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Hach Company Defines Lean Operations for the Water/Wastewater Industry in New White Paper and Industry Presentations at AWWA ACE 2011

Four key organizational practices make up Lean Operations

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2011 /PR Newswire/ -- AWWA ACE, Booth # 2326 -- Hach Company today announced it has released a new white paper – Lean Operations for the Water and Wastewater Industry. The paper outlines an entirely new and modern approach to lean practices that helps water and wastewater organizations increase their efficiency and become more productive. The foundation of the new approach is based on practices that were born out of the manufacturing world, but, can virtually be applied to any industry today as the same principles hold true: to systematically identify and eliminate wasteful elements in processes until an organization is executing its purpose at the highest level possible. To download a complimentary copy of the white paper please visit: (www.hachwims.com).  

'The fundamental concept is to systematically identify and eliminate wasteful elements in processes until an organization is executing its purpose at the highest level possible, explained Chuck Scholpp, director of Integrated Information Management Business Development at Hach, and a former quality manager and Six Sigma Black Belt. 'When that happens, greater value is created for the customer, the processes within the organization are optimized and the people running the processes are aligned with actions that enable them to continually deliver what's most important.'

For the water/wastewater industry, taking a 'lean' approach to operations can make a measurable impact. Budget constraints; a public that is highly resistant to rate increases; and, facilities increasingly expected to do more with less – all are big concerns for the water/wastewater industry. Adapting to ever-changing regulations poses the risk of fines, citizen complaints, reputation, or worse, environmental impact or public health. Within the workplace, knowledge retention is a main concern as an aging workforce prepares to retire, while information overload, with facilities receiving more data and employees being asked to move from collectors and reporters to analysts and knowledge workers, is not an easy transition.

Lean Operations for water and wastewater is intended to help utilities drive even more efficiencies from day-to-day operations, while creating the 'lean sustainability' needed to deliver the highest level of service over the long haul. Its central concern is minimizing inefficient efforts and resources, and to leverage new technology and processes to modernize the industry.

Scholpp says the basic four tenets of Lean Operations are:

1. Taking a holistic approach to operations

In a Lean Operation every person, resource and process within the plant is dependent upon one another and should be managed in unison. Achieving Lean Operations calls for identifying each point in the process, assessing it to determine if it is necessary and then deciding what action needs to be taken to optimize that point for maximum value at the lowest cost.  Identifying all the steps in the value stream and eliminating unnecessary steps that do not create value is part of looking at the processes with a lean perspective.  

2. Creating a Culture of Lean

Improving processes and harnessing the power of technology is only part of the Lean Operations equation. Much of the success of lean comes from cultural changes that encourage openness, the freedom to question the status quo and a willingness to reflect on the past as a means of instituting new ideas that will improve future performance. The goal of Lean is to open up the work process and abolish the usual hierarchies, thereby empowering each and every team member, regardless of 'rank,' to have input on issues large and small.

3. Automating manual processes

Supplanting manual data collection in the field and the facility with computer-based data gathering, communication and analysis is a prime example of how automation can improve technician productivity and business management. Equipment suppliers, software vendors and even the EPA are all moving to integrate and automate the data gathering, reporting and sharing lifecycle. Water and wastewater operators should take it upon themselves to learn, reach and become an active participant in the development and adoption of new technologies that replace and enhance tried and true manual process that worked for years, but are no longer viable.

4.  Achieving Lean sustainability

Constant change is part of lean, just as it is part of the water/wastewater treatment industry. Lean Operations calls for its own form of sustainability – by revisiting lean processes again and again, and improving them on an ongoing basis. This concept mirrors the philosophy that is inspiring industry leaders to implement lean approaches and to create an organizational culture that embraces the notion of change and is committed to continuous improvement. Combining lean thinking with the advantages of automation, visibility, accuracy, improved analytics and the ability to realize a holistic approach to operations is helping utilities provide the highest quality of community service while improving efficiencies and fiscal performance.

Scholpp will present a Lean Operations overview and its four underlying principles at AWWA in Hach's Booth (#2326). Times of his presentation are:

  • Monday, June 13 at 3 p.m. (20 minutes)
  • Tuesday, June 14 at 3:30 p.m. (20 minutes)


In addition, Hach will be demonstrating its popular WIMS™ (Water Information Management Solution) offering in its booth throughout AWWA. The latest versions of Hach WIMS now offers expanded electronic EPA filing and flexible pricing in version 7.1 of Hach WIMS software. It also now offers an online subscription-based option. Hach WIMS is a data management software program designed specifically for the drinking water and wastewater industries to enable Lean Water Operations. The software integrates data from many sources into one central, secure database for easy monitoring, analysis, reporting and predictive modeling and is fully configurable to each organization.  Its streamlined reporting, user-defined alerts, powerful charting, graphing and mapping tools help users make more informed decisions about their operations.  

To obtain a copy of the white paper with more details on how water and wastewater organizations can put lean practices to use in their organizations, download a copy for free at (www.hachwims.com).

About Hach

Hach is the worldwide leader in manufacturing and distributing analytical instruments and reagents used to test the quality of water and other liquid solutions. For more information on the company, visit (www.hach.com).

Media Contact
For more information, or to arrange a time to speak to Mr. Scholpp, please contact Terri Douglas at 303/581-7760, ext. 18 or tdouglas@catapultpr-ir.com

SOURCE Hach Company

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