How I went from spending hundreds of hours on improvement projects with low returns to helping leaders save millions

"Visibility + Accountability = Sustainability"

I absolutely love continuous improvement! If you're reading this, you probably do as well! I think it's a fun role to have at a company but also a very challenging one. I started my career off at Harley Davidson and later moved to General Electric, where I learned most of my Lean Six Sigma skills. Later on, I built and scaled an improvement program for 7 manufacturing plants at Atkore International. 

 

Throughout my career, I've had a chance to work on over 300 improvement projects; but midway through my journey, I noticed a trend. I saw that companies were spending a lot of time on improvement but often times, projects would go unfinished so goals would go unmet.

 

This wasn't due to a lack of effort. I've worked with some of the brightest leaders in my industry! I did, however, recognize a pattern with each continuous improvement project. A pattern that caused efforts to slow down or to be swept under the rug. The pattern that showed up on each project was lack of focus. Leaders were very focused on other metrics, particularly those that were heavily measured. We've all heard the saying "What gets measured gets done", but I realized that our improvement projects didn't have a strong presence on the list of measurements, so projects would naturally take a backseat. 

 

So I started looking at the way I measured continuous improvement differently. If I could just get people to complete the improvements, we would see more impact. They already believed in them but needed a bit more of a push to complete the tasks at hand. So I created a simple system that brought visibility to each project goal and reminded everyone regularly on the exact improvement they'd promised. It worked! When visibility and accountability both happen, people focus and projects are sustained. This took a lot of manual work on my side because basic project management software wouldn't do. I needed something that spoke to how I managed improvement projects specifically. Now, I am proud to say that we've built Kaizen Collab to automate this process for you. Now all you have to do is just enter your projects and let us do the rest!

 

 

Happy Problem Solving!

Amery Williams

VP of Global Continous Improvement & Founder

 

 

 

Bill Waltz, VP and Group President

Over the past few years, I have set a strategic priority on improving product cost effectiveness. Amery was a key driver in this successful initiative. She helped our team identify millions in cost savings opportunities, designed our lean program with a focus on sustainability, and trained 20 kaizen event facilitators across 7 plants.

 

In less than a year, we saved $7.3 MM. Thanks to Amery’s leadership, we now have a structured program and trained leaders who continue to drive cost out.

Jeff Sherman, VP and General Manager

Amery’s steadfast commitment to structure, process, toolkit, and mindset around continuous improvement played a key role in leading our business into a new era of productivity and material improvement.  Under Amery’s watch our business saved an average of $4 million per year in productivity and material savings.  In a commoditized low margin business it was this savings the allowed us to consistently achieve our profit goals.