TestAmerica’s Cedar Falls Laboratory Partners with Hawkeye Community College to Implement WorkSmart Program
In the month of January, TestAmerica’s Cedar Falls laboratory implemented the WorkSmart Program with the assistance of Hawkeye Community College and their Pillars and Launch training programs.
The training is an interactive educational experience, built upon simulations that help employees recognize areas of improvement in workflow processes. The training provides the opportunity to apply Lean concepts and offers tools to successfully make changes within a predictable environment. Hawkeye Community College provided the training through an economic development matching funds program in the state of Iowa.
WorkSmart can be easily understood, used, and implemented by employees at any level. Employees are able to evaluate each process and conceptually see how they piece together, helping to identify opportunities for improvement. The benefit for employees and the customer is that operational performance is continually improved, and customer value is enhanced by delivering services efficiently and at a lower cost.
Cedar Falls laboratory, reevaluated the processes in their shipping and receiving units to remove unnecessary steps in workflow. Systems and processes that worked well in a smaller operation were not necessarily optimal for a larger operation. Value Stream mapping, by the WorkSmart team, detailed all of the steps in the receiving processes and tracked input from all employees performing the work across all departments. Without the concept mapping process, it would be difficult to develop a better workflow that eliminated unnecessary steps and information exchange loopholes between functional areas.
The Cedar Falls laboratory is at the start of the WorkSmart journey and improvement of the shipping and receiving processes is an initial step. The entire laboratory staff will receive WorkSmart training through Hawkeye Community College in January with the intent of applying this knowledge towards the work processes in the laboratory. WorkSmart will be implemented at many of the TestAmerica laboratory locations starting in 2010.
TestAmerica is the leading environmental testing firm in the United States, including 36 laboratories and 31 service centers. TestAmerica provides innovative technical expertise and comprehensive analytical testing services. Specialty analyses include source and ambient air, aquatic toxicity, explosives, specialty organics, dioxins, drinking water, sediments and tissues, emerging contaminants, radiochemistry and mixed waste testing.
TestAmerica affiliate companies include EMLab P&K, the leader in analytical microscopy and indoor air quality; QED Environmental Systems, Inc., the leading supplier of groundwater sampling equipment and remediation pumping systems; TestAmerica Drilling Corp., provider of innovative environmental and geotechnical drilling; and TestAmerica Air Emissions Corp. (METCO Environmental), specializing in air emissions testing. TestAmerica currently employs nearly 2,800 professionals dedicated to exceptional service and solutions for our clients’ environmental testing needs.
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