Level 3

At NN, we know that a continuous improvement culture, encouraging the engagement of all associates in kaizen activity, driving ongoing cycles of improvement in Safety, Quality, Delivery and Cost will result in the realization of our vision; “to be the leading manufacturer of high-performance precision components.”

Level 3, a proprietary blend of the best tools and philosophies of three proven disciplines: Lean Enterprise, Six Sigma and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), provides each of our employees the toolset and knowledge which allows them to contribute in the continuous improvement of our company on a daily basis. Constantly striving to improve safety, eliminate waste and defects, and become more efficient in everything we do, every day, is essential to our mission, which “is to provide high-quality products and superior customer service that continuously exceed our customers’ expectations while providing enhanced value for our stakeholders.”

Lots of manufacturers today talk about continuous improvement, but few live it, breathe it, and pursue it like NN. Our Level 3 Program is tangible, measurable proof that creating and maintaining a continuous improvement culture can give a manufacturer a competitive edge in the marketplace.

OBJECTIVES

The Level 3 Program is:

  • a long term management philosophy
  • a business strategy
  • a tactical plan for improvement
  • a relentless attack on waste

More specifically, Level 3 is designed to achieve several key objectives, including:

  • sharing basic lean manufacturing techniques with all employees
  • executing Kaizens at every NN facility and giving every employee the opportunity to participate in continuous improvement
  • identifying and training a select group to serve as Level 3 Masters, Six Sigma Black Belts, and Six Sigma Green Belts
  • delivering significant, timely and sustainable enterprise-wide improvements
  • achieving functional excellence:
    • Safety: Drive a Zero Incident Culture
    • Quality: Drive a Zero Defect Culture
    • Delivery: Exceed Customers’ Expectations
    • ​Level 3: Offset Economic Costs​

STRUCTURE

The Level 3 Program is a major corporate initiative that enjoys the total, unqualified support of the entire management team, starting with our Board of Directors and CEO.

A corporate Level 3 manager and a steering committee comprised of senior management guide and direct the program. Dedicated Level 3 resources (Level 3 Managers, Continuous Improvement Coordinators (CICs)) at each of the company’s sites lead the local Continuous Improvement efforts, ensuring that local/global Level 3 commitments are met.

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