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Raytheon Missiles & Defense Expands Lean Training with Arizona MEP


Headquartered in Tucson, Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a business of Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE: RTX), provides the industry’s most advanced end-to-end solutions to detect, track and engage threats. Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon Missile & Defense, set goals of increasing customer satisfaction and improving on-time delivery by focusing the company on velocity, efficiency and eliminating waste in its processes. A key component in achieving these goals is the business’s expanded Factory Dynamics training program that develops and sustains its factories' lean operating system.

The Challenge

This year, one of the business’s goals is a 25 percent reduction in make-span, which shortens the timespan from when an order is received to when it is shipped. A second goal is to achieve a 40 percent improvement in on-time delivery. As Manager Kineta Carter’s team planned for 2020, they focused on how Factory Dynamics, which helps factories track key metrics, optimize workflows, and correctly identify and remove constraints, could be expanded to enable factories to reach these goals. The team felt this was an opportunity to expose all levels of employees to the lean operating system and the factory environment to reinforce, reenergize and sustain the use of lean methodology.

We worked hand-in-hand to structure the classes, so it made sense for our team. I was able to participate in each workshop and hear the comments at the end of the day. A significant outcome was that participants saw how a change in leadership style can truly impact performance—moving from ‘I say, you go do,’ to ‘I trust, go try.'

— Arnold Segovia, Lean Trainer

MEP's Role

Rather than developing the training in-house, Carter’s team reached out to Arizona MEP,  part of the MEP National Network™, for assistance in creating a lean training program that was custom fit to the business. During the training, participants apply lean principles in a simulated factory environment. The training was customized using scenarios and terms that were familiar to Raytheon's employees. Customization was an important step to roll out the program effectively and efficiently and led to a higher level of confidence in the training. In this fast-paced environment, team leaders and support teams are changing projects and teams frequently. While many in leadership at Raytheon Missile & Defense have extensive lean manufacturing backgrounds, not all had the same level of experience. Since their buy-in would be key to sustain the lean culture, Carter’s team decided it was important to have the leadership team participate in the factory simulation lean training early on. In addition, Carter is also starting a volunteer community of practice where employees discuss and learn more about lean methodology.

Created August 5, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021