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Improving Business Efficiency with CACT Training

ROCKLIN - Teams from two business units at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) recently completed Lean Fundamentals and Process Mapping training provided by the Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT).

 Lean is a philosophy of creating more value for the customer by reducing wasted resources and increasing efficiencies. Process Mapping is a visual tool used to identify the steps required to accomplish a task with the goal of using the diagram to increase understanding of the actual process being used and identify opportunities for streamlining.

 According to Gabe Lewall, in SMUD's Organization and Workforce Development department, the goal of the training was to provide employees with common language, tools and approaches to implement Lean methods at SMUD. "Our participants had different levels of experience with process improvement so the training provided an overarching view of Lean," said Lewall. "Staff also practiced creating process maps to understand a current process and develop an ideal future state map." 

 Sierra College CACT worked with SMUD to include a relevant case study for the training exercise. Employees drew diagrams showing the processes required from notification of an electricity outage to restoration of power. "As a result of training and process maps created by employees at the training, the teams are motivated to take this further, formalize the maps electronically and work together to reduce redundancies," said Lewall.

 "Feedback from participants has been very positive. The Lean training provided a solid foundation that will enable employees to be more consistent in their approach and work together to deliver quality service," said Lewall.

 "Employees were engaged by the hands-on activities in the workshops that related to their work. CACT trainer, Jes Vargas is very knowledgeable and explained lean methods clearly. I would definitely recommend the Lean and Process Mapping training to companies that want to establish a common framework to move forward with lean initiatives that increase efficiency and responsiveness to customers."

 Upcoming Project Management Training

With the Continuous Improvement Network (CIN), Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies will offer Practical Project Management Training on June 4, 18 and 24. This three day introductory training will teach participants the basic principles of good project management. Attendees will learn how to identify project resources, create schedules, produce critical path plans and complete evaluation reports. A class project will enable participants to apply the principles and use the tools introduced in the class. Register at


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