On 14th July, we were delighted to welcome Noel Hennessy to the Dublin Lean Network to talk about the human side of Lean.
Steve Halpin first introduced Noel to the Network. Noel then went on to say that he fell into Lean. By way of background, he explained that he worked in production all his working life. For Noel, he loved the practicality of lean and how it could almost give you instantaneous results.
Press play to view the webinar recording or read on for a short summary.
After working in the electronics (Measurex, Seagate, 3COM) and pharmaceutical industries (Stafford Miller, Norton), Noel joined Lake Region Medical in 2001 as Production Manager. Subsequently, they began their Lean manufacturing journey two years later.
Lake Region Medical, founded in 1947 by Joe Fleischhacker Sr., has a rich history of innovation stemming from Mr. Fleischhacker's development of the process for manufacturing pacing coils used with the first implantable pacemakers.
Noel’s passion and enthusiasm for Lean led to his promotion as Continuous Improvement Director in 2005. He was again promoted to Op Ex Director for Europe and Asia when Lake Region was acquired by Greatbatch Medical in 2015.
During Noel’s tenure, the site achieved the Shingo Bronze Medallion and Irish Medical Technology Company of the Year in recognition of their Operational Excellence Program. The Shingo Prize is widely recognised as the ‘Nobel Prize’ for manufacturing. Noel is now an examiner for the Shingo Institute and participates in assessing sites globally on a regular basis.
He was awarded his MSc in Lean Operations from Cardiff University in 2007 and his Doctorate in Business Administration from Waterford Institute of Technology in 2017. The focus of Noel’s doctoral thesis was exploring the relationship between Employee Engagement and Continuous Improvement.
Noel’s search for best practice has seen him participate in global benchmarking visits to Europe, the US, India, and Japan. He is a passionate advocate of the transformational power of Lean and the Shingo Model in particular. He feels that this places the emphasis on the behaviours and systems required for sustainable transformation.
How do you start Lean in your organisation?
Lean is simple, but it is not easy”