Our "Make It Better" Mantra
Creating A Culture Of Continuous Improvement
At TentCraft we manufacture custom printed pop-up tents, structures, and event assets but if you ask our CEO and president Matt Bulloch who we are his answer won't mention the products we create. First and foremost, "We are US-based manufacturers and we are obsessed with continuous improvement."
Our products may be the strongest and most long lasting in the event industry but what really defines TentCraft is our culture of continuous improvement, what we call our "Make It Better" motto.
Team members are empowered to find areas to eliminate inefficiencies in products and processes to improve speed, quality, and value for customers, what is known as lean manufacturing.
One issue we found when introducing the idea of lean manufacturing was that because lean originated within the Toyota system there are many books, Japanese terms, acronyms, and templates on the topic. That can be overwhelming to an organization just entering its lean manufacturing journey.
That’s where "2 Second Lean" by Paul Akers comes in. "2 Second Lean" boils the lean philosophy down to its essential message- "Fix What Bugs You."
And Bulloch says that is something that every employee can do. “I can’t teach Bruce (our Engineer Tech/CNC Programmer) how to improve our CNC process. But what I can do is create a culture where employees feel not only empowered to make changes but they feel obligated to make changes.”
When someone makes an improvement they are asked to videotape it. In these short videos employees identify the issue that was bugging them, they talk about the improvement they made, and then they show the result. Issues can be large or small in scale.
We share these improvement videos each day at our morning Huddle. Employees are asked to create one video each quarter but are allowed to partner up and even focus one video each year at home. Videotaping the improvements allows us to celebrate, accelerate, and cross pollinate improvements through the company.
Make It Better Video Examples
How much do we like the "2-Second Lean" philosophy? Not only do we ask every TentCraft employee to read the book, we even take a quiz on it after 90 Days on the job.
Bulloch and Vice President of Manufacturing Brett Milliman took their journey one step further, traveling to Japan in 2023 to learn from Paul Akers in person through an intensive 2-Second Lean program.
According to Bulloch, “The company gets better when people make it better.”