Twin Cities Continuous Improvement Consortium Meeting at Intek Plastics

Some great ideas were shared by those attending the Twin Cities Continuous Improvement Consortium Meeting at Intek Plastics in Hastings, MN recently.

Led by Dick Cole, Optima’s Director of the Twin Cities Consortium, participants from Andersen Corporation, Standex, Intek Plastics, Renewal by Anderson, Airworthy Aerospace, Uponor and Emerson contributed their ideas around the following topics and what they are currently doing that is working for them.



  • Offering a referral bonuses of up to $3000
  • Utilizing technical school interns
  • Offering new hire bonuses of up to $2500
  • Creating well-defined temp-to-hire processes


  • Using a buddy system and formal training
  • Administering assessment tests for needs
  • Identifying a 30-day focus
  • Ensuring that Operations and Human Resources partner in orientation
  • Using a slower and more gradual introduction to important information
  • Incorporating an “in touch” relationship for feedback and adjustment
  • Recognizing that everyone learns differently

Training and Development

  • Utilizing five-week on-the-job training
  • Utilizing three-week floor training
  • Using a Bronze, Silver and Gold Lean Certification Process
  • Incorporating formal and informal coaching and mentoring
  • Having associates direct Leadership Development
  • Utilizing a training and flexibility matrix
  • Having a fixed number of high skill personnel
  • Using training cards
  • Creating a computerized tracking methodology for training
  • Narrowing the training focus


  • Ensuring there is a vibrant coaching program in place
  • Training associates in various positions
  • Creating part-time assignments and a training matrix
  • Utilizing stay interviews and exit interviews

Make plans now to attend the Consortium’s Special Interest Group Training Event on Standard Work at Federal Package in Chanhassen, MN on Oct. 11. Details and registration at HERE.

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