Monday, May 23, 2016

53. Kick-off at KOPAKAMA - Lean at Origin

May 23, 2016
Hands-on practice of lean principles using a simulation.
Thanks to a grant from Trademark East Africa, TWIN Trading has been able initiate the launch of "Lean at Origin" training for coffee washing stations in Rwanda. TWIN selected Artisan Coffee Group to bring this training to two cooperatives in Rwanda's Western Province. Because of logistics, a lead cooperative, KOPAKAMA, was selected and a nearby cooperative, KOPAKAKI, was selected to send representatives to the training sessions. The two-day leadership training has just completed and two more weeks of 2-day sessions are planned.

The core idea of "Lean at Origin" is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste. Simply stated, "lean" means creating more value for customers with fewer resources by developing a culture of metrics and focus on flow efficiency. Converting an organization to this kind of mindset is usually a major culture change, whether it's happening in central Ohio in the U.S., or in the mountains of Rwanda, and thus it takes 2 - 3 years, not days, to implement.

This kick-off training unites KOPAKAMA and KOPAKAKI cooperative board members, coffee washing station staff and coffee farmers, large and small as they begin their "Journey to World Class". The specific objective of the 2-day leadership training was to give management of the cooperative a solid understanding of lean objectives including the ability to describe the "why" for their cooperative and at least three lean tools.

Lean at Origin was developed and created by Artisan Coffee Group because Ruth Ann Church, Artisan's president, believes the principles of lean can have an important impact on sustainability of the coffee supply chain in this age of climate change, price volatility and concern about the cost of quality. "As I've visited over a dozen washing stations in Rwanda, I've seen examples of smart improvements to efficiency and I've seen a lot of waste," comments Church. "Through Lean at Origin training, we should be able to minimize waste in ways that translate into profits for washing stations and farmers -- because the survival of both are inextricably linked."

After the two-day training session, trainees had the opportunity to share their insights on ways to save money and improve productivity. Leonidas NDORAHIMANA, Secretary of KOPAKAMA, said that there were different wastes occurring in transportation, labor resources, organization of items and general time management, which decreases their profit. With the new model of minimizing wastes they are going to make improvements by targeting customer needs more carefully in order to maximize profit.

[Contributing author: Eric Nshimiyimana]

Ruth leads an exercise for "seeing waste."

Giving a report from a small group discussion.
Lean at Origin - Leadership Training - May 19 & 20, 2016

Dashboard of metrics created to track farmer interests, productivity and quality.
6S group exercise - identifying waste.
Cherry collectors bringing in cherry around 7pm.
Coffee cherries delivered in the morning.

Break time.

The view at KOPAKAMA is awesome!


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