Larry Fast

Founder & President,
Pathways to Manufacturing Excellence

Larry Fast is founder and president of Pathways to Manufacturing Excellence and a veteran of 35 years in the wire and cable industry. He is the author of "The 12 Principles of Manufacturing Excellence: A Leader's Guide to Achieving and Sustaining Excellence," which was released in 2011 by CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, as a Productivity Press book. It was a best seller in its category and a 2nd. Edition was published Sept. 24, 2015. It features a new Chapter 1 on leadership, various updates of anecdotes, and new electronic tools on the accompanying CD. At Belden, where he spent his first 25 years, Fast conceived and implemented a strategy for manufacturing excellence that substantially improved manufacturing quality, service and cost. He is retired from General Cable Corp., which he joined in 1997 to co-lead North American Operations. Fast later was named senior VP of North American Operations and a member of the corporate leadership team. By 2001 the first General Cable plant had won Top 25 recognition as one of the IndustryWeek Best Plants. By 2008, General Cable manufacturing plants had been recognized for 19 awards. Fast holds a bachelor of science degree in management and administration from Indiana University and is a graduate from Earlham College’s Institute for Executive Growth. He also completed the program for management development at the Harvard University School of Business in 1986.

What is the Best Way to Begin a Lean or Continuous Improvement Journey? 6
Senior management can initiate a lean or continuous improvement initiative by taking these steps.
assembly line
How to Combat a Distressing Drop in Productivity at Shift Change 5
Practical advice for manufacturers to improve productivity at shift change, but also throughout the work day and week.
How to Share Continuous Improvement Across Multiple Plants 4
Here are some suggestions to the senior leaders who are trying to introduce change into other plants that's already been successfully implemented by one plant.
How to Win Support from the Finance Function for Your Continuous Improvement Journey 2
Many an initiative has been stunted, if not totally derailed, because of the strong paradigms in accounting and active resistance by the CFO and the entire function.
What is World Class Manufacturing and How Do You Measure It? 5
World class manufacturing is like a symphony by Mozart where all in the orchestra understand their roles and how to perform in an expert synchronized way.
measuring tape
How to Measure Schedule Performance in a Manufacturing Facility 3
How can we make sure we’re telling the truth on these critical measures? Here are my recommendations.
lying person
Are Your Scrap Metrics Lying About What Happens on the Shop Floor? 2
Every plant needs metrics that tell the truth about performance so that management intervention can occur when performance commitments aren’t being met.
How Many Experts are Needed to Embark on a Lean Journey? 6
First, quantify what it is you want to accomplish for the next two to three years based on the size of your lean manufacturing improvement goals.
Ask the Expert: What Strategies Will Help Us Accelerate Our Lean Journey? 1
Every manufacturing company that is serious about embarking on a lean or continuous improvement journey will face significant barriers -- and it won’t just be from the “old-timers.”
question marks
Ask the Expert: How Do You Re-engage an Apathetic, Aging Workforce? 10
Recognize around the leadership table that workers are behaving the way they’ve been trained by their leadership, past and present, to behave over a long period of time.
crystal ball
Ask the Expert: Lean Leadership – What's Next after Lean and Six Sigma? 6
If your CI process isn’t delivering the results you expect, you don’t need a new buzzword to send you off frantically chasing a new star. Get on with the “what’s NOW.”
Try 'Managing Up' to Boost Your Continuous Improvement Results 3
Leaders may not communicate well or 'get' lean or Six Sigma. Be bold in your communication and tell them what you need.
warehouse full of inventory
How Do We Educate Customers About Reducing Inventory? EOQ vs. MOQ
There are two important business decisions that go with inventory: 1) It is important to providing customer service and 2) It is a consumer of cash.
rolls of steel
Are You Overlooking Inventory as a Focus for Process Improvement and Waste Reduction? 4
Inventory rarely is a focus at the plant level, and it’s not because inventories are in great shape.
How Do You Set Improvement Goals for Manufacturing Operations? 2
Be sure your own expectations are high enough to lead the lean revolution.
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