2016-2017 has been an improvement year for the student organization, Leaders in Continuous Improvement (LCI). In the past year, we have doubled our membership, rebuilt the organization from scratch, and found new and fun ways to run our general meetings. The organization has become very organized, and both the e-board and general members have been given many fresh opportunities.
In the fall of 2016, we started with a very successful K-day, and the E-board worked to spread the knowledge of continuous improvement to students attending the event. We drew students in by offers of candy and stadium cups before they gave our Lego 5S game a shot. It was very favorable with the students and a large portion of them showed up to our first general meeting of the year to begin their continuous improvement journey.
The semester continued with fun general meetings where we focused on activities connected to various topics such as 5S, fishbone diagrams, process mapping, etc. Our members enjoyed the activities and had a good learning experience during the meetings. A question we asked ourselves before going into the fall semester was “When companies come to us with recommendations, how do we know what member is the best one?” The e-board worked together for a couple of weeks and came up with a level system. Every member walking through the doors to our meeting is level 1, and when they want to move up, they have to attend general meetings, Gemba walks, guest speakers, etc. to earn points. Our highest level is 3, and that is our members with the most knowledge and participation in our organization. As an E-board, we want to have members at all levels, but we do encourage members to move up as well. For example, one benefit you get if you move up to level 2 is a career fair flag to put under your nametag. This was a huge hit during Career Fair in both the fall and the spring and many of our members got interviews because of this. The organization will always want to improve so we will see what is in store next semester.
In both the spring and the fall we had Gemba walks and industry trips for our members to attend and to see lean in practice in the industry. In the fall we went to the Michigan Tech Library, BOSS snowplow in Iron Mountain, and Pettibone in Baraga. In the spring, we went to The Muffler Shop, Quincy Woodwrights, and our bigger industry trip, Parker Hannifin. These industry trips were beneficial to our members as they get to see how various companies embrace lean and continuous improvement, as well as the added benefits of practicing lean.
Next year, the E-board is planning great things for LCI and one of our goals is to get more students excited about Lean and continuous improvement. Have a great summer, Huskies!