction during the past two
years,” Sileo said.
Greater expectations: Start at home
To get started on such a revved-up, lean
extended-enterprise approach, create
a vision of success and set challenging
goals, said Singletary. For example, the
Sunny Delight Manufacturing Organi-
zation developed a two-year strategy,
dubbed “684”: 600-second flavor
changeover, 80 percent overall equip-
ment effectiveness (OEE) and 4 percent
cost improvement. Continue doing what
you do best, hire and train people who
will vault your performance to the next
level, document your current perfor-
mance and unleash employees’ sugges-
tions/ideas for continuous improvement.
“Give safety, quality, manufacturing,
logistics and others on the floor a place
at the table,” said the executive. Sunny
Delight also hired lean sensei to provide
guidance along the improvement jour-
ney, supplementing the company’s lean
training for employees.
Additional suggestions from Singletary
for building a robust lean foundation and
fostering cultural change:
• Document current conditions and
performance before setting new
high-performance goals. Use value
stream mapping (VSM) to see where
there are gaps within your facilities and
the extended, enterprise-wide value
stream, and then attack opportunity
areas through kaizen/problem-solv-
ing teamwork reflecting improvement
suggestions from employees, suppli-
ers/customers directly involved in daily
• Create transparency, share learnings,
improvements and business challenges.
• Encourage new learning and ideas, but
recognize that some people will not
accept new ways.
• Senior leadership needs to pave the
way for broader lean understanding,
daily practice and accountability. “It may
not always be easy to build the habit of
encouraging folks on the floor to solve
problems,” said Singletary. “But when
you empower them and their team-
mates, problems and waste decline at a
rapid pace. So empower them. They are
your most important resource, and they
will make you proud.”
• Continually seek ways to develop en-
hanced standard work, as operators and
others gain experience through participa-
tion in kaizen/improvement activities.
• Recognize progress: Celebrate new
processes and encourage people to
quickly say, “Here’s what we did.”
• Monitor progress, involving employees
in updating their goals, achievements
and any roadblocks.
Sunny Delight employees received a procla-
mation from Clayton County charitable contri-
butions and support for feeding homeless and
• Who is my customer?
• What does my customer value?
• What processes do I use to deliver
• What are the KPIs that measure
• How am I performing?
• Most important: What is my rate of
SOURCE: SUNNY DELIGHT
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