Grand Rapids staffer puts Lean Champion principles to immediate use

Workforce Training feature: 

Alen Ganic, inventory and asset manager for the city of Grand Rapids, already knew about Lean principles when his director suggested he take GRCC’s Lean Champion Certification program.

“I went into the program thinking I already knew it — I had been using many Lean principles in my previous job in manufacturing — but in this training, I learned so much!” Ganic said.

“The instructors were very knowledgeable. I really appreciated all of the real world examples they were able to share. That made a huge difference.”

Ganic truly believes Lean is for everyone: “I am determined to prove that Lean can be used and useful in a government environment. For my program project, I was able to reduce the amount of wait time for a water tap permit from 16 days to one day. That one improvement has an incredible ripple effect on contractors, home construction and, ultimately, the customer.”

He has seen his share of skeptics: “Many people say, ‘Well, this is how it’s always been done’ or ‘I’m not going to change,’ but I have never met a person who didn’t like it once they did it.

“Lean helps you to look at situations differently — think outside the box. We can all improve processes — businesses, schools, nonprofits, anyone!”

The next session of GRCC’s Lean Champion Certification program begins in October.