Part II – Leaning into a better way of working
In this second part of our Lean blog series, we hear from Alan Hosford who joined Abtran’s Lean team in 2016. Here we get an inside track into Alan’s journey through Abtran’s company-wide Lean Six Sigma implementation and his learnings and achievements so far.
My journey at Abtran began in 2015 when I started as a part-time, Back-Office Advisor for one of the company’s leading Transport clients. Abtran is constantly on the move at all hours and when I first began, I would leave college and start my shift at 4:30pm mid-week while many other employees had finished for the day and were heading home.
My journey on Abtran’s Lean programme began in 2016. At first I didn’t know very much about Lean Six Sigma methodology but this changed when I went on to successfully complete a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt training course. In August 2016, I participated in a six month, Enterprise Ireland sponsored Lean Plus project, applying Lean principles and techniques across two of Abtran’s leading Utilities accounts. The project was a huge success, driving greater efficiency in our internal processes. Shortly afterwards, I went on to complete my Greenbelt training.
January 2017 saw the beginning of the Lean Transform Project. Here I was given the exciting task of designing Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt training material in conjunction with our Learning & Development Team and I went on to receive ‘Train the Trainer’ and also deliver the first training class in May of this year. For me, this really highlights the opportunities that can come about at Abtran when you have the ambition to learn, work hard and get ahead.
To date, 36 Yellow Belt group projects have been completed as part of the training and already these are helping us to identify process improvement projects for the future and to drive efficiencies across many areas of the business.
For me, the Lean training programme is really about giving everyone a common set of terms and business tools that can help us to identify and drive improvements in our own areas, both through the way we work and the way we deliver great service to the customer every day. It provides a structured approach which allows our people to work together as part of a team and share their ideas, gaining an understanding of how the business works in other areas.
Being part of the Lean training rollout and design process has been a huge personal achievement. I work with such an amazing group of people and I really enjoy the ‘buzz’ of working at Abtran; it really is a fast paced, high-energy environment. Looking back, the Lean programme has given me the opportunity to develop and learn new skills and I’d encourage everyone at Abtran to get involved when the training comes your way. As the new Lean team tag line goes – “Lead, Empower, Advance, Now!”
Of course, none of this would be possible without you!
Find out more:
To find out more about learning opportunities through Abtran’s Lean Transform programme, check out the Lean section on the Abtran intranet or email the team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about Alan
In May this year, Alan went on to complete his degree in Business Information Systems from CIT, achieving a 2:1 honours degree. Originally from Cork, Alan loves playing soccer in his spare time and is a member of Leeds AFC in Ballyvolane as well as playing GAA with St Nicks. Last year, Alan followed the Republic of Ireland national football team across France, attending all the UEFA European championship matches while travelling by plane, train, (camper van) and automobile! In Alan’s words: ‘It was the experience of a lifetime.’
More About Abtran’s Lean Transform Programme
Established in August 2016, Abtran’s Lean Team was brought together to support an Enterprise Ireland Lean Plus project. This was an opportunity for the team to showcase the personal development and business benefits of a company-wide Lean implementation. Having already completed a Lean Start project, and Lean Plus, the aim of the Lean transform project is to foster a Lean culture across the whole of Abtran. This will include providing Lean training to all employees across the organisation.