A First for the Eastern European Union

by Ken Snyder

I am pleased to announce that the Thermo Fisher Scientific facility in Vilnius, Lithuania will receive the Shingo Prize at our annual conference next April in Orlando, Florida. This is the first organization in the central and eastern part of the European Union to receive Shingo recognition. 

The Lithuanian facility has world-class capabilities in manufacturing products for the life science research market, specifically in molecular, protein and cell biology. It features an outstanding research and development center that is focused on new product development in all aspects of molecular, protein and cell biology. The products manufactured in Vilnius are used worldwide to study gene structure, expression and genetic variation and to create new diagnostics methods for congenital, hereditary and infectious diseases. The Lithuania facility employs more than 700 people in a variety of roles, making it one of the largest private R&D centers in the whole region.

Paul Terry, the Shingo assessment team lead, said this of his experience conducting the facility’s site visit, “Leading a team of Shingo examiners to visit Thermo Fisher Scientific in Vilnius, Lithuania was an amazing experience. What the team observed first-hand is a mature culture of continuous improvement that permeates every level of the organization.

“We were particularly impressed with their system of daily accountability meetings, reinforced by an effective gemba walk system that enables management to connect with the people, and to identify and act on daily improvement opportunities. The Thermo Fisher Scientific Vilnius strategy deployment process is extremely effective in aligning and committing everyone in the organization to achieve goals connected to their strategy.

“Underlying everything in the culture is a shared passion directed to a vision of serving customers with excellence. From all members of the management team, as well as from all people on the floor, Shingo examiners saw eyes filled with excitement, heard voices filled with commitment, and observed daily actions which demonstrated a remarkable commitment to the achievement of that goal.”

If you are interested in learning more about the extraordinary journey of the first Shingo Prize recipient in Lithuania, please join us at the 30th Shingo Conference in Orlando, Florida, the week of April 9, 2018. Also, join us for the Awards Gala on Tuesday, April 10, where we will recognize this outstanding organization for their great achievement. You can register for the conference at: http://shingo.org/events/international. See you there!

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