About Andrew Nicholson

View my LinkedIn profile, http://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewrnicholson

Plain English, or Jargon?

Do you know it’s “Plain English Day” today?  The Plain English Campaign is a group who fight against the use of jargon and gobbledygook in public information from private and public service organisations.

We try very hard to be jargon-free, but how should you define jargon?  Surely one man’s jargon is another’s everyday language, particularly when related to the industry you work in?  In the business improvements sector there are lots of opportunities to use specialist vocabulary.  Words like:

5S      CANDO      Kaizen      Kanban      Muda      SMED      and lots more besides.

They are common enough terms in our day-to-day operations, so are they considered “jargon”?  (If you’re really keen to know what they are, you can consult the Lean Glossary of Terms!)

We consider jargon to be meaningless phrases – phrases that use lots of words where one or two will do; language that confuses the message, rather than clarifies it.  So what meaningless phrases would you get rid of?  What makes you cringe when you hear it?

Here’s a selection of our most annoying jargon:

“at the end of the day”
“at this particular moment in time”
“telling it like it is”
“thinking outside the box”
“it’s not rocket science”
“I personally think …”
“I always give 110%”

… but I bet I’m guilty of using some of them!

Business Strategy and a Lean approach for James H Heal & Co Ltd

Following our successful work with James Heal in Halifax, TheBusinessDesk.com have run an article on James Heal’s achievements.

As well as helping the directors with their strategy for growth, Andrew worked with the Engineering Director to create a long-term Operational Excellence programme from the Manufacturing strategy.  He also helped them to introduce the concept of Lean across the workforce through “hands-on” training workshops.  Neil Pryke and his team have now identified where improvements need to be made, and with help from the managers and supervisors have achieved some important “Quick-Wins”.

The full case study can be downloaded from our website.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of using the Lean approach in your business, you might find it useful to come along to one of our Introduction to Lean workshops.

Inside Industry Visit – James H Heal & Co Ltd

We’ve been working with James Heal  since February 2009, and they’re going from strength to strength.  They’re now opening their doors to the manufacturing public for one morning, through the MAS YH Inside Industry programme, to let others see how they’ve started on their Lean journey, what they’ve achieved so far, and what their next steps will be.

The visit takes place on Tuesday 15 June 2010.

If you’ve been considering introducing Lean into your business, but are still unsure, or if you’d like to see how your company could benefit by introducing Lean, come along to the vist and ask those who have taken the plunge themselves.  For more information on our work with James H Heal & Co Ltd, visit our website.  Or visit Inside Industry  to book a place on this half-day factory visit.

Strategic Business Reviews – Business Development Vouchers

Did you know about the Business Development Vouchers accessed through Business Link Yorkshire?

Eligible businesses can now undertake a 100% funded programme with us using the Business Development Vouchers, to work with your senior management team to undergo a strategic business review; to develop a practical business strategy; and to work with you to implement the key actions to achieve your goals.

Are you eligible?

  • Is the business located in Yorkshire & Humber?
  • Is the business over 36 months old?
  • Does the business employ over 4/5 people?
  • Are you committed to achieving change and have some ideas of how to move forward?
  • By undertaking the Strategic Business Review, will you create new jobs, safeguard existing jobs, increase profitable turnover?

The service is 100% funded by Business Link and delivered at a fixed price of £3,000 (exc VAT).

Why not take a look at our Business Strategy page or our downloadable Strategy information sheet, and if you have any questions either about the Business Development Vouchers, or about Business Strategy and Strategic Reviews, just drop me an email.

The Lean Consortium Foundation Day

Taking place on Thursday 22 April, this Foundation Day is a great opportunity for you to learn some of the basics of Lean.  The Lean Consortium programme is an innovative training programme, designed to help you introduce and improve your employees’ understanding of Lean, and to develop your Lean Leaders skills to take your essential improvement projects forward and instil a culture of continuous improvement throughout the business.

The Foundation Day is a free day of learning and demonstration from The Lean Consortium where you will learn the foundations of implementing and sustaining key lean techniques in your company.  You can participate in a live demonstration of the difference the programme can make to your business processes.

Full information is available at The Lean Consortium website, or contact John Macdonald on 07957 336856.