NovAtel's Annual Journal of GNSS Technology Solutions and Innovation

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Page 39 of 51

Lean Manufacturing Smarter. FaSt How Lean Manufacturing ServeS cuStoMerS A tale of how success drove NovAtel back to school and into the arms of a whole new way of building things. L ean Manufacturing, a business management system made famous by Toyota, is helping companies around the world shave overhead, boost production, and speed new products to market—all while improving service to their customers. According to Chet Marchwinski, director of communications at the Lean Enterprise Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, lean manufacturing "typically requires half the human labor, half the capacity, and a fraction of the development lead time of other mass production systems." The basic idea behind lean manufacturing is that companies can boost their productivity and generate more revenue using the resources they already have in place, says Derek Lothian, national manager for communications at the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters trade association (CME). Mike McAloney, NovAtel's vice-president of operations, says, "NovAtel works within its own definition of lean, which is to continuously eliminate waste so that every step in the manufacturing process adds value to our customers." Back to School Achieving those payoffs, however, requires a paradigm shift in how a firm handles its work processes and manages its relationships. The one clear rule for achieving that shift is making every decision based on "value," says McAloney, with value defined "through the eyes of the customer." "We look at a process and tear it apart into its component pieces," he explains. "We look at every one of those pieces and say 'What kind of work is it?' Is it value-added work that the customer would willingly pay for? Or is it a business non-value-add we have to do, maybe for regulatory reasons? Or is it just plain non–value-added work…We are trying to eliminate those pieces of work that the customer wouldn't willingly pay for." For NovAtel, the decision to adopt the manufacturing approach 10 years ago bolsters its remarkable growth story since then. 40 velocity 2013 For more Solutions visit http:/ /

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