CLS Speak with Furniture and Wood Technology students at GMIT Letterfrack, Co. Galway
Maria Ryan from CLS was delighted with the opportunity to speak with the 4th year Furniture and Wood Technology students at the breath taking location of the GMIT in Letterfrack, Co. Galway. The visit provided a valuable insight into GMIT’s progressive approach, integrating Lean thinking into the curriculum. This will ensure that the Leaders of tomorrow know only one way to run a business; the Lean way.
Lean as an integral part of the Operation Management Module
While the course is titled “Woodwork and Technology”, GMIT ensure that students exit college with a strong knowledge base in terms of managing a business also. The course includes design and manufacture but also includes an Operational Management Module. The Lean component of the module is very practical in its approach, with students managing day to day projects including 5S, Changeover reduction and planning Gemba walks for next year.
Lean Elements Presented
CLS presented the funding support available to companies including Lean for LEO program and subsequent Enterprise Ireland LeanStart, LeanPlus and LeanTransform. Students had the opportunity to apply 5S and SMED in practicals provided. Case studies from SMEs were presented, with a view that Lean is for all organisations, regardless of size.
Astute Student Questions
On completion of the presentation, students asked several questions around the practical implementation of Lean. The quality of questions was very strong which will serve future leaders deploying Lean. Examples include:
a) Who do CLS start with onsite; leadership, teams or both?
b) Would CLS suggest starting with a project or implement many projects together at the start?
c) Do companies approach the LEO/Enterprise Ireland
or visa versa?
GMIT Approach from Concept to Design
Lecturer and Programme Secretary, Dr. Kate Dunne, provided an overview of the Business Plan that students develop. Again, the practical nature of the course ensures that students start with a concept, move through design and manufacture and then market products with the development of Facebook accounts and a website to distribute their products. The photo here shows an example of the precision work of fourth year students. The practical nature of the course was really impressed which will provide a valuable start to the careers of our future Business Leaders.